Donated RVs offer hope for wildfire victims who are left without a home

Woody Faircloth is carrying a bag stuffed with snacks and duct tape, and climbs aboard a motorhome equipped with carpeting and drapes.

Donated RVs offer hope for wildfire victims who are left without a home

 Luna, Woody's 9-year old daughter, is by his side and quizzes the family that just donated the recreational vehicle, which is appropriately named Residency. Smoke billows in the distance from the second-largest California wildfire in California's history, high above the hills covered with sagebrush.

Father and daughter drive an hour west to deliver the 35-foot (11 meter) RV to their new owner. This volunteer firefighter lost his home in August to the Dixie Fire that destroyed most of historic downtown Greenville. The tiny Northern California mountain community dates back to the gold rush.

Faircloth is the 95th vehicle to be delivered to wildfire victims. Faircloth stated that the nonprofit EmergencyRV.org is entirely volunteer-run and uses donated RVs to fill in for victims who have to wait for months for emergency housing.

"We are grassroots, we can move much faster than that. People helping people. He said, "We can get there almost instantly."

Faircloth also has a long list people in need. As a result of the historic drought, thousands of wildfires are raging in California as well as the U.S. West.

His mission started in 2018 during Thanksgiving Week. Faircloth spent the holiday with Luna alone in Denver and he watched news coverage about a man running in an RV after the Camp Fire, the deadliest wildfire in the United States in 100 years, destroyed his California home. The man, despite losing his home, was thankful to have an RV to call home during Thanksgiving. Faircloth was struck by this.

Luna asked him if he had ever been in a motorhome. He said that he was not familiar with the concept. What did you think?

Her response: "Aww, Dad, Santa Claus and God are going to be proud of you."

Faircloth stated, "That kinda sealed it."

Faircloth, Luna and a shotgun-wielding horse, set out to drive west from Denver in the $2,500 motorhome that he had found on Craigslist. Faircloth arrived within three days. They celebrated Thanksgiving together and delivered the vehicle to the victim of the Camp Fire that nearly decimated Paradise, killing 85 people.

Faircloth began receiving donations as a result of the spread of social media posts. Faircloth delivers many drops personally, although some people offered to transport the vehicles.

Although he tries to schedule trips on weekends, he often takes vacation time from his full-time job at Comcast. Faircloth has traveled thousands of miles with Luna along his side over the past three-years. She joined him more often last year because of COVID-19 precautions that prevented her from going to school remotely.

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