July '20

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60 • RV PRO • July 2020 RV PRO SPECIAL SECTION Good Deeds Amid COVID-19 RV Advisor Consumer Association Coordinates Donating RVs for Medical Workers As an RV dealer, Gigi Stetler wears many hats: owner of Florida's RV Sales of Broward; founder and CEO of online platform RV Advisor, which acts as a mediator between consumers, dealers, and manufacturers; and, most recently, operator of the RV Advisor Consumer Association. The latter of the three is a philanthropic endeavor that is helping people during the COVID-19 pandemic by donating RVs to health care workers with families. "These people are on the frontlines," says Stetler. "And we needed to figure out a way how to isolate them. … You've got to pay it forward. Keep them safe and keep the numbers down." Since the pandemic hit the U.S., Stetler has helped arrange tempo- rary RV housing for 28 health care workers by working with dealerships across several states, including Colorado, New Jersey, Delaware, Illinois, Kentucky, and Louisiana. While RVACA funds the rentals, most donations have come from Stetler herself. But the efforts are imperative. For example, Cynthia Laird, a CT technologist at Delray Medical Center in Palm Beach County, Fla., had seen at least two co-workers diagnosed with COVID-19. It made her very worried that she could inadvertently pass the disease to her children. Fortunately, to help isolate from her family while remaining close, an RV was placed in her driveway. "In my 33 years, I have always done disaster relief and disaster housing," says Stetler. "That's been part of our background and backbone of our company and my dealership." Kenda Companies Help First Responders & Employees Elkhart, Ind.-based Americana Tire and Wheel – Kenda Tire's distribution arm serving the North American towable trailer, utility, RV, marine and agricultural indus- tries – has been distributing more than tires, wheels and assemblies during COVID-19. It's also been dispensing added support to its employees and its local communities. ATW says that it and nearby Dexstar Wheel, which is also affiliated with Kenda, were able to remain fully operational, by providing employees with the appropriate medical masks, instituting rigorous sanitation methods at its facilities, and allowing certain staff members to work at home while maintaining social distancing for those who were coming in to work. The company also looked out for its communities. The Kenda American Technical Center in Akron, Ohio, is temporarily producing hand sanitizer to provide to first responders, medical personnel, assisted living centers and nursing homes in the com- munities in which it operates, as well as for the company's own facilities. "We're shipping our Kenda-branded sanitizer to all ATW facilities and our associate companies for our employees and customers to help fight the spread of the virus. Plus, each shipment arrives with additional bottles of sanitizer to distribute into our local communities for firefighters, police departments, hospitals, assisted living centers and nursing homes. In total, we are giving out 30,000 bottles of hand sanitizer," says Dave Craig, president of Americana Tire and Wheel. Further, to thank those in its hometown of Elkhart, ATW employees have been dropping off restaurant gift cards to the firefighters, police, nurses, doctors, and nursing home staffs in recognition of their efforts. The company notes that that token of gratitude simultaneously supports local eateries. ATW says it has also reached out to its global contacts to secure medical masks, which it has donated to Elkhart General Hospital. Finally, ATW says it has made a monetary donation to the local Elkhart community food pantries. "We've all been impacted by COVID-19 and in different ways. Between ATW and Dexstar Wheel, our goal has been to com- bine forces to provide support however we can to this diverse group of affected people. We are grateful to be able to offer these tokens of our appreciation and for our employees to have the opportunity to say thank you to their community," says Craig. CT technologist Cynthia Laird (left) was one of several medical personnel to receive RVs from RVACA so they can self-isolate after coming into contact with COVID-19 patients. Local medical personnel proudly display gift certificates they received to local restaurants courtesy of Kenda Companies.

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