Never underestimate the power of a committed volunteer. Mary Vandeveld, volunteer Program Manager for the RV Care-A-Vanners, shared that thought as we gathered 150 RV’s for the 30th Anniversary of the Habitat for Humanity RV Care-A-Vanner program.
The RV Care-A-Vanners are the only program within Habitat for Humanity International that is entirely managed by volunteers. There’s about 225 builds a year, and each build is two-weeks with about 8 RV’s.
Besides the typical house construction building, there’s lots of other contributions made by the RV Care-A-Vanners, such as presenting safety training to Habitat for Humanity affiliates across the country, helping lead Collegiate Challenges and helping rebuild after disasters.
We made the Lee County Civic Center and Fairgrounds in Fort Myers, Florida home for the week. With the large number of volunteers, we spread out in Lee and Henry Counties to help build.
What the poor need is not charity but capital, not caseworkers but coworkers. And what the rich need is a wise, honorable and just way of divesting themselves of their overabundance.Clarence Jordan, instrumental in the founding of Habitat for Humanity
As always, meeting the partner families was very rewarding. These future homeowners are amazed that we travel from all over the country to help them build their new house. It is humbling and rewarding to be a small part of change.
It was both an inspiring and exhausting week. I am astounded at seeing this many volunteers come together from so many varied backgrounds to help provide affordable housing to those in need. I equally exhausted, as building houses in the hot and humid Florida weather is not an easy task.
We had the privilege of having Jonathan Reckford, CEO of Habitat for Humanity International visit us a a guest speaker one evening. He shared a success story of a partner family who resides in a house constructed by Habitat for Humanity, and their lives have changed for the positive and created a new trajectory for the entire family.
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