When you think of retirement, you think of relaxing. However, volunteers, called Care-A-Vanners, see the free time as the ultimate opportunity to give back and travel the nation to do so.
They are a unique set of volunteers living life on the road, all for community service.
â??Care-A-Vanners are a group of people who travel the United States in their RVs and volunteer on builds throughout the year,â?? says volunteer coordinator, Dian Miller.
Tuesday, the 11 volunteers are working on Bob Conibearâ??s Habitat House in Crystal Falls. When they arrived, there was only a basement, and in a week they completed one third of the house.
â??We have the frame for the house, the roof is going on and the basement is drywalled. They've accomplished a lot in the seven days that they been working on the house,â?? Dian says.
Some of the volunteers spend months on the road traveling from build to build. They come from all walks of life with one common goal.
â??Giving something back to people that are in needâ?|whatâ??s better then that?â?? says project manager Ricci Saeger. â??Itâ??s pretty gratifying.â??
â??Well, it is a change of pace from our regular life,â?? says Tom and Elaine McElhinney. â??We were both CPAs, so it's a change and we enjoy doing it.â??
Tom and Elaine started Care-A-Vanning with Habitat in 2005. The Conibear home is their 17th build. They say they enjoy every minute of their five months living life on the road volunteering.
â??We lived off communities for all our working life. Now's a chance to give back,â?? Tom and Elaine say.