"I just felt incredibly guilty sitting down in Tampa, Florida, in the sunshine watching the rest of the country suffer," Aaron Davis tells PEOPLE

By Wendy Grossman Kantor
February 20, 2021 05:00 PM
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Credit: Aaron Davis

Aaron Davis flew from Tampa, Florida, to Austin, Texas, on Friday — because he wanted to help people affected by the snow and ice storm.

"I just felt incredibly guilty sitting down in Tampa, Florida, in the sunshine watching the rest of the country suffer," Davis, 45, tells PEOPLE. "I've weathered many storms in my life in Florida, the hurricane capital of the world."

During the last Florida hurricane, he bought and delivered generators to people in need. "I just try to step up and do what I can," he says.

A business owner (his company does remote real estate closings), Davis told his staff he was taking a month off to volunteer in Texas. "I felt the need to be feet on the ground in Texas to help out however I could," he says.

Credit: Sam McGee

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In Austin, Davis first checked to make sure his friends were okay. Wondering how else he could help, a friend pointed him toward a Lakeway Church Facebook group. Then on Saturday morning, Davis drove to the church, stopping at gas stations and stores along the way to buy bottled water and supplies.

Davis donated the supplies to the church, wrote them a $10,000 check and handed them $1,000 cash.

Credit: Sam McGee

"I said, 'I'm here to help however I can.' They put a chainsaw in my hand and sent me to Harper, Texas and said, "There's a town of 1,200 with no power and Lakeway is gathering a lot of supplies. A U-Haul van of supplies to take to Harper today or tomorrow.' I said, 'I'll go there, I'll be feet on the ground,' so I'm headed to the Harper Fire Station right now to meet with the Fire Chief. And I'm going to help them. I understand they have no power, limited resources and it's a very very poor town," he says.

Credit: Sam McGee

Davis plans to donate another $10,000 to a local charity, help cut fallen trees, and run as the point person for the church's donation distribution.

"They labeled me the Tampa Chainsaw Man and here I am," he says. "I'm from Florida — we have hurricanes. I have had to chainsaw trees down in my driveway to get out."

Davis has started a GoFundMe page for his relief efforts.