July '20

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68 • RV PRO • July 2020 RV PRO SPECIAL SECTION Good Deeds Amid COVID-19 RVshare Helps RVs 4 MDs RVshare is partnering with RVs 4 MDs, a volunteer group that connects first responders to RV owners during a crisis, to provide temporary housing to health care workers on the frontlines. In partnership, RVshare and RVs 4 MDs will work to quickly scale efforts by com- bining resources and streamlining the process to meet the demand due to the COVID-19 pandemic. RVs 4 MDs currently connects health care workers with RV owners near them through a Facebook page with more than 20,000 members that continues to grow daily. The demand for temporary housing to self-isolate is skyrock- eting as health care workers are fighting on the frontlines across the country. RVshare, founded in 2013, has a community of more than 60,000 RV owners and a platform to safely and securely book RV rentals. RVshare will leverage its existing infrastructure and expertise to help RVs4MDs meet their demand. The company has a Disaster Response Solu- tion program that launched a COVID-19 response effort in March with more than 500 owners who are willing to donate their RVs for free or at a very reduced rate. RVshare will waive all fees for donated rentals booked through their platform. "Since the Facebook page launched on March 24, RVs 4 MDs has matched hundreds of first responders As the coronavirus spread across the U.S., the Kirby Auto Group says it took notice of the amazing humanitarian efforts RV businesses across the country were undertaking. When the company became aware of the challenges its local community health care providers in Ventura, Calif., From left to right: Ian McGraw, facilities director for the Ventura County Medical Center; Jeff Sukay, president/dealer principle for the Kirby Auto Group, Amy Towner, CEO of Health Care Foundation for Ventura County; Louis Vierstra, fixed operations director for Kirby's Barber RV; and Mike Arrambide, GM of Kirby's Barber RV. were facing, it didn't hesitate to get involved. Amy Towner, CEO of Health Care Foundation for Ventura County, called upon Jeff Sukay, president/dealer principal of the Kirby Auto Group, the parent company of Kirby's Barber RV. Towner was asking for Sukay's help in providing temporary housing for doctors and nurses of Ventura County-based hospitals, so they could social distance themselves from loved ones in between shifts. "Immediately, we are all-in to help our health community in a time of crisis," says Sukay. He stepped up and donated a fleet of RVs to be used by medical personnel in need of a safe space to shelter. "Jeff has been a pillar in our community for decades and he rose to the occasion straightaway," says Towner. "(His) solution of providing RVs to our frontline health care workers in the face of a pandemic" truly speaks to the meaning of "community." With many campgrounds forced to close, Towner worked out logistics to provide an alternate solution, placing the fleet of units in the parking lot of the hospitals where necessary access to power and water is provided. "RVs have proven time and time again of being the most adaptable vehicles on the road, whether it be for family vacations or providing viable mobile solutions in times of a crisis," says Louis Vierstra, fixed operations director for Kirby's Barber RV. Kirby Auto Group Donates RVs for Hospitals with an RV," said RVs4MDs co-founder Emily Phillips. "We are overwhelmed by the generosity we have seen. There are hundreds of medical workers requesting tem- porary housing a day. When RVshare reached out to us about their supply of RVs, we knew this would be the right partnership to scale the effort quickly." Through RVshare's platform, RV owners and frontline workers will have access to RVshare's terms of service and a customized rental agreement to give both parties con- tractual and legal protection. Bookings made through the platform can also add comprehensive insurance policies. "RVs4MDs has started a strong movement across the country, and peer-to-peer RV rentals is our expertise. We want to support the cause in any way we can," says RVshare's CEO Jon Gray. The movement took off after Phillips was searching for a self-isolation solution for her husband, who is a frontline doctor in Dallas, Texas. Her friend Holly Haggard lent them her RV that was otherwise sitting unused. Realizing the problem stretched far beyond the Phillips family, the friends created a Facebook group for COVID-19 hoping to connect more people in need. Those interested in helping should visit RVshare's Disaster Response Solutions page or the RVs 4 MDs Face- book group for more information.

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