WATCH: North Carolina Soldier Whose Home Was Looted During Florence Donates Money Raised to Help Him
He felt a responsibility to show others the same kindness that had been showed to him.
When the North Carolina National Guard was called to help with relief in the aftermath of Hurricane Florence, Army medic Luis Ocampo answered.
The 24-year-old left his girlfriend and their infant son behind and went to work helping the residents of New Bern—one of the towns hit hardest by the historic storm. When he finally returned home to Charlotte a few days later, he was heartbroken to find that his house had been looted, and some of his family’s most cherished possessions has been stolen. Even his refrigerator was gone. Luckily, his girlfriend Kailey Finch and their young son were staying with his parents while he was away, and weren't home during the robbery.
Now, after a crowd-funded effort to replace his losses, People reports that Ocampo is giving away most of the money that was raised for him.
“We got more than we expected and felt that it was our responsibility to show someone that same kindness that so many showed us,” Ocampo explained to People.
After he returned home on September 21, a friend set up a GoFundMe page for the couple. In just 11 days, the fundraiser far surpassed their $5,000 goal by nearly $10,000. Ocampo and his girlfriend were astonished.
“It was overwhelming,” Finch told People. “It was way more than we needed.”
Not wanting “to abuse people’s generosity,” Ocampo and Finch are sending donating the surplus funds to the Soldiers and Airmen Assistance Fund. They’re also giving a portion of the money to a soldier who has been living in a hotel since a tree fell on his house during Florence.
“A big part of wanting to give the donations comes from seeing how generous people have been, and I wanted to pay that back to someone else who needed help,” Ocampo told People.
“We’re very happy none of us are hurt,” Finch added. “We are so, so grateful.”