NewsLocal NewsIn Your NeighborhoodNortheast Nebraska


'Why are we important' Blair family receives tornado assistance from hometown NFL player

Harrison Phillips cutting down tree
Harrison Phillips walks through tornado damage
Posted at 6:14 PM, May 04, 2024
and last updated 2024-05-04 19:14:03-04
  • The Salvation army and Minnesota Vikings lineman Harrison Ohillips helped family clean-up tornado debris and fallen trees
  • The Philps family out Phillips to work, trading in his cleats for a chainsaw
  • Watch to learn more about Harrison Phillips contribution to tornado survivors

Minnesota Vikings lineman Harrison Phillips swapped his cleats for a chainsaw on Saturday to help a Blair family clean up fallen trees and debris.

"The whole house started to shake, I'm holding onto the handle and i'm like please god make it stop," said Monika Philp while showing Phillips where she took shelter during the tornado on April 26.

The loss and heartbreak following the tornado that swept through Nebraska has united neighbors in ways many say they haven't seen before. Phillips worked along side the Salvation Army to give back to the communities near where he grew-up.

"Even some of my teammates when I said I was going back to Omaha to help clean-up their response was were along the line of oh yeah I heard there was a tornado was it bad? UH yes it was absolutely devastating," said Phillips.

Phillips spent most of Saturday with families who were impacted by the storm passing out donated gift cards, signing autographs, and listening to neighborhood families stories of survival.

"This wall is basically being held up by the electrical," said Justin Philp.

Phillips also has a foundation called "Harrison's Playmakers" where he works to children with learning disabilities and wanted to give back after seeing the destruction on social media. His parents still live in the area and their neighbor, a Salvation Army Volunteer, was able to help get Phillips involved.

"Think about going home and opening your closet to nothing tonight imagine going into you bathroom to go brush your teeth with nothing tonight," said Phillips.

During his time in Washington County the Philps family put him to work.

"Harrison Phillips shows up and it's like us? Why are we important, ya know! He's here willing to help, his agents probably like don't touch don't cut you hands. We couldn't be more grateful it's not beneath any body to help and that's what make Nebraska great," said J Philp.

The heart of Nebraska has shown during the clean-up process and is why Phillips says one day he hopes to raise his family in Omaha.

"The pictures and videos don't they just cant do it justice, to sit and see where a home used to stand with a family who has nothing left and to see those tears," said Phillips.

Phillips says he hopes his involvement inspire other athletes and the NFL to give back, as well.