TAMKO Building Products, a Joplin-based privately-owned manufacturer of roofing and building products, recently sponsored the American Red Cross “Everyday Heroes” luncheon, which honored people in the Joplin, Missouri community who went above and beyond to make the community a better place. This year’s award recipients were all inspirational. They ranged from a group of former foster kids who provide care packages for children entering foster care, to a group of police officers who replaced a 5-year-old’s bicycle after it was destroyed by a suspect fleeing police.

In total, five awards were distributed to Joplin’s Everyday Heroes. As the keynote speaker, TAMKO Executive Vice President Tim Whelan recognized these individuals for their selfless and heroic behavior.

“One of the traits I think heroes hold that sets them apart, and that challenges and inspires us, is selflessness,” Whelan said. “Heroes are selfless. They focus on others and not on themselves. These stories inspire us.”

This year’s Everyday Heroes included:

  • Mason Hymer, Mackenzie Hymer, Abbey Goebel, and Mati Goebel, former foster kids who created Bundles of Hope, a nonprofit that has collected and distributed 1,500 new-home kits to kids entering the foster care system. The kits include blankets, stuffed animals, pajamas, toiletries, and other items to help them and their foster parents. The bundles also include a note of encouragement to help kids adjust and feel more comfortable.
  • Jim Whitney, a Joplin High School coach, who accepted the award on behalf of his students, who wanted to remain anonymous. His students founded an organization called “Doulos” in 2008, which provides students with basic needs, such as clothing, coats, and shoes.
  • Becky Graves, who created the Baby and Infant Loss Support Group and the 5K “Kiss Me Goodnight” Twilight Run to support families who suffered the loss of a baby.
  • A team of Joplin Police Department officers who replaced a bicycle for a 5-year-old boy whose bike, a Christmas gift the previous day, was destroyed when it was run over by a fleeing suspect.
  • Joplin Police Department detectives Adam and Amy New, who rescued two sisters, ages 3 and 5, from a pond near their home on December 22.