Oklahomans continue to open their hearts and wallets for people affected by Hurricane Harvey in southeast Texas. Norman pilot Matt Earnest has made two trips down to the affected areas with donations.
“I can hold about 400 pounds,” says Earnest, who collected donations in his Norman neighborhood to fly down south in his 1963 Piper Cherokee 180.
Earnest numbers every item and weighs them down to the ounce before loading his aircraft at David Jay Perry Airport in Goldsby. Since Sunday, he’s made two trips down to southeast Texas with donations.
“I have a deep need to give to those who have suffered such tragedy,” says Earnest, who served with the Oklahoma Air National Guard in Iraq and Afghanistan.
Earnest is working with "Operation Air Drop," a group of volunteer pilots from around the nation delivering donations to smaller regional airports where they can quickly get to families.
On Wednesday, the Norman father flew down to a smaller airport outside Beaumont, Texas with supplies like baby formula, diapers, and cleaning supplies.
Earnest pays $300 in gas to make the trip and then flies eight hours round-trip.
“It comes from a military background, service before self.”