When a deadly winter storm brought much of the country to a halt, one state was hit harder than most: Texas. Videos of houses frozen over and news reports that residents were without power in freezing temperatures showed the emotional impact the storms had on many, but they also moved people into action. One Tennessee man used his large following on TikTok to raise money for supplies and then drove 14 hours to deliver them himself to residents in Killeen, Texas.
Chris Wieland posted a plea to his 98,000 followers asking for their help in raising funds to take to Texas as it continues to suffer the aftermath of a deadly winter storm.
"We need your help," he said in a recent TikTok video. "My Cash App is in the bio. If everyone can donate $1 we can go down there and change a lot of people's lives."
According to News Channel 5, Wieland was able to raise more than $7,000 in just two days. The funds were used to buy PVC pipes and other necessities like milk, eggs, bread, and water. He drove the supplies down to Killeen himself on Saturday (February 20), and, along with residents who showed up to help, distributed the items to residents in need, free of charge.
"I know there was a lot of major cities that this impacted, but for some reason I kept seeing Killeen on TikTok," he said. "The people on TikTok posting no water, frozen pipes, their ceilings had caved in, their houses were flooded, and that's what drove me to Killeen."
The news outlet reports that Wieland hopes to return to the city with more donations. He also explained the importance of using his social media following to spark some good.
"It doesn't matter what you're doing," he said. "If you can get other people to follow that example in a positive way ... before you know it there's a whole community doing it."
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