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45979 Denizen Plaza Sterling, VA 20165



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Providing Support to our Neighbors in Missouri

Providing Support to our Neighbors in Missouri

American Red Cross

Joplin Tornado-Applebee's Update 5/27/11

Even with this week’s news reports and graphic scenes from Joplin, the terrible losses and destruction are impossible to fully appreciate. Our hearts go out to our team members and citizens alike who are coping with such unimaginable devastation.

  • We are greatly relieved that Applebee's has accounted for every team member and all are safe and nobody was seriously injured. This is obviously the best news of the week.
  • We are still learning how team members have been impacted in terms of their homes and other personal property. Sadly, some lost literally everything they owned.
  • On a more encouraging note, and underscoring the ultimate meaning of "Neighborhood," thanks to the amazing effort and resourcefulness of Applebee's, the Joplin restaurant has re-opened. The restaurant is offering free food and beverages to rescue and relief workers. The restaurant has also become a welcome haven for many people simply to escape the heat and rain. The response to an open Applebee's in the midst of everything that Joplin is enduring has been nothing short of incredible.

DineEquity, the parent company for Applebee's and IHOP, is providing support to several organizations:

  • $15,000 to the American Red Cross to be used for assistance in Joplin and other locations in Alabama and North Carolina impacted by severe storms this Spring.
  • $5,000 to Applebee's "Heidi Fund," which helps company team members during times of crisis, for assistance to the Joplin company-owned restaurant team members.
  • $5,000 to the Freeman Health System, the children's hospital in Joplin, which is a member of IHOP's charitable partner, Children's Miracle Network Hospitals. Freeman Health System is located across the street from St. John's Medical Center, which suffered a direct hit from the tornado, and is providing double-duty tending to the injured.

Additionally, the Restaurant Support Centers are each organizing fundraisers for team members to contribute to the relief effort.

Donate To The Red Cross Now >

Joplin Tornado-Applebee’s Update 5/24/11, 11 a.m. (CDT)

As we learn more about the devastation from the Joplin tornado, our thoughts continue to go out to the entire community.

Help us make a difference
Please give a donation if you can to help victims of the tornado in Joplin, MO. Donate Now >

This situation affects many of our team members, colleagues and partners and it is important to us to mobilize quickly to provide support. Here's an update on what we’re doing on the ground to help out affected residents of Joplin and the nearby communities:

Team Members
Above all, we are working to locate team members we still haven't located and keeping them and their family in our thoughts and prayers.

Team Member Assistance
We sent a convoy of assistance – a generator, mobile-hand washing stations, cases of water and other sanitation supplies – to Joplin yesterday. We also sent Walmart gift cards (one Walmart remains open in Joplin) to provide team members with immediate assistance on basic needs. We are also providing direct financial assistance to team members to help with immediate needs.

Internal Corporate Fundraiser
At the Applebee's corporate office, we’re conducting an internal fundraiser to help with relief efforts. The Red Cross is identifying the most needed items and we will facilitate a drop box/drive at our corporate office.

On the Ground in Joplin
We've learned that the tornado missed the Applebee's restaurant by 200 yards. Despite its proximity, the restaurant is structurally sound. Today, we sent eight team members from Kansas City and four from Springfield to provide further assistance.

  • The restaurant now has power and running water. (The city is under a boil order as well.)
  • The plan is to open the restaurant today at 11 a.m. with a limited "Relief" Menu. Servers and managers will be able to help feed the community during this tough time.
  • Applebee's team members in Springfield made 800 boxed lunches and will deliver them around lunch time today to the triage center the Red Cross has set up, and throughout the day as needed. In addition, law enforcement officials have already been stopping by the restaurant for food – and the team, of course, has served them.

As we continue to ascertain the needs of those in the area, we will update you. We continue to thank our team members, support staff and our guests for helping to mobilize to help our neighbors in need.

Read more neighborhood stories >