A Holiday RV Donation Can Help Disaster Survivors Transition Back Into Life

Natural disasters are awful things to experience. Fires, hurricanes, and earthquakes can rattle people’s emotions and also destroy homes. Consequently, places to stay after a disaster fill up fast. However, thanks to people’s generosity, a Colorado-based charity is helping disaster survivors’ transitional housing needs with donated RV units. 

An RV as a home for the holidays

A white travel trailer RV by Winnebago called the Micro Minni
Winnebago Micro Minnie Travel Trailer RV | Winnebago

As the world approaches the holidays, many people focus on giving back to their communities. Oftentimes clothing, box meals, or soup kitchens are the immediate avenues people give toward. But, as important food and clothing are to those in need, so is having shelter. In fact, as the result of a natural disaster at any given point in the calendar year, not just the holidays, there are many people looking for some kind of shelter.

The RV4-Campfire-Family, Inc. charity has recently stepped in to meet this need with their EmergencyRV.org initiative. Two years ago, the Camp Fire in California was out of control. Sadly many people, including first responders, lost everything. James “Woody” Faircloth, the founder of Emergency RV, was stunned that people were facing a Thanksgiving without a home. So, he turned to his daughter and asked her what she thought about getting an RV to a first responder in need. His daughter said, “Daddy, God and Santa Clause will be so proud of us.” 

How the RV charity began

Mr. Faircloth knew nothing about the RV life previously. He only knew that there were plenty of motorhomes, fifth-wheels, and travel trailers sitting unused. So, he reached out to all his local area’s Craig’s List RV listings to see if anybody would consider donating one. Someone did and that was the start of the charitable foundation that continues to grow. Consequently, the organization can now serve disaster survivors of all sorts throughout the country, not just first responders of the Camp Fire. 

Winnebago Outlook motor homes are offered for sale at the Camp-Land RV dealership
Winnebago models at an RV dealership | Scott Olson/Getty Images

To date, EmergencyRV.org has been able to lend or give 88 recreational vehicles. These vehicles have been stocked with clean sheets and other items that make it feel more like home to the recipient. The units are coming from all over the nation. Mr. Faircloth even noted that he was able to connect someone donating an RV in Rhode Island to a person in need in California. 

The growth, however, has also been a bit of strain. Mr. Faircloth is employed full-time in another industry. So, he relies on volunteers helping where they can. The RVs need mechanical evaluations, to be stocked, and to be delivered. But, the stories people tell him, often with tears in their eyes, spurs him and his daughter to continue. He says it is worth it. 

Public exposure has brought more resources

In 2019, CNN took notice of Emergency RV. The charity was highlighted as a CNN hero. You can see that spotlight segment by clicking here. There is also a video clip from the Kelly Clarkson show below, where Mr. Faircloth was spotlighted as a Rad Human. 

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EmergencyRV.org is a small organization when compared to the scale of disasters it responds to. So, the organization has a recipient waiting list. But, Mr. Faircloth intends to continue serving disaster survivors for as long as the resources are available. In the meantime, donations are being accepted for recreational vehicles, bedsheets, and anything else to stock an RV for families that have nothing. The organization will provide a charitable donation letter and IRS forms for the full appraised value of donated RVs. So, everyone wins! Anyone that is interested in becoming involved can reach out at info@emergencyrv.org