Update Nov. 11, 2018: After the devastating Camp Fire broke out in Northern California, Curtis Nelson announced he was filling his bus with donations for fire victims again.
A 40-foot gold-colored party bus has been shuttling across the Golden Gate Bridge, filled to the brim with donations from local businesses for those impacted by the Northern California wildfires.
“I thought I might as well help the people out with my bus, but I didn’t think it would be this big of a deal,” said Curtis Nelson with a laugh. “I just decided to do it because I was able to.”
Nelson, 33, an interior painter from Vallejo, calls the party bus the “Twerkulator” -- derived from the word “twerking." He has taken the bus to Burning Man and a family reunion in Ohio. It was originally used to transport federal inmates in Indiana, but Nelson “took the bad energy out of it” by converting it to a gold bus -- and now by helping out fire victims.
Since the deadly fires began on Oct. 8, they have claimed more than 40 lives and destroyed over 200,000 acres. More than 100,000 people have been evacuated, but they are beginning to return home. However, many of those impacted will face challenges in resuming normal life, with property damaged and entire houses gone.
Nelson put out the call to his friends after the fires broke out, and by Tuesday they were collecting items from local businesses all over the Bay Area to deliver to the fire victims. Among the many donations: 700 pairs of $95 Allbirds shoes, clothing from Love on Haight, duffel bags filled with deodorant and shaving cream, and gallons of water. Nelson’s bus made three full trips -- each time filled to the top.