PAUMA VALLEY, Calif. (BP)--Melvin Nelson visited the home where he lived for more than 40 years on the La Jolla Indian Reservation on Monday, Nov. 5. As disaster relief volunteers cleared away piles of charred debris, Nelson seemed at first glance too upbeat to have lost his home two weeks ago in the wildfires that raged in Southern California. But between conversations, Nelson kept walking to the same spot on the edge of his property -- under one of the few trees that survived the fires, where volunteers added to a pile of keepsakes rescued from the rubble: a collection of coins, small souvenirs and tools, jewelry, an old baseball.
"They just seem to mean so much to people, the things that we're able to find and save," said Peggy Williams, a Southern Baptist disaster relief leader from Banning, Ca, who has participated in several previous fire cleanup projects. Read More