Habitat for Humanity in Florida

Habitat RV Care-A-Vanners

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.

About 250 volunteers stood to form the shape of a house and letter CAV - Care-A-Vanners.
About 250 volunteers stood to form the shape of a house and letter CAV – Care-A-Vanners. I’m standing in the bottom right corner of the house. [Photo courtesy Habitat for Humanity.]

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.

This is the house we were working on. It was a rehab, so we were taking down old siding, windows and doors and then installing new siding, windows and doors.
This is the house we were working on. It was a rehab, so we were taking down old siding, windows and doors and then installing new siding, windows and doors.

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.

Jonathan Reckford, CEO of Habitat for Humanity International was a featured speaker.
Jonathan Reckford, CEO of Habitat for Humanity International was a featured speaker.

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.

Habitat for Humanity volunteers
The Lee County Civic Center and Fairgrounds provided all the utility connections, so we could have the convenience of electric water and sewer.

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
Ft. Myers, Florida RV Care-A-Vanners
As the sun set, there was happy hour, dinner and socializing every night.

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.

RV at Lee County Civic Center and Fairgrounds in Fort Myers, Florida.
This is about half of the RV’s. All different brands, types and styles.

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.

Winnebago was the official sponsor of this 30th Anniversary Build in Fort Myers, Florida.
Winnebago was the official sponsor of this 30th Anniversary Build in Fort Myers, Florida.

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.

killdeer bird eggs
Right in the middle of 150 RV’s this little Killdeer bird decided to lay four speckled eggs that camouflaged perfectly with the gravel. She faithfully sat on the eggs despite all the distractions.

RVing Revealed

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