VIRGINIA BEACH, Va. (WVEC) -- Virginia Beach police recruits spent the day helping people impacted by Hurricane Matthew. They stepped out of the classroom to help rebuild homes, teaming up with Operation Blessing.

The recruits of the Virginia Beach Police Academy have stepped up to help rebuild these people's lives. They're getting a lesson that can't be taught in the classroom: that is how it feels to help the people they'll serve.

"I absolutely love it. I got into the Academy because I wanted to help people," said recruit Troy Butler. "Being able to get out of our normal classroom routine, come out and actually talk to people, see people, make people laugh even at the hardest of times."

And that gives them more motivation to go from recruit to officer.

"Really makes me want to work harder and get through this process and get out on the street and help these same people whenever they need it," said Butler.