MYRTLE BEACH, SC (WBTW) – A local man dropped everything traveled around the country to help those affected by every major hurricane to hit the United States this year.
Ryan Tyre lives and works in Horry County but felt the need to help people in Houston after Hurricane Harvey.
“I jumped in the truck with a trailer full of goods and went to go help,” he said. Tyre drove out to Texas by himself but met up with other volunteers along the way.
Then word came that Hurricane Irma was getting closer to Florida and possibly South Carolina, so Tyre headed back to the east coast.
“I just felt driven to go help,” said Tyre. He had family and friends in Florida, so Tyre made the call to continue his journey down to the Keys. Tyre said his time in Houston was a little unorganized, but it got easier to organize supplies and volunteers once he got to Florida.
“We figured out the missing link between people donating goods and people receiving goods in the affected areas,” he explained.
Once Hurricane Jose was creeping towards Puerto Rico, Tyre knew what he had to do.
“I think once you’re in it and you see the people you’re helping and the impact you’ve had, something like Puerto Rico, it was no questions about it, we were going to go,” he said.
Tyre made each trip using money from his own pocket and some money and supplies donated to him. He teamed up with people around the world, and locally, like Frank Espinal, owner of Ship on Site in Surfside Beach.
“When the human need is there, we’re there to help,” said Espinal who has been part of an ongoing drive to get donated goods to Puerto Rico. “Because this is what we do. We’re in the shipping business and we can move things around the world.”
The cause is especially important to Espinal because he has family members living in Puerto Rico.
“We couldn’t figure out if they were alive or not,” Espinal said. Thankfully, his family members are okay but several do not have water or power.
Tyre said he named the non-profit “WeCan Disaster Relief and Recovery” because there were so many times when people told him and his group they couldn’t do something.
“When other people couldn’t do certain things and provide certain aid, we could,” said Tyre. “We never had to say no to anything. It was always ‘yes.’”
Tyre said it was hard to sort through the red tape, especially in the beginning.
“It’s put up by a lot of the government agencies that are out there to help,” said Tyre. “And there are other groups that are ‘fly by night’ and are kinda out there to profit off of people’s devastation.”
Tyre and Espinal said they believe a lot can be done when individuals step up to help.
“When you have a humanitarian crisis on your hands you don’t wait for the government to tell you how to get things there,” said Espinal. “You figure it out yourself.”
Ship-On-Site in Surfside Beach and Carolina Trust Federal Credit Union locations in Horry and Georgetown Counties are collecting donations through the end of October to send to Puerto Rico.
Items wanted include:
- Baby Food (non-perishable, no glass)
- Baby Wipes
- Baby Diapers
- Baby Formula
- Adult Diapers
- Hand Soap
- Feminine Hygiene Products
- Bottled Water
- Toilet Paper
- Paper Towels
- Hand Sanitizers
You can find out more information on donations by clicking here.
If you are able to donate money or supplies, or would like to help volunteer, you can follow WeCan Disaster Relief and Recovery on Facebook.