JOPLIN, Mo.—Joplin is still in the clean up and recovery stage and they need lots of helping hands to get the job done. Some volunteers from Greensburg, Kansas, a town that had its own share of devastation and tragedy, were in Joplin to lend a hand.
Shane Dawson survived the tornado four years ago in Greensburg.
"We lost our house and three rental houses," Dawson said.
Dawson is in Joplin volunteering because he's grateful to those who helped his town.
"Since we got all that help, why not help someone else who had a tragedy," he said.
TJ Lawson is pastor at Greensburg Christian Church. Many of his church members sent donations, but couldn't be there because the memories of their own disaster were still too fresh.
"We wanted to come participate," Lawson said. "That way come and put some bodies here to make a difference."
Lawson wanted to be here because before moving to Greensburg, he called Joplin home.
"Me and my wife got to know each other working at St. John's together, so this is the old stomping grounds so to speak," he said. "All these neighborhoods, all these houses, knew what they looked like, knew where they were."
He's grateful his parent's home in Joplin wasn't damaged.
"Last time we counted we have 16 people staying with them at the house because there's folks who lost places and figuring out what's next," Lawson said.
Lawson first moved to Greensburg a year after the tornado hit.
"There were no businesses open at that point, the post office had just got up and running, no grocery store, no gas station, no anything in Greensburg," he said.
The people of Greensburg will be the first to tell Joplin this will not be easy.
"It's going to be really hard, trust me, since we had to go through it," Dawson said.
But things slowly changed in Greensburg: the school, businesses, City Hall and homes were all rebuilt.
"It becomes normal and you begin to forget how amazing it is and how fast things have come back and how far we've come," Lawson said.
Lawson wants to be a part of that transformation in Joplin.
"So we'll come back again when the rebuilding starts to happen to throw up walls and hang dry wall and whatever needs to be done," he said.
Because they know: there's plenty that needs to be done.