Portland man handing out gift cards to Aransas Pass residents

It's a similar story throughout cities in the Coastal Bend -- individuals hit hard by Hurricane Harvey and left with nothing.

ARANSAS PASS (KIII NEWS) - It's a similar story throughout cities in the Coastal Bend -- individuals hit hard by Hurricane Harvey and left with nothing.

Unfortunately, even people who lost their belongings or home said they are getting denied help, especially in Aransas Pass. This means they are barely getting by, hoping for people like Nick Longo to give them a beacon of hope.

That beacon of hope is coming in the form of a white envelope.

"I got a call from a dear friend of mine who asked if he could donate $100,000, and what would be the best use of that money," Longo said.

A Portland resident, Longo is the co-founder of Geekdom and an entrepreneur. He is turning the anonymous donation into pre-loaded debit cards with hundreds of dollars. After seeing how devastated Aransas Pass is and the lack of help there, Longo has joined with the Aransas Pass Chamber of Commerce to go door-to-door to hand out the envelopes.

"For me it was the best idea to go house to house and ask what people's needs were for direct relief," Longo said.

The entrepreneur said as time goes on, repair costs add up on top of everyday necessities like clothing and bills.

"If we can help with $300, $400, $500 to get people through, that's what we're trying to do," Longo said.

For the past day and a half, Longo and the Chamber of Commerce team have been going block to block finding people like Edna Moreno who are struggling to get by.

"Well I lost my house, me and my kids, and I'm a single parent," Moreno said.

Luckily, Moreno's sister Genoveva Jimenez lives in town and took them in. However, Jimenez's home is in need of repairs itself, and she said utility bills are beginning to go up with everyone in one place. So Longo has given the sisters gift cards to take care of their children and return to normalcy.

"We're grateful. You know, just want to thank whoever it was that donated the money," Jimenez said. "We're just so grateful."

Longo said he plans to hand out gift cards until the money runs out, and the best way to help is donating money or gift cards by visiting the Aransas Pass Chamber of Commerce.

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