'I have to take action': Volunteers in Fife drive donations to California fire victims

FIFE, Wash. -- People from across the area are pitching in to send donations to victims of the California wildfires. A group in Fife is taking a truck full of items to California this weekend.

“I can’t sit at home and watch the news and go, ‘I pray for you guys, bless you guys.’ I have to take action,” said Elisabeth Turnipseed, who works with BJ's II Smoke Shop in Fife.

Clothes, food, home goods and so much more are on the way to California fire victims thanks to some volunteers who just wanted to give back to others in desperate times.

“They’re all in tents. They’re sleeping in parking lots like this so we need to get stuff that they can sleep in and get off the ground. It’s cold, at night it’s cold," Turnipseed said.

Employees at BJ’s II Smoke Shop organized the donation drive, packing up a U-haul truck and hitting the road for California on Saturday.

“This is all a team effort. This is my team. All the strangers and all the stores, everybody that has helped me, thank you!” said Turnipseed.

We also talked with one fire victim in Paradise, California, who says they’re grateful for the donations but it’s temporary housing they need the most.

“It would be neat if people out of the area could possible bring travel trailers for people to use. I found a couple of trailers today that people wanted to just give away to help people out. I thought that was pretty generous,” said Ron Hawkins, who is now living 12 miles away in Chico, California, after the Paradise fire.

Hawkins says rain is expected next week in Paradise and that’ll make it more difficult for the victims who have nowhere to go. In the meantime, BJ’s II Smoke Shop is heading to Paradise to do what they can to help them get there lives back on track.

Organizers say they’ll pick up more donations on the way to California and make another trip next weekend.