Facebook brings volunteers together to help homeless veteran

PASS CHRISTIAN, MS (WLOX) - Velia Alarcon is a homeless veteran who was given 45 days to have her burned down property cleaned up. After running her story on WLOX News and WLOX.com, volunteers rushed to her aid on Sunday.

One of those good Samaritans was Bruce Parker. Like most of the other volunteers, he claims Facebook is what brought them together.

"Social media is a good friend of mine," said Parker. "And some other posts from the Gulf Coast network that were posted on Facebook, got my attention."

Facebook may be one the main reasons more than 20 volunteers showed up to help Velia Alarcon clean up her overgrown property. But Parker said it's not the only reason he was compelled to help.

"I'm a veteran, she's a veteran. Veterans are veterans, and veterans are brothers and sisters all over this country and we're all trying to do our best to look out for each other. It's just a bond that we have," said Parker.

Last year, Alarcon's home was destroyed by fire and soon after she was deployed to Afghanistan. Upon returning, she was homeless and suffering from Post Traumatic Stress Disorder.

Alarcon said she thought she could clean up the property herself, but has found it to be too much for one person. Since her neighbors have deemed it an "overgrown nuisance," she welcomes the help.

"It's awesome having them here. My neighbors were trying to make my life miserable, but they did me a favor. Look at all these people," said Alarcon.

Forrest Necaise said his father was a veteran, so Alarcon's story hit close to home. But social media is how he first found out about her story.

"My sister saw it on Facebook, and called to tell me she was going to do it. She told me they had some burgers donated, so I said, 'Well, I'll bring the grill,'" said Necaise.

Volunteers came from as far as Pascagoula to help with Alarcon's clean up, and were happy to come together for a good cause.

Copyright 2013 WLOX. All rights reserved.