By Alan Shope, Multimedia Journalist - bio | email
KANSAS CITY, MO (KCTV) -
A preschool that is next door to the massive church fire in Westport reopened its doors Tuesday, all because people in the community stepped in to help out.
It wasn't the huge Westport Presbyterian Church fire that hurt Willow Woods preschool, it was the smoke and water damage that nearly closed the building.
The school had to throw out all of the toys and school supplies and start over.
But that is where people like Julie Tenebaum came in.
"They were burned out. They need these things and childhood development is really important," said Tenebaum, of Kansas City, MO.
People from all over the city have been donating toys and supplies to the school to help keep it open, and parents who count on the school for daycare appreciate it.
"I would hate to have to start looking for another daycare part way through the year. That would be so tough, and he has made so many friends here. I'm so glad they opened again today and are up and running," said parent Pam August.
But maybe the hardest job for workers at Willow Woods was having to explain to the kids that go to school there what happened to their favorite toys.
"Saturday morning when I was driving in, I thought, 'You didn't put Elmo on the list. Oh my Gosh, nobody will donate an Elmo!' We got six Elmo's," said Willow Woods director Joanne Loftus.
The school is still accepting donations and reported that if people still want to donate, they can bring the toys by the school anytime.
Thursday, August 28 2014 9:44 PM EDT2014-08-29 01:44:10 GMT
The Johnson County Kansas Parks Police are asking for assistance in locating a missing person. More >
Johnson County Kansas Parks Police are searching for a missing person on Thursday night. Authorities said 56-year old George R. Sumners, Jr. has been missing since Wednesday morning. His pickup truck was found in a Shawnee Park Thursday afternoon.