25 May Care-A-Vanners Leave RVs Behind
All of our visiting build teams are special to us. They each bring their own individuality and no two teams are the same. But one visiting team has a uniqueness all its own. This team is a part of the Habitat Care-A-Vanner Build program. What sets them apart from other visiting build groups is that they normally travel to and from Habitat for Humanity build sites in their RVs. It not only provides them transportation but also a place to stay while they travel the country with the purpose of helping others and giving back.
So how did this group of people, from all around the mainland, end up on our beautiful island building homes and hope with our friends and neighbors? They certainly didn’t arrive by interstate highway, and someone would have noticed a caravan of RVs cruising our narrow streets. So how did this all happen, and who are Care-A-Vanners?
It all started at an affiliate conference in Atlanta, Georgia. At a booth at the conference Ty and Larry Jones of the Care-A-Vanners Build Program met the executive director of Kaua’i Habitat for Humanity, Milani Pimental. At the time Kaua’i Habitat for Humanity had begun utilizing subdivision development as a way to provide the most people in need of affordable housing a home the fastest way possible. When Milani learned more about the Habitat Care-A-Vanners and that they had experience visiting other build sites around the mainland all she could say was, “we need you on Kaua’i!”
An idea was born, but not without its challenges. Again, the Care-A-Vanners are used to traveling in their RVs. It allows them the opportunity to make a positive impact on communities without any burden to the affiliates that invite them to provide them with room and board. The program is designed so they not only use their time and talents to help local families build their homes, but they also help the communities they serve by supporting the local economy and donating to the affiliates they are visiting.
Since driving an RV to Hawai’i was out of the question, there was only one solution. The team members would have to make the ultimate sacrifice and leave their RVs behind. Of course, this would make the issue of transportation and lodging much more expensive and cumbersome for the team members, but nine generous souls signed up for the challenge. Staff and homebuyers at Kaua’i Habitat were inspired that these individuals were willing to travel so far to help out despite the inconvenience and additional expenses they had to incur.