CHARLOTTE, NC (WBTV) - Carolina Panther Fozzy Whittaker used his smartphone to scroll through countless photos of devastation back home on Tuesday.
"It's an unbelievable sight that I've never experienced before," he said.
The Carolina Panthers running back is a Houston native. He says for the last few days, it has been difficult to be away from home.
"Just seeing what's happening, it makes me feel so helpless," Whittaker said.
His love for the city, much of which is now under water, stretches back to when he was growing up there. The first time he left was for college, and it was tough.
"I used to drive back almost every weekend when I first got there, you know, homesick," he said.
Now, homesick again, Whittaker is using his platform through the Panthers to help those in need.
"I have a means, let's make a way now," he said.
Through his foundation, Fozzy's Future Heroes, he is setting up a hurricane relief fund.
"I put it in my heart that if I can help, I want to," Whittaker said.
Whittaker and his family are raising funds and supplies for a shelter called Sarah's House in Houston. They are collecting things like towels, vacuums, and countless basic items like clothing and diapers.
"These people, they need help right now," he explained.
Whittaker says he is personally making sure every cent raised goes directly to items those staying at the shelter need. He is also working with local restaurant Cowfish to set up a fundraiser, scheduled for September 12.
A link to donate can be found here.