Content creators on apps like TikTok and Facebook are now using their platform to help the state recover from Hurricane Ida.
In some areas that still have no power, people are turning to social media for comfort and information. Two comedians have shifted gears from jokes to recovery efforts.
DJ Rhett and Hey Erock are content creators in the bayou and river parishes.
Hey Erock, whose real name is Eric DeSoto, evacuated from his home and then started to give updates.
“One day I did a video and by the time I walked inside after the video, I had a PayPal and a Venmo show up on my phone,” said DeSoto. “I was like, 'What the heck? Why are people sending me money?'”
Then it clicked.
“Wait a minute,” he realized. “If these people can send me money, why don’t I use my platform to reach out to the hundreds of thousands of people who follow me? And see if anybody is willing to help.”
And help they did.
Since the storm made landfall, he’s collected about $30,000. He’s using the entirety of the money to buy generators and other supplies people in the river parishes need.
Similar story with DJ Rhett. His real name is Rhett LeCompte.
When the storm made landfall and the bayou parishes lost power, he took to social media to share information.
“I figured I got a big platform, let me use it,” he said. “Still do the jokes but use it as an information hub so people can find out where they can get resources for the hurricane. And just a way to keep people together.”
With more than 700,000 followers on Facebook, he says the storm puts everyone on the same level.
“I’m just like y’all, even though I laugh at situations, my house is falling apart around me too,” he said. “I’m trying to help my neighbor just like everybody else.”
Hey Erock's following, which he calls Coullion Crew, is made up of more than 300,000 people.
“Everything that I do has been south Louisiana, Cajun TikTok, why do we say what we say, how do we pronounce last names, so anytime anybody sees me, they think Louisiana, and that’s what I love about this,” said DeSoto.
Both content creators tell KATC they are glad they are able to use their following to spread positivity and resources in times of need.
“The comedy, the videos, the Cajun flavor, the parodies, the songs, the poking fun, and the awareness, and the bayou love all comes together, makes one big gumbo, and everybody can take a bowl and learn something from it," said LeCompte. "And that’s what I want."
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