DENVER — From his home in Denver, James Faircloth’s eyes were stuck to the screen, watching video after video of the Camp Fire devour neighborhoods in California.
And instead of writing a social media post about thoughts and prayers for those affected or sharing the latest news updates, he decided to get involved.
Faircloth, a father of four, is spending Thanksgiving driving from Denver out to Chico, California in an RV filled with items to donate, including the actual RV. And his young daughter is joining him.
“We were watching some of what’s going on out there and talking about what if that was us and what would we do,” he said. “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.’”
He set up a GoFundMe, which Denver7 has verified, on Saturday asking for donations to help pay for a RV, which he would drive to California and give to a family in need. The funds will also help pay for donations for him to give out in California, he said. He said he hopes to give the RV to a first responder whose home was lost in the blaze.
My 6 y/o daughter and I raised funds for and purchased an RV and are driving from CO to Chico. We would love to donate to first responder family who lost home in fire. Help us identify family? @JerryBrownGov @GavinNewsom #campfire #doingsomething pic.twitter.com/x87zmeseDe
— James Faircloth (@jamesfaircloth3) November 22, 2018
He picked up the RV on Wednesday from a man who sold it to him for about a third of the price because he wanted to support the cause, Faircloth said.
On Thursday morning, Faircloth, who had started the journey to California, called Denver7 with some more good news. Another person wanted to donate a RV.
Faircloth had posted on the Chico Craigslist website that he was looking for somebody willing to donate a RV that he could give to a family affected by the Camp Fire. A woman reached out to him wanting to fill that request.
She said the vehicle just needed new tires, so she’d get that work done Friday and then Faircloth could drive it up to Chico from Santa Rosa.
A California RV park has also stepped up, Faircloth said, and is donating free spaces for both of the RVs so the families can stay in the park.
Faircloth posted that they had arrived in Bakersville around 3 a.m. Friday. High winds and snow forced them to make a detour, adding four hours to the drive.
"Presently collapsed in the back of an old RV beside this little kid with no front teeth who gets me up and moving every day determined to do something better than yesterday," he wrote in the post. "We are so lucky to be exhausted. We are so lucky to be able to go home soon. There are so many thanks yous to say that have not yet been said so to all of you — thank you. "
You can follow Faircloth’s journey on his Facebook, Twitter and Instagram accounts. He is asking for the public’s help recommending two families to give the RVs to, and invites anybody with an idea to email it to RV4campfirefamily@gmail.com with as many details as possible.