VIRGINIA BEACH, Va. - For Brandon and Casey Shank, when COVID-19 hit, they wondered how they could help others out until they came across a Facebook group, RVs 4 MDs.
“We had an RV sitting in our backyard, and it was a perfect way to be able to be a part of any kind of relief effort,” Casey said.
News 3 first told you about the group last year as the pandemic was starting.
The group involves people donating their campers to healthcare workers to use as a safe place to quarantine and protect their families.
The Shanks lent their RV to a local nurse and mother of five, who stayed in it for three months last summer.
“It helps mental states to be able to see your family and know that you're close and feel like you're sort of at home,” Casey said.
“We have four kids: Four boys, 10 and under,” Brandon Shank said. “I can't imagine being away from them, but I really can't imagine being away from them and not knowing where I'm going to be.”
Emily Phillips helped create the group to help those like her and her husband, Jason, an ER physician.
“That meant a lot,” Jason Phillips said. “I could interact with them and talk with them several feet away. It meant I was able to stay on my property, stay at home and kind of keep my routine.”
So far, the group has made more than 2,500 matches in the last year, including many in Virginia.
“I'll never forget this for the rest of my life,” Emily said. “This gave people a purpose. It gave people something to do and feel connected.
While the group's future is unknown, the Shanks believe this effort is a prime example of good in a time of need.
“People do love you. People do care about you. You're never in this thing alone,” Brandon Shank said. “Don't feel like you're doing it alone. Don't feel like nobody cares. People do care. Reach out. Let someone know your need, and I promise you, someone will do what they can to fill it.”