One Northwest Arkansan is still helping victims of Hurricane Maria. It’s been nearly four months since the hurricane devastated Puerto Rico. With half of the island still without power, Fayetteville resident, Randy Edwards, is getting those people back on their feet.
“It was the most devastation I’ve seen and I’ve worked every hurricane since Katrina that’s hit the United States.” said Edwards.
Randy Edwards grew up in Harrison. He moved to Fayetteville and started the Fayetteville Martial Arts Academy. Edwards recently returned to NWA after spending time in Puerto Rico, Helping people rebuild after Hurricane Maria.
“We work for a group of dialysis clinics. Dialysis is a pretty important thing for people who need that. If you don’t get your dialysis, you die.” Edwards said.
Along with providing dialysis to the people of the island, he also gave basic necessities — like water — to everyone. Edwards said one of the main reasons he’s helping out is because of martial arts.
“We have five rules. Our last rule is called out of the dojang and into the world. So the discipline and respect and all those great lessons that we’re teaching on the floor you’re supposed to take home with you to make the world a better place so we’re living that.”
But helping others across the country came with a price: leaving his job and spending time away from loved ones during the holidays.
“I think this is definitely something he was called to do. It’s difficult, it’s mind tasking and physically tasking to be without your spouse but there’s so many other people in much worse situations.”
According to Edwards, half of the people in Puerto Rico are still without power and many without clean water. Regardless, Edwards said the morale on the island is high.
“Resiliency is very important. Bad things happen, what are you going to do? You gotta stand up and fight.”
While restoring some type of normalcy to Puerto Ricans, Edwards said his life is the one that has ultimately changed.
“I feel like that God is working through me to help some other people and in turn it’s truly making us better people also.”