NFL players from the St. Louis Rams are helping CBN's Operation Blessing International boost spirits in the tornado-stricken town of Harrisburg, Ill, on Friday
Harrisburg was just one of the many communities in the path of several deadly tornadoes that tore across the Midwest last week.
The charity aid organization, working in cooperation with Saline County Emergency Management, has coordinated more than 2,100 volunteers since Saturday removing debris, cleaning homes and preparing thousands of meals for local residents.
On Friday, Rams players joined in helping Operation Blessing clean up and spend time with local students and residents.
"Our entire team, including the players, cheerleaders, mascot and staff, is looking forward to teaming up with Operation Blessing to bring some much needed assistance and hope to the Harrisburg community," said Molly Higgins, vice president of corporate communications and civic affairs for the Rams.
In addition, the Rams players, cheerleaders, office staff and Rampage - the team's official mascot, were also scheduled to appear at Harrisburg High School at a special school assembly for 600 students.
"The Rams pride ourselves on being great community partners and we consider our neighbors in Illinois to be part of our community," Higgins said. "We hope our efforts help those impacted by the recent tornado and inspire others to join in the effort to clean up and rebuild this community."
"With a little more than a week having passed since the Leap Day tornadoes, life has been incredibly serious for so many, especially the children," said Jody Herrington-Gettys, director of US disaster relief for Operation Blessing International. "Our hope is that this event would bring smiles and laughter to all.
Recently, Operation Blessing partnered with the Future Farmers of America organization to help local farmers. More than 375 students from 15 surrounding high schools came out to help local farmers clear storm debris from more than 300 acres of farmland.
Find out how you can help CBN's Operation Blessing International meet the needs of people here at home and around the world.
*Originally aired on March 9, 2012.