Longview High School graduate helps Puerto Rico hurricane victims

ETX Puerto Rico Help

LONGVIEW - It's been nearly a month since Hurricane Maria hit Puerto Rico but thousands of people are still sleeping in shelters and most of the island still doesn’t have power.

23-year-old Jahcorrian Burkes, a Longview High School graduate, is currently in Puerto Rico helping with relief efforts. He said the situation on the island is dire.

"There's people that for 27 or 28 days, they haven't even been contacted by FEMA yet and their house is just basically four walls with no roof," said Burkes.

Burkes currently lives in Houston and is a Hurricane Harvey victim himself. He left for Puerto Rico on Sunday, October 15.

"They have families sleeping inside cars because they don't want to go inside their house because the roof has caved in and it's basically a mosquito nest now," said Burkes.

He said the devastation left behind by Hurricane Maria is incomparable.

"If you can see the stuff here, how devastating it is here, you would say that Houston made it ok," said Burkes.

His goal is to raise $5,000 to help five families rebuild. He said he's using social media to gather the funds.

"Posting on Facebook and Instagram heavily, letting people know, this is where your money is going,” said Burkes. “Letting people see the devastation of Puerto Rico."

Back in Longview, his mother Stephanie Howard is also helping raise money.

"We are all raising money to send to him to help people in Puerto Rico," said Howard.

With the money, Burkes is helping people buy building supplies and other necessities, including drinkable water.

"There's a whole supermarket, a whole community that doesn't have access to water at all,” said Burkes. “I was just going through the line and handing out three or four waters to each individual."

Howard told CBS19 her son is making her very proud.

"Oh I’m very proud, he's only 23 years old and in today's time, he could be doing some of anything but he has chosen to help someone less fortunate," said Howard.

Howard said Burkes is scheduled to come back on November 11. If you would like to donate to Burkes’ cause you can follow the link to his Go Fund Me account.

© 2017 KYTX-TV


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