East Tennessee man documents journey to find help for Puerto Rico

KNOXVILLE, Tenn. (WVLT) -- More than a week ago, Tony Alsup, from Greenback, ventured down to Puerto Rico looking for help. Since then, he's helped dozens of Americans in the deepest of trouble.

Cameron Van Der Veen is a personal friend, communicating Tony's message for help across East Tennessee.

"That way, we can help get donations or supplies, nurses or veterinarians - or anybody wanting to help and go down there," he added.

Because of the poor service in Puerto Rico, Tony is recording videos, sending them to Cameron, who posts them on Facebook for people to follow.

He's also made a few friends down there, working with other private individuals looking to help, and local Puerto Ricans, including Ian, an EMT.

"These places are hard to get to, pieces of road are broken down, houses are destroyed, people are trying to make it, but we need help," said Ian.

Tony is taking those roads to help filter water for those who need it and hand out resources.

"This is life in Puerto Rico. This is what these poor people are having to do to get normal water," Tony showed in one of his videos. "They line up along the road, they come up here with anything they can to get water in - you can't get buckets on this island anymore, I've tried, trust me, I've tried. This is what they're living with. There is no relief in sight. We have to find a solution. There is a better way."

He said he's not doing it for a simple thank you, although he's received many.

"You've done more than I've ever prayed for," Ian told Tony. "Thank you very much."

Tony said, he's just trying to find his fellow Americans relief.

"It just gives that sense of hope that even the smallest light can make a big difference," said Van Der Veen.