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Loveland mother on hard times found hope in a used RV, is now paying forward to help others

Posted at 12:11 AM, Aug 27, 2020
and last updated 2020-08-27 16:44:02-04

LOVELAND, Colo. — Fire, floods and the outrageous cost of rent in Colorado — you name it, and this Larimer County mother and her two daughters have been through it, and come out stronger.

After years of benefiting from the kindness of others, Chris Green, a woman of deep faith, is now giving back.

Green had struggled to keep a roof over her family's head.

She had just started a new dog treat company when a three-alarm fire swept through the Buffalo Run Apartment complex in Fort Collins in May of 2013.

Her family lost nearly all of their belongings.

The Greens then moved into a tent, which they pitched at Loveland RV Park until the massive flood of September 2013 forced them to move again.

"We retreated to our car and were living there for about three days," she said. "Everything we owned was gone, except our computer, our cats and our comforters."

She said a neighbor at the RV Park helped wash the comforters, and another made mac and cheese to feed them.

"It was the best mac and cheese I ever tasted," Green said.

Green said her family stayed in a utility shed near the Budweiser plant for a couple of days, and then stayed at their pastor's residence for a few more, and then Timberline Church moved them to Camp FEMA at the La Quinta Motor Inn.

She said FEMA gave her some money to buy a new tent.

"I was bawling all the way through Greeley," she told Denver7.

As she was driving, she said a quiet voice told her she should go to the dentist while she was starting to get things together. She stopped at a local dentist's office and asked if there were any appointment slots available. They had one.

"I was carrying around my FEMA money for a new tent when I heard a woman complain about her insurance company being unfair about repairing her RV," she said. " I said, 'How much do you want for it?' She told me. That night I had an RV."

That RV would be the Greens's home, off and on, for a couple of years.

"It was our lifeline," she said. "We had suffered such a loss with our apartment."

Green moved their RV to Horsetooth Reservoir and winterized it.

"We spent Christmas (2013) there. Emily drew a Christmas tree on a piece of cardboard. We colored it in and put bulbs on it. I duck taped it to the window. That was our Christmas Tree," Green said.

It was a Christmas that turned out to be a blessing.

"Chris Harris of the Broncos, and his wife, selected us to go ... shopping," she said. "Mr. and Mrs. Harris blessed us with Christmas gifts."

One night, the electric circuits in their RV began overheating while they were using an electric blanket to keep warm.

She said firefighters provided a separate extension cord for the blanket, sealed up the windows, and purchased several bags of groceries.

"They got me a coat too," she said. "It had so many pockets and it was so warm. It fit just right."

Green said they eventually moved in to a new apartment, but when rent escalated out of reach, they had to move back into their RV.

Now, she said, her family doesn't need the aging fifth wheel anymore.

Wanting to pay things forward, she began looking for someone who might be willing to fix it, and help find another family who could use it.

That's when she learned about Woody Faircloth, who founded the nonprofit

Faircloth told Denver7 that he and his then-6-year-old daughter were watching news about the huge Camp Fire, which destroyed more than 18,000 homes in California in 2018.

"We saw a news story about a guy who had started up an RV and drove it off and he was just grateful to have a place for Thanksgiving. He'd lost his home, like more than 15,000 of his neighbors did," Faircloth said. "It just occurred to me, what a no-brainer this was to try to help, and it kind of blew up from there."

Green decided to donate her RV to the nonprofit.

"I'm just blown away by the generosity of people like (her), who donated RVs," Faircloth said. "A lot of people that we've donated the RVs to end up paying it forward as well. It's just amazing, but I'm just blown away that people stop and think of others when they're struggling like she is."

He said to date, they've given 85 RVs to families who were burned out of their homes in the Camp Fire.

Faircloth's nonprofit has fixed tires, repaired a leaky roof and is updating the interior of Green's old RV.

Green said she's just glad she can pay it forward.

"It feels so good, to feel that somebody else is going to get blessed, because we were blessed." she said.