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St. Louis Rams Help Joplin Families

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EARTH CITY, MO (KTVI) - Thursday was an early start for many members of the St. Louis Rams organization. They headed to Joplin to help with rebuilding efforts.

Around 5:00 a.m., the Rams rookies as well as cheerleaders and other staff boarded buses bound for Joplin, Missouri.  The effort is part of Governor Nixon's Habitat Challenge which was announced earlier this year.

Under the challenge, organizations like the Rams are teaming up with the Joplin Area Habitat for Humanity to help build a total of 35 new homes in the area hit hard by last year's tornado.

About 100 total members of the Rams went Thursday, including nearly 36 rookies.  The players and staff members will help support the building of three new homes Thursday.  The Rams were in Joplin six weeks after the deadly F-5 tornado hit last year helping with clean up.   They vowed to go back and are making good on their pledge.

Storms in Joplin Thursday have forced some changes in the Rams plans. The ground was so wet the players and staff could not work in the field.

Instead, the players met with kids at a Joplin Boys and Girls Club while staff members put the house walls together in a warehouse.

Rams officials are trying to arrange for the players to meet the families who will eventually receive the homes later Thursday.