Travel

Single Mom Of Three Who Lost Home In California Wildfires Surprised With RV

– So, the 2018 wild fire that destroyed the town of Paradise, California remains the deadliest and most destructive in the state's history.

Over 15, 000 homes weredestroyed, 85 lives were lost.

Today, 16 months later hundreds of families are still displaced.

My next guest is workingto make a difference, buying and donating dozens of RVs for victims left homeless.

The RVs serve as temporary shelters while the families get back on their feet, but they do something a bit more.

They allow people to return to Paradise and actually live in thecommunity as the city rebuilds.

That's why he is today's rad human.

(upbeat music) All right, y'all, pleasewelcome James Woody Fairclaw.

(applause) – Thank you.

– I love that you go by Woody.

– That's my mom's maiden name.

– Oh, it is? My children would be very excited.

They're very big intothat movie.

(chuckles) – Awesome.

– Toy story, Okay.

(laughter) Just in case you're living under a rock, so you're not from Paradiseor even California.

So how did you get involved in this? – Well, I'm actually from, I live in Denver, Colorado and I was, I was, it wasa year ago Thanksgiving and I was watching whatwas happening in California with the wildfires andthe numbers I was hearing were just unimaginable.

It was 50, 000 people left, homeless, – Yeah – You know, just a coupleof weeks before Thanksgiving and the entire town burned down.

And you know, then I sawa story about this fire and a guy had started upthe RV on the side of his, his house and he drove away down the road, barely escaped his houseburned to the ground, like everyone else's.

– [Kelly] Yeah – And you know, thesame road he escaped on, people died on and, andthey interviewed him and he just said, I'm sothankful that I have my life and I have this home, you know, in this RV and it'll just – Cause everything else has gone.

– And it was like a lightning bolt.

I just turned to Luna, my daughter and I said, Luna, what doyou think about getting an RV and driving it to California, giving it to a family who lost their home.

She said, dad, God and Santa Claus are gonna be really proud of us.

– [Trevor] Oh wow.

– I was like, it's on.

– Totally gonna cry.

– Wow.

– Yeah, I knew – God and Santa Clausare gonna be so proud.

– I knew that was it.

Like we are gonna do this.

And so then I was, okay, where do I get an RV, right? – [Kelly] Yeah – I went to Craigslist and Iemailed everyone in Colorado that was selling an RV that looked like it would make it allthe way to California.

– [Kelly] Yeah – And now this one guy got back to me and he said, “Hey, I'll sell it to you “for a third of the price.

” I was asking $2, 500.

And so the day beforeThanksgiving we went and bought it and for the first time in ourlives we'd stepped into an RV and we just started driving.

And, we created aRVforcampfirefamily@gmail.

com and it's a mouthful email address.

And I posted it on one ofthe relief, Facebook pages.

The message just said, “Hey, I'm a dad from Colorado, “my daughter and I are driving out “and we wanna find a familyto donate this RV to”, and I hit post and my phone just melted.

I mean, there were hundredsof families saying, please just crying out.

– [Kelly] Pick us- Yeah.

– Yeah.

I think a lot of peoplealways want to help and they don't know how orwhere to put their money or their time.

So once somebody kind ofstarts this like you did, I think people start to jump on board and really wanna be a partof that change and that help.

– It's so true.

– It's amazing.

– And people heard her about our story.

A guy called me and he donated an RV, then I got called andsaid I'll donate two RVs.

But that's when I realizedI wasn't driving the RV, that God was involved andI just surrendered to God.

– Yeah, you were now just a vessel.

– Exactly.

– For what's gonna happen – And you know thankfullyhe was calling other people at the same time andtelling them what to do because it all just cametogether in the most magical way.

But you know, when we got thereand saw what was happening, I mean it was apocalyptic.

You know, wildfires don'tdiscriminate, right? It burned the whole town down.

Everybody lost their homes and their jobs.

– You were affected, were you not? – Yeah, I was.

We were evacuated for- [Kelly] Yeah – Over a week and, itdidn't get to our house, but it burned our fence down.

