RV PRO

July '20

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70 • RV PRO • July 2020 RV PRO SPECIAL SECTION Good Deeds Amid COVID-19 REM Supplies Thousands of Masks REM Industries, a supplier of furniture for the RV indus- tries created facemasks during the COVID-19 outbreak. President Jason Miller describes the company's involve- ment as follows: "Our mask making venture started with a text from my step-mom (who is a retired nurse) on a Sunday afternoon. She saw a segment on the news about mask shortages. "Being a small family-owned business with the threat of a mandatory shutdown for the RV industry, she thought it may be something we could do help slow the spread of the pandemic and possibly keep some of people employed as essential workers. "Sunday night, I did some research on what fabrics face- masks were made out of. Lo and behold, a fabric we use regularly was exactly the type of fabric used to make them. On Monday, we prototyped our first mask. "We started calling people right away to see if there was an interest. Dad (Robert Miller, CEO of REM) was stuck down South and started networking with everyone he could think of. I was astounded of the interest we received right away in the masks. "Next there was a writeup in a RV publication. After the writeup, we started receiving calls every day, all day long. It started with senior and assisted living communities. From there, we started getting a lot of orders from local police departments, fire departments and ambulance services. "Dad and I made it a rule to always donate at least the first 50 masks to first responders. The next thing I know is we had a company out of Terre Haute, Ind., that wanted to be a distributor for us. "This distributor has ordered masks for everything from national construction companies to the U.S. Navy. Also at this time we started getting orders from RV manufacturers preparing to go back to work. During this time the orders were very large per week. My wife, Stacey, (office manager at REM) took it upon herself to find and coordinate sewers to sew all the masks we had orders for. "During this time she had 67 gals sewing at home to make sure everything got out on a timely fashion. This was quite the undertaking considering she had to make sure they all adhered to CDC guidelines. "We each drove thousands of miles between Elkhart and Kosciusko Counties dropping off masks to be sewn and picking up finished product. To date we have shipped more than 40,000 masks and are approaching 50,000 very quickly. "We have met a lot of very neat and compassionate people in this new venture. The one that sticks out was an insurance company out of Warsaw, Ind., (Clevenger Insurance) that bought 1,000 masks and donated all of them to first responders, doctors' offices and hospitals in Warsaw and the surrounding communities. We have had an absolute blast doing this and are excited to continue supplying facemasks all around the country." Beaver Coach Helps Caregivers Beaver Coach Sales & Happy Campers RV Rentals in Bend, Ore., teamed up with Scandia RV Park on an "RV Sanctuary" initiative to benefit caregivers and first responders in their community. Happy Campers, whose rental business has 18 RVs total, has loaned out RVs to nurses who needed a place to quarantine after having direct contact with COVID-19 patients at St. Charles Medical Center – Bend, the local hospital. The RVs allowed the nurses a comfortable place to self-quarantine so they would not be bringing the virus back to their individual homes. Currently, Beaver Coach has two RVs occupying spaces at Scandia RV Park, and the park also has donated full hookups for the units, including parking spaces and even amenities such as free cable TV and Wi-Fi. "I think it is important that we give back to say thank you to our caregivers," says Kristina Whaley, rental manager at Happy Campers RV Rentals. "We wanted to help and knew we have these wonderful resources that provide a convenient and safe space where caregivers can recharge." Adds Richard Brinkman, general manager at Scandia RV Park, "We welcomed the opportunity to offer parking sites for those caregivers that do so much for all of our neighbors." Once a nurse's stay is up, the RVs are brought back to Happy Campers and they are cleaned thoroughly, including through use of a "fogging machine" that the RV park's owner was able to secure from a local business, according to Beaver Coach's Marketing Manager Katie Molby. When a newly cleaned unit is brought back to the RV park, Beaver Coach leaves a gift basket for whomever the next occupant might be, she says. "It's heartwarming to see the response from local busi- nesses that want to help." says Molby. "A big thanks to Alpenglow Dental, Bend Soap Company, Dermatology Health Specialists, and Fancy Sauce Soap for their dona- tions to the care packages." Happy Campers staff set up a motorhome for a first responder to use.

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