It was like finding a needle in a haystack. Amid scores of bad news for California residents over the past few days—wildfires raging in both Northern and Southern California—there was the tiniest glimmer of good news over the weekend after one man recovered an invaluable item from the rubble: his wife’s wedding ring.
Paradise, Calif., resident Jake Olsen is also a California Game Warden who was called away from his own burning house over the weekend to save patients trapped in a nearby retirement home. His wife and four young children thankfully escaped their home unscathed, but when Olsen returned to the property afterward, their entire house had been burned to a crisp.
Olsen told FOX affiliate KTVU that his wife asked him to see if her wedding ring might be somewhere in the debris; the only thing she told him was that she’d left it on the kitchen counter, which had itself been completely destroyed in the flames.
“There used to be a countertop here with a sink,” he said in an interview with Inside Edition. “She said that she had left it here … and it was there. It’s just a miracle.”
“It’s just amazing,” he continued. “I just didn’t think we were going to find [the ring], but we had to try.”
Olsen and his family started a GoFundMe campaign shortly after the fire devastated their home, as well as those of many of their closest loved ones—his parents, his wife’s parents and grandparents, his sister-in-law and his wife’s uncle among those who are currently without a home. As of publication time, the family has raised $61,677 of their $50,000 goal.
Couples who want to help those affected by the wildfires can do so via The Knot Gifts Back, by directly linking their wedding websites and registries to organization that they feel passionately about in order to help California residents rebuilt their homes and lives.
Start your wedding registry here.