– It doesn't matter who you are or what it's like you're in the line of that path.

– It's just, it's, it'shorrifying what happens.

And you know, we stopped for breakfast and three of the waitressesin the restaurant had lost their homes and thetarget checkout lady and I were just weeping together, like hugging.

Cause she was telling me her story and we were just so touched by it.

And so we decided, youknow, we have this platform we have to continue to help, you know, with that first RV wegave it to a family of six and they had an eight weekold baby and they had lost.

– Oh my gosh, can you imaginean eight week old baby? I mean, I can't imagine that part, but can you imagine like out in a tent to like, you're just camping because you have nowhere to go.

– Yeah- Wow – Well, we found a familyto spend with Thanksgiving and it was just, it was themost amazing Thanksgiving and 51 years for me.

– And what an amazing thing as well that you're teaching your daughter.

It's one of those things thatyou have to kind of find ways like this to really showwhat, what true character is and like what true kindness is.

And looking outside yourself like, and thinking about others.

And even if you don't knowthem, if they're strangers, it's a really cool thingyou're teaching your daughter.

– Thank you.

– Well, Woody plans togive his 80th RV to a 80th, he's given 80 RVs away- Wow – That's amazing by the way.

(applause) Now, he's gonna givehis 80th RV to a family he's been in touch with.

They're backstage and have no idea their new home is sitting outside right outside our studioactually right now, before we meet them, let's hear their story.

– My name is Kelly Sutterfield.

I'm a single mom of three kids and I'm from Paradise, California.

Before the fire, our life was great.

We had just moved into a brand new house.

Everything seemed tobe working out finally.

And then November 8th came, I got a call from the school that our kids were beingevacuated immediately.

It was absolutely terrifying.

And we were able to grab alot of trash bag of clothes before the fire burned our house down.

So, we ended up staying in a tent with the kids for about three weeks.

My oldest is currently livingwith his dad in Magalia and me and the two younger boys are living about an hour and a half away.

My one wish is to be able to get this RV so I can get my family back together.

(applause) – All right y'all, pleasewelcome Kelly and her sons Kingston, Weston and Wyatt.

(applause) So, really losing, losingyour house was tough.

It's okay, this is a cry zone.

I don't know if you'veever seen me on television, but I'm normally crying, but I know that losingyour house was tough, but some of the toughest moments have actually arisen afterwards.

Right? – Yeah, we went from livingin a tent for about a month.

At a camp ground to livingin a really small apartment and the boys have had to moveschools a couple of times.

We've lost a lot of connectionswith like family and friends due to being so far away, from Paradise at the moment.

And I think the hardestpart was the moment Kingston here had a BMX bikethat he had had before the fire and it was this onlything that he had grabbed out of our house before it burned down and one morning we wokeup and it was stolen and, yeah, it was, it was really rough.

– That feels like the final straw.

– Yeah, that was, that wasthe breaking point for him.

He woke up that morningand just said, I'm done.

I don't wanna live in Corning anymore.

I don't wanna be in this apartment.

– [Kelly] Yeah – And I sacrificed you know, my happiness to make him happy and let him move full timewith his dad in Magalia.

And so we are separated at the moment about almost two hoursaway from each other.

– That's hard for a minor especially – Yeah.

Yeah, we only see each other, you know, not very often.

– Oh my gosh, here you go.

Don't worry, I'm silly, I cry all the time.

It's, I'm always got a stock of Kleenex.

They know me well here.

So Kelly, have you triedto move back to the area? – Yeah, we pretty much havebeen trying since, you know, we lost our house.

It's pretty impossible at the moment.

There's not much rebuilt yet in this town.

And there's very few rentals and the rentals that they do have, the rents skyrocket, it'sdouble or triple of what it was – That's wrong.

– Yeah, as a single mother, obviously I'm not able to pay for that.

So I made the attempt toreach out to Woody here.

He was my last hope, to reachout to him and see if he had any available RVs for meso that I can move back up to Magalia Paradise area tohave my family back together.

