Woody Faircloth and his 9-year-old daughter Luna are getting used to life on the road. For the last three years, they've been taking special trips from Colorado to deliver RVs to families who've lost homes in California's wildfires.
It's a mission they began after watching news of the deadly 2018 Camp Fire.
"I turned to Luna, who was 6 at the time — she had no front teeth — and I said, 'Luna,' you know, 'why don't we get an RV and we'll drive it to California and give it to a family so they'll have a place to call home for Thanksgiving?'" Faircloth told "CBS Mornings" contributor Jamie Wax.
"I said, 'Dad, God and Santa Claus are gonna be very proud of us,'" Luna said.
Faircloth began looking for RV donors and was amazed by how many people wanted to help with unwanted RVs or their time.
"We have volunteers all over the country that have helped us," he said. "We have people right now that are answering emails and processing paperwork for these donations. I mean, it's just raise your hand and say, 'Hey, I'd like to help.'"
Dad and daughter have personally delivered about 20 RVs to folks in need — mostly firefighters, first responders and veterans — and he's helped arrange around 100 donations in all.
But it's also been an opportunity to teach his daughter. Everywhere along their trips are reminders of the cost of these fires, and they've developed a stronger bond.
"It's been really special for the two of us just to be able to spend that time together and to make a difference, just so she knows that it's not just about her and it's not just about me, it's about the people that we're helping, and, you know, we're blessed," Faircloth said.
CBS News joined them on a trip from Denver to Redding, California.
They were there to deliver a new home to Don George, a firefighter who lost nearly everything when his own home burned in the Fawn Fire this past September while he was helping to save others' homes.
"I went to the crew, and I go, 'Hey, I gotta go check on my house,' and it was already too late," George said. "My son says, 'I don't know how to tell you,' but he just couldn't even talk. He didn't know how to say it. It's gone."
George has been fighting fires for nearly 50 years. He's used to being the one doing the rescuing. His role changed when the Faircloths arrived.
When Wax visited George a few weeks later, he'd received a second donated RV so that his adult sons who lived with their parents could also have a place to live.
"All I can say is thank God for Woody," George told Wax. "You couldn't ask for a better man. He came just exactly at the right time for me, renewed my faith in mankind. Man, if there was more people like that, we'd have a beautiful world."
Faircloth said he feels like these families are "part of our family now."
"We stay in touch, and we hear their stories and share their successes," he said.
And the experience has also helped a little girl grow wise beyond her years.
"I've made a really big change in the world for a lot of people," Luna said when Wax asked her what makes her proud. She added that she wants children and adults to do the same.
Her advice for making that happen?
"Just be nicer to each other."
First published on December 2, 2021 / 1:12 PM
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