Rep. Patricia Mueller: Community comes together for Taopi

Published 6:08 pm Friday, April 22, 2022

This past week, we saw an EF2 tornado wreak devastation on one of our local communities, Taopi. Home to 60 people, the town was pretty well destroyed. By the grace of God, nobody was killed, but at least two people were injured. After talking to several Taopi residents, I heard stories of resilience and hope, including a family that had just made it into their basement moments before the tornado hit. Seeing the aftermath of the tornado and the utter devastation, it is so apparent that Taopi citizens were divinely protected.

In the aftermath of the tornado, our community did what it does best — it came together. As state representative for Taopi and the surrounding area, I’ve heard from many, both in our district and across the state, asking how they can help. Even before Taopi was accessible, individuals and businesses offered their resources and services. The Adams American Legion jumped into action to collect donations and provide daily meals for those who were working in Taopi helping with the clean-up. And there have been many more people who have pitched in to clear debris, collect donated items for those affected, and raised money to get the residents of Taopi to get back on their feet. On the Saturday before Easter Sunday, I went to three different egg hunts and other community activities. At every event there was a donation box for the Taopi Storm Relief Fund. This week, I even heard Hy-Vee hosted an event that raised money for the residents of Taopi.

What we are witnessing right now is community — people coming together during crisis to offer strength, support, and hope. There will be a time and place for government to provide financial resources for Taopi to rebuild. But these funds are nothing compared to the outpouring of people who see a need and choose to act. It will take many months and maybe even years to rebuild Taopi. It is up to us as a community to continue to work together and support each other.

It is such a blessing to be a part of this resilient and caring community. If you would like to donate to those affected by the tornado, there are many resources available. Monetary donations can be sent to the Taopi Relief Fund at United Farmers State Bank, and there are daily updates on the Taopi Facebook page that share volunteer opportunities. Thank you so much.