When lightning strikes sparked fires in Bonny Doon, California, many homes in Paul Gabriel’s neighborhood caught fire, including his own. He wasn’t able to save his place and lost everything, but he stayed behind for days putting out blazes and saving his neighbors’ houses. Now his act of kindness is being repaid in the form of a place for him to live.
An RV has been donated to Gabriel from Santa Cruz Relief and EmergencyRV.org, which provides emergency and transitional housing to fire survivors and others in need. He plans to rebuild the house that his family moved to 60 years ago, but until he gets the okay, a neighbor will let him keep the RV on his property. And when he no longer needs it, the RV will be returned to EmergencyRV and used for another disaster survivor.
The RV was a surprise and left Gabriel feeling overwhelmed with emotion. “Oh, I’m not worthy. It’s one of those moments,” he explains. “I feel like I’m a normal guy doing the best I can, but I’m a little speechless with all of this.”