July '19

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rv-pro.com July 2019 • RV PRO • 107 "With Butch, you feel he's a ministry partner with you," he says. "It's another level of trust. When Butch tells me, 'I think you need to have this done,' I listen to him, and I go with his recommendation." A Heart for Service The Bursons have had a heart for ministry for years. The RVs for Less website even has a ministry page where visitors can read about Butch Burson's self-described miraculous healing from life-threatening health emergencies in 2011, leave prayer requests, and read about and connect with several Christian ministries that RVs for Less supports. Burson says God has blessed his business, which in turn allows him to give more money to ministries: "We donate money that goes all over the world. … We're very fortunate to be able to give the money away like we do." He got into the camper business almost 35 years ago, building van conversions. His Holiday Van Conversions had 45 employees, and he says he wanted his next business to be more of a family operation. He and Karen started RVs for Less in Knoxville in 2003. The business has 10 employees, he says, including him- self and Karen, son Josh Burson and daughter Amber Burnett. The dealership specializes in high-end fifth wheels, winning recognition as a top single-site dealer for DRV Mobile Suites and Heartland Landmark campers. But RVs for Less didn't previously carry travel trailers. So, when the Rapid Response Team called Burson and asked him to get the organization a trailer, Butch Burson says he called DRV, a sister company to Cruiser RV, and asked if there were a Cruiser dealership in the area that could sell him a travel trailer a little bit over cost for the Billy Graham team. When he learned there wasn't a dealer nearby, Butch Burson says he worked Cruiser to set him up as a dealer for its Fun Finder line, allowing him to acquire lightweight campers for the Rapid Response Team. One of the things that Munday says he appreciates about Burson is his ability to share his enthusiasm for the Billy Graham Evangelistic Association's work. "Butch can't keep it a secret," Munday says. "He goes to the RV shows, and he's sharing with other people. Butch doesn't have all the gadgets and widgets, the upgrades … but he knows people who do." Suppliers, Distributors Also Offer Assistance Burson is happy to report that once suppliers of RV acces- sories and parts hear of his work with the Billy Graham organi- zation, they are usually quick to offer merchandise at a special price – or donate it outright. "The suppliers have just been unbelievable in this industry. … It's just a matter of asking them; that's what has been so surprising about this," he says. "I've not had one person turn us down. Everybody knows who Billy Graham was." Those companies that have responded to his requests to help the Rapid Response Team include Airxcel, Dealer Resources Group, Meyer Distributing, MORryde, Minder Research, Norco Industries, NTP-STAG, Progress Manufacturing, Revolution Decal, Truma, Valterra Products and Trailers of the East Coast. Munday says the Rapid Response Team first purchased two trailers from RVs for Less in October, which were sent immedi- ately to Florida's Gulf Coast in the wake of Hurricane Michael. Burson says he now has sold the Rapid Response team three travel trailers and Samaritan's Purse one. Eventually, Munday says, the Billy Graham Rapid Response Team hopes to have campers set up in regions across the country, ready to respond immediately to a disaster. "This has been a terrific relationship with Butch and Karen Burson," Munday says. "They want to help us by providing us with good advice and recommendations, and they pray for us. To me, that is one of the bigger values." Burson says that from his perspective, "My company's just blessed to be doing anything with them. "They're putting (the campers) to a use that's reaching out to people who we probably will never see," he says. "These guys are on the front lines. When they go in, they're going in for one thing, and that's just to help people. "Somebody's got to keep those guys out on the front line," he adds. "It takes everybody working together." Read More About Billy Graham Rapid Response Teams: facebook.com/rrtchaplains

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