Students from towns hit by tornadoes join forces

Video: In 2011, 158 lives were lost in Joplin, Mo., due to a tornado, and last year a storm took 24 lives in Moore, Okla. While that community continues to recover, local school kids are getting assistance from some friends over 200 miles away.

An elementary school in Moore, Okla., was reduced to rubble by a tornado last year, and seven children lost their lives. Kids who also endured the devastating effects of a tornado reached out to help those still reeling from the loss.

The kids came from Joplin, Mo., a town where 158 people died when a tornado struck in 2011. When the storm hit Moore last year, 24 lives were lost. To reach out, 14 kids from Joplin traveled four hours by bus to share their experiences and help the community move forward. They brought books with them — and a check for $3,000. 

"We're showing them the hope and the courage ... they did get knocked down, but they're having courage and they're rebuilding it better than it was last time," said Kaden Parker, a student from Joplin, Mo. 

The town of Moore is rebuilding. New homes are going up, and the elementary school is coming back. But as the rebuilding continues, the kids of Moore are still dealing with the grief that has come in the wake of disaster. 

Moore student Cierra Bradley was one of the students who lost someone close to her. "My friend Sydney, she was in the third grade, I miss her so much," she told NBC's Luke Russert. 

Principal Amy Simpson says support from fellow kids has helped her students in Joplin, giving them the chance to talk about how they feel.

Kaden Parker said he was happy for the opportunity to give back. 

"It feels amazing, even though we haven't seen their faces until now, it just feels good to give, better to give than to receive," he said.

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