Hurricane Michael ripped through Florida in early October, causing billions of dollars in damage.
The storm had an even bigger impact on Janarius Robinson, a junior defensive end for the Florida State football team.
Robinson, a Panama City native, lost his family home last week. The area had been ordered to evacuate leading up to the storm and when Robinson and his family returned, their home was in pieces.
Broke my heart yesterday, watching my God Son #11Jrob dig through what was left of his home trying to salvage some of the memories he and his mom made. In the midst of all the devastation he continued to talk about how or whom he could
help around the city.#ProudGodFather pic.twitter.com/rRBuwPzt3R
— Omega Wynn (@Omegawynn2323g1) October 13, 2018
“It just really looked like someone dropped a nuclear bomb on us,” Robinson said after practice on Wednesday morning, per the Tallahassee Democrat. “If you didn’t know where you were, you wouldn’t know. Because nothing looks the same.”
Turning to GoFundMe
Now homeless, Robinson and his family have set up a GoFundMe.
“My family home was destroyed, like so many others, leaving me and my mother homeless,” Robinson said in the fundraiser’s description. “All of our belongings were lost in the hurricane. We love Panama City. It is where my mother was raised and we want to rebuild our home. All donations will be greatly appreciated. God Bless.”
He also posted photos of the now-destroyed home, including what appears to be some of his old recruiting material from Georgia, Notre Dame, Florida and Mississippi State.
My house, city everything has been destroyed. These pictures can’t even explain. Places I Grew up at will never be seen again. My city looks like a war zone… a lot of people lost houses there is nothing really left of Panama City this is devastating …I need everyone to pray for Panama City and the panhandle so many people has been affected by this tragedy. I honestly can’t believe it ..all of my family has lost everything 😢😭😭 #prayforpanamacity
A post shared by Janarius Robinson (@janariusrobinson) on Oct 13, 2018 at 1:34pm PDT
“The house has been there forever,” Robinson said. “It’s my grandma’s house. Some of the stuff, memories, you can’t get that stuff back.”
The GoFundMe originally asked for $50,000 to help rebuild their home, but has since exceeded the original goal. The fundraiser now has a goal of $75,000.
NCAA and FSU lend helping hands
Before setting up the GoFundMe, Robinson consulted with the NCAA and the Florida State athletics compliance department. Both gave their approval before the fundraiser went live.
“We told him we’re here for him, and whatever we can do to help, we will,” FSU head coach Willie Taggart said. “We told him to take as much time as he can and when he’s ready to come back, he can come back.”
The FSU football team also stepped up in the aftermath of the storm. Robinson’s teammates helped load trucks with cases of water and food to send to areas affected by the hurricane.
A few of our Noles loaded 54 trucks with 40,000 bottles of water and 125,00 cases of food with the local food bank to send to areas affected by Hurricane Michael. #DoSomething pic.twitter.com/qiSuIsW709
— FSU Football (@FSUFootball) October 14, 2018
Florida State’s Seminole Emergency Relief Fund, which is generally used to help “FSU staff and students in times of crisis”, announced on Monday that it would shift most of their resources to recovery efforts.
But the biggest help for Robinson has been focusing and getting back to practice.
He returned to practice on Tuesday after helping his family with the initial recovery.
“This is a time for me to get my mind away, and off of the things that have happened,” Robinson said. “I come out here, get my mind off it and get back to work with my brothers.”
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