Seven members of the ever-expanding Duggar family, whose lives are documented on the TLC show 19 Kids & Counting, are pitching in to help victims of a devastating tornado in Joplin, Missouri.
Duggar patriarch Jim Bob, along with his children Josh, 23, Jana, 21, John, 20, Jill, 20, Jessa, 18, and Joseph, 16, headed to Joplin Sunday evening after news broke about the tornado that ripped through the town, according to TMZ.
The Duggars live only about 80 miles from Joplin, so they loaded themselves into three cars along with supplies in order to lend a hand. Several of the Duggars are volunteer firefighters in their home town of Tontitown, Arkansas, and Josh Duggar told the website that “resuce officials immediately put the family’s considerable manpower to work,” giving out supplies and searching for survivors.
According to the National Weather Service, the Joplin tornado was the deadliest single twister since 1950, and the death toll on Tuesday morning had risen to 117 and was expected to climb as the debris is cleared. Currently, the whereabouts of 130 Joplin residents is unknown.
The tornado leveled thousands of homes and businesses, leading President Obama to address the disaster from a current trip abroad, saying, “[The United States government is] going to stay [in Joplin] until every home is repaired, until every neighborhood is rebuilt, until every business is back on its feet.”
President Obama also officially declared Joplin a disaster area, which authorizes the allocation of federal funds from the Federal Emergency Management Agency to help Joplin residents.
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