Nightly News   |  October 09, 2013

Parents find solace in playgrounds honoring Sandy Hook deaths

A New Jersey firefighter is making a difference for the families devastated by the Newtown massacre. By building 26 playgrounds for each of the Newtown victims, the firefighters and their volunteers are not only memorializing each victim but also rebuilding the East Coast, which is still damaged after Hurricane Sandy. NBC’s Katy Tur reports.

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

>>> finally tonight our making a difference report. they were two of the most tragic events in the recent history of this country. we saw them both last year. the destruction left behind by hurricane sandy followed soon after by the massacre of 26 people at sandy hook lelementary in newtown, connecticut. a new jersey firefighter had an idea. honor the victims by building new grayplaygrounds in their name and build them in places that were hit hard by the storm. nbc's katy tur has the report on this program, making a difference.

>> who o's ready to get their play ground on?

>> reporter: kids were climbing, swinging and sliding around a bright pink and brand new play ground built to fill one very big hole .

>> i am getting emotion al now.

>> tears in our eyes. how can can there not be?

>> reporter: after one of our country's darkest moments -- a simple idea.

>> today is the tenth play ground of 26 we are building.

>> reporter: 26 for each of the 26 lives lost in the tragedy at sandy hook . each in a place ravaged by super storm sandy. this one in new york is for 6-year-old caroline previdi. what's it like to be here?

>> i have a grandson who will play here . i will tell him and caroline will go on.

>> reporter: firefighters, cops, community members and construction workers, it is all built bile volunteers, the funds all donated.

>> when something ugly happens, something beautiful is coming out.

>> reporter: carlos daughter was one of the teachers killed at sandy hook .

>> i'm pretty strong. but it hurts.

>> reporter: now a playground in connecticut bears her name.

>> she saved 17 kids and gave her life. i know my daughter and her students are looking down at what we're doing. that's what makes p me happy and proud.

>> reporter: rebecca and steven kowalski's son chase is honored on the jersey shore .

>> it is about the spirit they have been giving back to us more than they ever know.

>> everyone thanks us. now we're thanking you.

>> we heal a little bit more with each playground.

>> reporter: playground number eight.

>> it was his baseball number. i take it to the next level and look at the infinity sign that makes the number 8. that's our love, you know? infinity.

>> yep.

>> reporter: back on long island, caroline 's park is a success.

>> to imagine that caroline would be watching over the kids that will play on the play ground . they will know the story of caroline . i think it is a wonderful story.

>> reporter: a reminder that bringing joy to one child may be the best way to honor another. katy tur, nbc news, island park , new york.