INTERVIEW: Tragedy in Joplin, Timmons Group organizes relief effort

RICHMOND, VA (WWBT) - The devastating pictures out of Joplin, Missouri have touched the hearts of so many people across the country and Richmond is no exception. But with the disaster so far away, people in central Virginia may wonder just what they can do to help. Today we have your answer.

Chris Dodson is a Principal with the Timmons Group, an engineering and technology firm based here in Richmond.

RYAN: Chris, thanks for being on First at 4:00. First, just tell us, what you guys doing and how can people from Richmond get involved? 

CHRIS: Basically, what we've done is we set up on the website a list of items that need to be provided for relief effort in Joplin. We've reached out to some of our local business partners like Estes Trucking and they provided us a 28-foot box truck to transport these items out there. And we're collecting all manners of things, personal items, toys, water, flavoring for water, so basically we're asking for folks to show up at our office between 4:00 and 7:00 on week nights starting tonight through next Wednesday, drop those items off. 

RYAN: And what I thought was interesting about this is it's a way that you can have a direct impact because you can physically go to the store and buy something, get it on put on a truck and you know its heading right to the people that need it the most. 

CHRIS: That's correct, and we actually have another one of our partners in the firm, his wife is collecting items for the baseball team and that was being done in Raleigh, North Carolina, we didn't even know it. Spoke to her, she's going to have everything shipped to us and we're going to be able to put it on truck and be able to hand-deliver it to these folks and what touched us is this town is not going to get rebuilt without engineering and survey and that's what Timmons has been doing for 50-plus years. 

RYAN: And you're going to send some of your equipment out there to start the process.

CHRIS: We're donating three survey trucks that have extra miles on them, they were sitting around not being used. We're outfitting them with survey stakes, iron, paint, all the things they need to rebuild this. We're looking for someone out there that has a car transport or has a route that goes that way can that perhaps take two of those trucks. We're going to drive one out there and we prefer to find another way to get the other two out there without driving all three. 

RYAN: Thanks so much and as you mentioned, starting today at 4:00, people can bring stuff over to have it sent to Joplin. Chris, good luck with this effort. We appreciate you being on. 

CHRIS: Thank you very much, Ryan.

The Timmons Group Headquarters is located at 1001 Boulders Parkway, Suite 300 in Chesterfield.

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