Every house in St. Charles Parish has been impacted by Hurricane Ida. There is still no power and supplies are slim, but the community is getting help in unexpected ways.
Eric DeSoto, or “EROCK” as many people know him, is from Luling, Louisiana.
In the past year, he has gained over 300,000 followers on TikTok for making videos about his Cajun heritage.
“I started off just doing a bunch of silly, random stuff," DeSoto said. "People just started asking me why I was saying certain things, how do you say this… and it kind of naturally developed from there.”
St. Charles Parish was under a mandatory evacuation for the Hurricane Ida, so DeSoto and his family evacuated to Texas.
After the storm had passed, DeSoto received word that his home was severely damaged.
“I was pumping gas in my car... I sat down in the car because I saw [my friend] had texted me, and he couldn’t even call me because he was in my own house crying," DeSoto said. "We sat in a random Texas gas station, and we cried for probably thirty or forty minutes.”
Through his own struggles, DeSoto realized he could use the power of his TikTok following to get bring supplies back home for his community.
“The video had only been alive for like two hours, and I already had over three thousand dollars," DeSoto said. "I was like ‘Man we might be on to something here,' and my wife says, ‘We’re going to have to go back to the store.’”
He has now raised over $30,000. The money has been used to buy supplies including generators, food, gas and more.
DeSoto says it’s important for him to pay it forward after the worst hurricane the area has ever seen.
“I’m just so grateful that everybody on TikTok decided to believe in me and trust me to send me $30,000 to help my community," DeSoto said. "I never expected that much support for just some random guy from Luling, who just so happens to make people laugh on TikTok.”
If you would like to donate, you can send money on Venmo or PayPal to @erock2020.