The wildfire that recently ravaged California was the deadliest and most destructive in state history. The blaze known as Camp Fire claimed at least 86 lives, destroyed over 153,000 acres, and left 50,000+ people displaced in emergency shelters. Driven by high winds, the wildfire was finally 100% contained after seventeen days on November 25, 2018.
Though 18+ hours away in Denver, James (Woody) Faircloth felt compelled to help. He started searching Craigslist for RVs that he could take out to California and donate to a family who lost their home.
Woody set up a GoFundMe page to raise money for the RV as well as supplies like food and diapers he could give out to other evacuees.
When he told his six-year-old daughter, Luna, about his plans, she was up for the trip. “We were watching some of what’s going on out there and talking about what if that was us and what would we do,” Woody shared on GoFundMe. “And I told (my daughter) what the idea was and she was 100 percent on board. She said, ‘God and Santa Claus would be really proud of us for this.’”
After launching the fundraiser, Woody emailed almost every person selling an RV on Craigslist in Colorado, asking if they would consider donating or reducing the price of their RV for the good cause.
Just in time for Thanksgiving, a man offered to lower the price of his RV to how much they had raised. Woody filled the RV with items like blankets and groceries and arrived in California by the holiday.
Once word got out, more and more people contacted Woody about donating their RVs and trailers. The next day, he got a call from a couple in San Francisco who wanted to donate their RV, it just needed some new tires.
“This amazing 1958 refurbished Greyhound bus was donated by Teri and Gordon Allen. This lovely couple first met when they were only 10 years old and will celebrate their 50th wedding anniversary later this year. They emailed us and let us know that they where moved by our journey when they saw us on the news and just knew that we could find a family in need who would be a good fit for their beloved vintage bus.
We plan to hand the keys and the title to a firefighter and her future wife who lost their home and all belongings in the fire tomorrow in Chico.”
To date, their GoFundMe has matched 35 families to purchased and donated RVs, and they have helped 127 people including 58 children, 69 adults, 9 single parents, 3 first responders, 8 veterans, and 11 medical cases.
Woody has repaired and renovated the RVs to make them feel more like home. On a recent trip to Home Depot, he spent over $1500 on smoke detectors, carbon monoxide sensors, emergency lighting, fire extinguishers, and other items needed to live in an RV.
“Just met with this angel on earth named Coleman Johnson who handed me the title and keys to this lovingly used and well maintained RV. Coleman shared that he married his wife in 1962 and that she sadly moved into an Alzheimer’s memory care facility last year.
Coleman said he and his family shared a lot of memories in this RV and he wants another family to have the same opportunity.”
You can learn more about donating on their GoFundMe page. Woody is asking for the public’s help recommending families to give the RVs to by emailing RV4campfirefamily@gmail.com with as many details as possible. You can also follow his journey on Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram.
I think it is WONDERFUL – FABULOUS and OUTSTANDING. I wish I were in a position to help in some way. Keep up the Great work. I live in NJ . Is there anyway I can help ? I am a Master Carpenter / Handyman. I can build and fix almost anything. I would like to finish by giving my most Heart Felt Condolences to all of the Families that were hurt by this devastating fire. My prayers are with you .
Tom Mason says
Yesterday my daughter and I made the trip up there with 120 five gallon buckets donated by the local Scarborough Ace Hardware and enough cleaning supplies donated by neighbors and girl scout groups and Called2Rescue (a non profit) to fill them. The pictures of the area can’t even come close to showing what the actual damage is. It tears at your heart strings. The people I met and talked to were tough ,but they will need lots of help.
Hi my name is Austin I’m inNeed rv had out in the cold me and my girl will do anything for ur help
Denis D Armstrong says
Austin it wasn’t was just any one it was for those who lost everything by fire. Not like you you never had anything and you never worked for anything now your only looking for a hand out looser
Do you donate in Mobile al? There is a lady name linda living in her vehicle with her two animals because her house burned down she is 72 and really needs help