WESLACO, Texas (KVEO) — The pandemic inspired many to help the community, and an organization born from that hope continues to help those in need.
Nurse practitioner Johnny Llanes co-founded Project COVID Care at the start of the pandemic to help the most vulnerable.
“We started with errands and picking up medications, then we were getting monetary donations and started buying groceries, delivering groceries and supplies,” he said.
More than a year later, people are still in need of this help.
“There’s no way I can move and go get my stuff,” Weslaco resident Lidia Treviño said. “There’s no way. He brings it.”
According to Llanes, many of the people he used to deliver to are now able to go out themselves since being vaccinated. But for others, the risks of becoming I’ll are still too high.
“They’re elderly or brittle diabetics, or they had open heart surgery,” Llanes said.
As the demand for grocery drop-offs died down, he wanted to continue serving his community, so he re-named it to the Project Care Foundation, which is now a certified nonprofit.
“Our motto is people helping people,” he said. “Whatever we can do to help during a crisis or environmental disaster. God knows we weren’t ready for this pandemic; it just happened.
“Anything that can happen that we can do to help, we’re going to do that”
He continues tending to the foundation after his workdays and on weekends, and though it leaves him with little downtime, he finds it fulfilling.
Llanes contacted COVID-19 in July and became severely ill. He said he was touched by the outpouring of support. People would visit him at his home to leave food.
“Pay it forward,” Llanes said.
He adds officially becoming a nonprofit gives the foundation with a better chance to grow. While he goes all over the RGV, his hope is to one day to expand it to the entirety of South Texas.
Fo information on how to volunteer, donate, or if in need of some assistance, call the foundation at (956) 802-7540.