Scott: In Oklahoma, Tennessee and New Jersey, these are the sounds of teens working to help strangers rebuild their lives.
Erica Thill: I think we’re both looking at each other and going, ‘Wow!’ We’ve both been through pretty terrible things.
Scott: Erica Thill spent part of her summer in Oklahoma, helping families that lost their homes to the devastating tornados last May. She is one of nineteen students who came from Newtown, Connecticut, the community where twenty children and six adults lost their lives in a school shooting last year.
Mike Grider: I have had them from all over. But from where they came from – the school where the killing was and everything, it kind of touches the heart.
Scott: Because it is not just help rebuilding, but healing as well.
Erica: We are never going to forget anything, but to just keep pushing through and, like, live your life as though you’re trying to be better than before.
Danielle Roques: It’s going pretty well.
Scott: Over in Tennessee, students from around the country spent some of their summer renovating homes for the elderly.
Danielle: Yesterday, we started the foundation for the ramp.
Scott: These teens are building a ramp for Betty’s walker.
Betty Gordon: This means a whole lot. They have been so sweet and nice, I think I’m going to adopt all of them.
Scott: In New Jersey, victims of last year’s superstorm Sandy got a helping hand.
Morgan Benner: We only have a summer off as just high schoolers. And there is no other time in the year for us to do this.
Scott: More than twenty teenagers from Maryland spent their 4th of July weekend picking up debris and rebuilding homes.
Student volunteer: It’s good to help people and know that we’re actually making an impact in someone’s life.
Paul Keeran: It’s just overwhelming the love that all these people have shown us.
Scott: It is the kind of love that brings tears to the eyes of Paul Keeran. He and his wife were forced out of this house when Sandy hit.
Paul: There isn’t enough adjectives in the world. I love them all!
Natalie Romine: We just wanted to come back and show them that they are not alone and that people do care about them.