Nightly News   |  June 17, 2011

Phil Campbells unite to save namesake town

After a tornado destroyed much of the town of Phil Campbell, Alabama, people from around the world named "Phil Campbell" have come to make sure the clean-up continues.

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This content comes from Closed Captioning that was broadcast along with this program.

>>> now to our friday night making a difference report, after the big tornadoes in the south that hit tuscaloosa a few weeks back, you might have also heard the name phil campbell in our coverage. phil campbell is the name of a town in alabama decimated by a big twister, but of course there are a lot of guys out there named phil campbell . now something strange has happened. the phil campbells of the world are descending on the town of the same name to help put it back together again. mark potter has our report.

>> reporter: nearly two months after the tornado destroyed much of the town of phil campbell , alabama , the cleanup continues. nearly 100 homes were lost, 26 people killed, even the historic train depot , built by the phil campbell for whom the town was named was demolished. but pitching in to help now are some special visitors from around the world. many with accents rarely heard in rural alabama .

>> i'm phil campbell from scotland.

>> my name's phil campbell , i'm from juneau, alaska.

>> phil campbell from austin, texas.

>> reporter: before the tornado there were plans here to celebrate the town's centennial, with a festival, music and an open invitation to anyone named phil campbell . but because of the destruction, rita barton, the parks and recreation director told the organizer, phil campbell from brooklyn, the celebration would have to be cancelled. but the phils are still coming in to help.

>> it was clear that people wanted to do something.

>> reporter: the town's residents are deeply moved by the show of support.

>> knowing that these people was wanting to still come to town, we had to have the festival. we had to make these people feel better.

>> reporter: the phils have now raised thousands of dollars for rebuilding.

>> we needed to come over here and be one phil campbell for the town of phil campbell .

>> reporter: school kids have sent hundreds of cards organized by yet another phil.

>> i'm phil campbell , i'm here to help you get your town back and rebuild.

>> reporter: in a time of need a close connection in more than name only. mark potter , nbc news, phil campbell , alabama .