We all find ourselves in difficult situations sometimes. And in those moments of crisis, we want to have our families and friends near to support us. But what happens when you overcome a personal problem with the help of an entire community? Would it be something you expect? Luis Ocampo definitely did not expect the amazing response given by his community.
20. Luis Ocampo
Luis Ocampo is an Army medic who comes from La Paz, Bolivia. Currently, he is living in Charlotte, North Carolina with his girlfriend, Kailey Finch and their son, Lucian Ezra. The baby boy was born just last year on 9th of October.
19. The Hurricane
The story begins when Hurricane Florence occurred in September 2018. The storm caused heavy flooding in the area of North Carolina and people had to evacuate their homes immediately. Of course, as soon as the storm passed, help was on its way.
18. He Had To Go
As relief efforts began, duty called for Luis as well. However, there were other organizations such as Red Cross and FEMA that took part in this process. Luis Ocampo was also deployed to the scene since he was part of the North Carolina National Guard.
17. What To Do
Now that her boyfriend was away on duty, Kailey felt the need to stay with Ocampo’s parents. So, she took her son and the essentials and temporarily left her home. “I felt safer there”, she said. However, she left their dog at the family’s house.
16. The Return
On September 21, Ocampo returned home. However, the first minute he walked into his yard, he sensed something was wrong. The first clue was the dog, who was roaming outside the house, even though he was usually kept inside.
15. What Was Going On?
As he got closer to the house, he noticed that the back door had been unlocked. Maybe his girlfriend arrived before him? The answer was no. In reality, what happened is a lot more frightening and completely unexpected!
14. What Really Happened
The family was a victim of burglary. “Someone came in through our son’s bedroom window. They busted the locks with a shovel and propped open the window. The house was trashed”, Kailey Finch explained. The burglar or burglars were also careful to look everywhere inside the house. Here’s what they left behind…
13. Upside Down
Everything inside the house was turned upside down, the furniture and clothes were all over the place. The thieves successfully stole the couple’s electronic devices, including Ocampo’s laptop. The soldier really needed the device for his school work and now it was completely gone.
12. Everything Was Gone
The thieves did not stop at money or electronic devices. They trashed the whole house looking for anything valuable. They managed to find and steal a coin collection that had sentimental value for the soldier. The collection belonged to his grandmother and now it was gone too. Even the food from the fridge was missing…
11. Going Viral
After this unfortunate event, Kailey Finch decided that the story should be made public. “This soldier, my soldier… was out on the coast helping hurricane relief. When we came home, he found out that he had lost everything of importance. We are trying to get the word out and see if anyone has any information about who may have taken it”, she wrote on Facebook.
10. A Bright Idea
A close family friend saw Kailey’s post on Facebook and, even though, she didn’t have any useful information to share about the unfortunate event, she wanted to help. So, Mary Elise Capron created an online fundraiser for the couple!
9. Dedicated Friend
Capron’s message on the GoFundMe page wrote: ” Luis Ocampo is an NC Army medic with six years of honorable service. Recently, he was on state active duty helping with Hurricane Florence relief efforts. He returned home to find an empty, ransacked house. He did all he could to help those in a time of need, and now he is the one in a time of need.”
8. Asking For Help
“Every penny could help himself, his girlfriend and their baby. I have worked closely with Ocampo in the National Guard, and he is an amazing soldier and person. I am honored to know him and cannot believe something so terrible could happen to someone so dedicated to the service, his family and school.”, her message continued.
7. A Small Goal
The fundraiser’s target was set at $5000. The estimated sum would’ve been enough to cover the material loss. However, in just two weeks, the couple had already raised approximately $15,000! This is certainly something the family did not expect.
6. It Was Over
The couple was simply amazed by the response. They described the public’s gesture as “overwhelming”, and for good reasons. “It was more than we needed”, Kailey said. Therefore, the couple asked Capron to end the donation so as not to “abuse people’s generosity.”
5. An Update
After the donation was over, the couple posted an update on the GoFundMe page. “due to everyone’s generosity, Luis will be able to move from this terrible event and replace what he lost! Please understand that this fund was not created to create a capital profit, it was designed to help a soldier in need”, Capron added.
4. Charitable Cause
“Luis and I have come together to offer another option as a way to give back – donating to the charity of his choice. Luis has chosen the Soldiers and Airmen Assistance Fund (SAAF), a non-profit charitable organization that gives grants to soldiers in need”, she wrote.
3. A Lot Of Winners
So, the couple urged people to donate to this organization instead. “This way, you will be able to support other soldiers in need and give back to the community on behalf of Luis”, Capron added. The couple also followed their advice and donated the extra funds into the charity.
2. Returning The Favor
The couple did not stop there. They also given a part of their money to a soldier who had to move to a hotel after the Hurricane Florence caused damage to his home. “Other people really need help that they can’t get”, Kailey explained.
The family is now safe and sound and happier than ever! “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. We’re very happy that none of us are hurt. We are so, so grateful”, Kailey said.