Former Texas inmate turned motivational speaker aids Harvey victims, goes viral

Channel 6 reporter Jillian Angeline reports.

A former inmate who spent time in a maximum security prison is making every day count.  With this opportunity, he's been helping Harvey victims lately--on the front lines in Port Arthur and Beaumont as residents continue to struggle. 

Damon West was born and raised in Port Arthur. After serving seven years of his original 65-year sentence, West was granted parole for the remaining 58 years of his sentence. 

Now, West is taking his second chance at life to make a difference. The former inmate is now motivational speaker, sharing his story in attempts to leave a positive influence on the world.

Recently, one of West's tweets from a Port Arthur shelter went viral. 

In the video, West gives a call to action to the public for help donating to the Port Arthur shelter. The video has been retweeted nearly 1,500 times.

West helped usher in nearly 160 18-wheelers full of supplies for residents in his hometown. The trailer trucks carried half a million pounds of food and water.

"Before long, we were having 18 wheelers coming in," West said. "We had to make a landing zone across the street from this warehouse, this makeshift warehouse we put together because the city of Port Arthur wasn't even online yet to receive goods.  They weren't even online yet."

West and three other volunteers are using social media to coordinate donations from around the country. 

In the past 48 hours, West and his team helped four Baptist Church congregations in Port Arthur.

 

But West said the need for supplies won't stop anytime soon. 

"All these volunteers go back to their normal jobs, normal life and that's when you're gonna see a difference in what's going on out here," West said.

West returns to his job at a law firm tomorrow, but continues to coordinate truck loads of supplies and help Harvey victims along the way.

To get in touch with West, email him at damon@damonwest.org, or contact him through Twitter @damonwest7

© 2017 KCEN-TV


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