Rebuilding Effort in Caruthersville Continues

CARUTHERSVILLE, MO--For Caruthersville Elementary teacher Robbie Weems, her home has come a long way since being destroyed more than a year ago by the tornado that roared through parts of Region 8.

"Our whole block was gone, it looked like a war zone," said Weems.

Since that time, the frame of her home was built by Mininites, a group from Virginia put in her dry wall, and this week the carpentry work came from an unlikely source.

"Every time I look at it, I am like they are just kids, they are like 6th and 7th graders, and they laid the lamanent flooring and it is beautiful," said Weems.

"God wants everyone out there and it doesn't matter what age you are," said 12 year-old Alyssa Sykota.

Sykota is part of the group from Columbia, Missouri who worked on Weems' home. She's one of over 400 from across the state who are joining together to help Caruthersville residents displaced from their homes following the tornado.

"I felt really sorry for these people who lost everything, I just really wanted to come and help them," said Sykota.

Weem's home is one of eleven, the 400 kids are rebuilding in Caruthersville.

"I just felt like if this ever happened to me I would want someone there and I am going to do that for these people," said Sykota.

According to Sykota, taking a week out of her summer to help others proved to be a rewarding vacation when she saw the smile on the face of Weems.

"I don't know how to describe it. It just felt so great all the hard work I was putting in really went somewhere," said Sykota.

Weems hopes to move into her home again before school starts and she is encouraged by what she has seen from her good neighbors from across the state.

"Our future is bright, they are take charge kids," said Weems.

The 130 students are part of the Missouri Conference of United Methodist Church Youth finished up work Thursday, but another group of at least 70 more kids will roll into to town next week to continue work.