Posts Tagged ‘recreational vehicle’

Photo: RVshare
RVs4MDs is a volunteer group that has been matching altruistic recreational vehicle owners with medical workers in need of temporary housing during the pandemic.

I’m grateful to people who witness some kindness in our troubled world and let the rest of us know about it so we don’t lose all faith in humanity. To my way of thinking, it doesn’t even matter how few people are involved in the example, just that there is a kindness plant growing somewhere.

At the Boston Globe, Leila Philip wrote recently about something her neighbor signed up to do.

“The text from my neighbor had come at 5 a.m., ‘Mother passed yesterday evening.’ … My neighbor had been caring for her mother, who had dementia for many years, and for the past three weeks she had been keeping vigil, not leaving the house and living mostly on oatmeal. When I offered to make her a rhubarb crisp, she answered emphatically, ‘Yes!’

“As I pulled into her driveway, I was startled to see an enormous motor home. Even more startled when my neighbor popped out, broom in hand. Was she already planning a trip?

“ ‘You didn’t know I had this, did you?’ she said, taking the still-warm crisp. Then she explained that she’d been waiting for an opportunity to list her Coachman with RVs4MDs, a volunteer group that was matching RV owners with medical workers in need of temporary housing.

My neighbor had just lost her mother, but there she was, cleaning her expensive motor home so she could loan it to someone else whose life had been upended by COVID-19. …

“Rvs4MDs began when two women in Texas saw a concrete way to help others. Within a week of their putting up their Facebook page, hundreds of people had joined as volunteers. … They have matched 1,500 RVs with nurses, doctors, EMTs, and paramedics. …

“Said Holly Haggard, one of the founders. ‘It has brought hope to so many.’ Her cofounder, Emily Phillips, agreed, ‘We didn’t realize it when we started, but in addition to helping medical workers, we were building a community. Nobody brings their politics to the group.’ …

“Barbara Ludwig is a professor of nursing with a specialization in critical care. An Air Force veteran, she did not hesitate when the call came in April to work in a COVID-19 unit, but she had a problem: Members of her immediate family were high risk, and she feared bringing the virus home and infecting them.

“Barbara was in the middle of searching for an affordable hotel room when she learned about Rvs4MDs. She posted about her situation and Krystal Muci responded, offering to loan her 42-foot-long motor home. Within days, Krystal and her husband had not only driven their RV to Barbara’s house outside Kansas City (a three-hour drive), but had found an electrician to do the needed electrical work and complete the hookup.

“When Barbara got off shift and walked into the RV, she found a gift basket and a poster of photographs of her family that Krystal had made. …

“ ‘Knowing someone had cared enough to do this for me, it brought tears to my eyes,’ said Barbara, ‘and it allowed me to focus on taking care of patients because I knew my family was safe. In my work as a critical care nurse I am used to dealing with mortality, but the amount of loss that was happening every day … it took a toll on me that I was not prepared for.’ …

“Now that we are six months into the pandemic, the unprecedented emotional toll it has had on the mental health of caregivers and health care workers has begun to emerge. Preliminary studies in Italy show that over one-half of health care workers there suffered some form of PTSD. …

“More than 192,000 Americans are dead of COVID-19. [Meanwhile] ordinary Americans like my neighbor and the many volunteers at Rvs4MD show how we can prevail — when we remember our American tradition of lending a hand, the transformative power of kindness.”

More at the Globe, here.

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