– Yeah, I have to say it was so touching when Kelly reached out, because like so manypeople from this community, she said to me, you know, I've waited, cause I know peopleneed this more than me.

– Yeah.

– But I, I really needthis, you know, it just it's so touching to me that, you know, she, she, she waited, she needed this the day after the fire and wanted other people in the community that might've been ina worse situation to, to go in front of her, which is really, it says a lot about Kelly and these boys.

So Kingston, you live with your dad now and that's your mom saidit's two hours away from her.

Like has that been pretty hard? – Yeah, it's really hard.

I used to see my mom every day and now, see her like once or twice every month.

I really hope she wins thisRV, so I can be back with her.

– We'll be in just a minute, I was trying to keep ittogether, everything's fine.

So Wyatt and Weston, what about y'all you miss your big bro? – Yeah – Yeah.

Or does he tease you too much? All right, well Woody youhave something you wanna say.

Right? – Well, I just wannathank Kelly for coming because you know, a lot ofpeople, when the fire goes out, people think problem solved, right? And for this community, that's just the beginning.

We still have 130 families onour waiting list for housing, which is, it's crazy, – [Kelly] Wow – In this day and age.

So I just, as I told Kelly, you know, doing things like thishelps us bring more exposure and I'm sure somebody out there has an RV they wanna maybe donateand, and that's kind of what we're looking for, youknow, is people to help out.

– That's amazing.

It's amazing.

All right, well Woody has come through.

Check it out.

Oh, hey.

– Hey, what's up y'all? – Your new RV is sittingoutside our studio and my friend Trevor Jacksonis ready to give you a tour.

Take it away Trevor.

– I'm so excited – This is yours.

– I'm so excited to showyou guys your new home.

Woody what you've done here is amazing.

Let's check it out y'all, – [Kelly] Yes – Here we go.

– [Kelly] I love it.

– Come on in.

Come on in.

We've got the whole new TV right here.

– [Kelly] Oh my god- We've got the kitchen.

– I love what you're watching.

– So many of the basicneeds in the kitchen.

– That's awesome.

– It's amazing, we'vegot the couch right here.

You can lounge out, – [Kelly] Play some video games.

– Yes men And now Wyatt, Weston, I thinkyou guys are gonna love this.

This is your guys' room.

Check it out.

– [Kelly] Oh my god – I heard you guys love baseball.

You got the baseball bats.

– Yes – Some new gloves.

– [Kelly] Yes – A bunk bed.

Oh and you've gotta get the dinosaur.

We've gotta get the dinosaur here.

Bam.

– [Kelly] I love theDonald.

My kid wants to live – Okay, now Kelly, let'scheck out your room.

Mama bear's room.

Oh yeah.

Check it out.

– [Kelly] Yes (applause) – (speaker gets drownedout by the applause) candles, makeup- That's amazing – Full bag.

Got a bath tub, a shower.

It's amazing, man.

I'm so happy for you guys.

What you've done here Woody is amazing, Kelly, you're amazing.

And I'm just honored to be a part of an experience like this honestly.

– [Kelly] Well, thank you so much Trevor.

– Thank you, thank you.

– [Kelly] Thank you.

– Peace.

– All right, so Kelly, what do you think? What do y'all think? – Oh my god, thank you so much.

– [Kelly] Yes – Oh my gosh – You'll be back together.

That's the best part.

All right.

Well, we actually have onemore surprise for the boys because after we read something, we were very saddened by it.

– What? – So it's been a tough year for Kingston, especially after losing his bike.

So check it out.

Jax bicycle – [Woody] Oh, yeah – Check it out.

(applause) Jax bicycles is giving allthe boys brand new bikes.

A BMX and two track bikes.

Jax and track bicycleswanna make people happy and they do it with bicycles.

They have 10 locations herein Southern California.

Thank you all so muchfor donating those bikes.

Are you ready to ride those bikes? – Yeah – Are you ready to ride to those bikes?.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *