WEST PALM BEACH, Fla. — A U.S. Navy veteran described his new home as "a palace" after viewers donated more than $38,000 to buy a new trailer.
Due to a broken air conditioner, Alexander Jenkins slept outside at an Okeechobee RV park during heat advisories this August. WPTV viewers helped buy the man a new air conditioning unit, but a larger fundraiser was created Aug. 9 to buy the man a new trailer.
A WPTV crew saw his original trailer had a broken door, damaged ceiling and cracks in the floor.
Mark Parilla, who organized a GoFundMe for the veteran, said he wanted to raise money for this veteran to thank him for his service. He said he's grateful to everybody, who donated money.
"From the $10 donor to the $5,000 donor," Parilla said. "Without all of us, we wouldn't be here today."
Parilla said most of the credit belongs to Palm Beach RV because they marked down a new trailer by about $28,000.
Keith Waits, who is the general manager for Palm Beach RV, said the company was drawn to the story because Jenkins was a veteran and their philosophy to help other people.
"The Lord says to give to those who can't repay you back," Waits said. "That's what it comes down to."
Jenkins said he is thankful to everybody, who donated or tried to support him with other resources. He said he's excited to have something new.
"All my life, I've lived poor," Jenkins said. "I lived in shacks. I've lived outside. I've lived in the streets one time and now maybe once in my life I can have something nice and new."