Nightly News | November 19, 2012
>>> our making a difference report tonight involves some high school kids who gave up a pretty important event in their lives to come east from the rocky mountains to help with the mountain of work around here, three weeks after the big storm. nbc's anne thompson reports on young folks from far away, reaching out to total strangers and making a difference.
>> reporter: on the big week of their playoff football game , 27 students from denver's balor christian high school chose to lift spirits in storm-hit new jersey. under the direction of the relief organization, the girls gutted flooded homes. the boys cleared a forest of downed tree. 18-year-old colton corey earned the nickname dominator.
>> this is kind of a once in a lifetime chance.
>> reporter: for these teens, it is a chance to live their faith. why would you want to come to a hurricane-ravaged area across the country?
>> you know you go home to like a perfect house and nothing ever happens, kind of makes you want to come out here and see what they're going through and help them.
>> reporter: has anybody ever knocked down a wall before today?
>> that is --
>> reporter: and intimidating.
>> it matters to the people. it is their home. like it is what they have lived in for so long. that it is hard to watch it come down.
>> reporter: they earn community service credits, what the school calls heart and soul hours.
>> this is not what i expected.
>> reporter: 14-year-old ally chambers worked here in ocean gate .
>> when the water was pouring out of the kitchen.
>> reporter: now teenagers are restoring the house she raised her kids in.
>> they're my daughter's age, and i'm looking at them and i'm like i love you guys. like how -- you know, this is wonderful. like it gives me back some hope.
>> reporter: in tom's river, the boys make this back yard usable again.
>> thank you doesn't seem big enough for this.
>> reporter: they learn communication, cooperation, and one more thing, that service, like football, is a team sport. because victory comes in many forms. anne thompson , nbc news, tom's river, new jersey.