LAWTON, Okla. (TNN) -A Facebook group that is ran by a large group of volunteers is helping health care workers and first responders all over the world find RVs and trailers to live in temporarily amid the coronavirus pandemic. This allows for families to be kept safe while their loved ones are on the front lines.
Emily Phillips is from Arlington, Texas and founded the Facebook group “RVs 4 MDs to Fight the Coronavirus” less than five weeks ago. The group is ran by volunteers who connect RV owners with health care workers and first responders who are needing a place to stay temporarily at no cost.
They have nearly 30,000 members and have matched over 1,000 people across the U.S. and even internationally, however none of those matches are in Lawton yet.
“You would almost think it’s a fortune five hundred company that we’ve created and no one is making a dime. People from all skill sets, all cultures, all beliefs come together and have built this organization in four weeks," said Founder, Emily Phillips.
Emily’s husband works in an urgent care facility and together they wanted to protect their three children. Emily is looking to help those on the front lines in the Lawton community because this is where her mom and grandmother are from.
She said her grandmother was very involved in the community, and has been an inspiration to her.
“This movement honestly is more up her alley like this is something that she, I would’ve seen start something like this, not me. I felt that her presence has been with us the whole time," said Phillips.
Emily said it was her mom’s idea to see if they could find an RV or trailer for her husband to use, so she made a Facebook post and someone stepped up to help her. The idea has taken off since then.
“It’s a wonderful thing and hopefully it will continue until as long as we need something like this, and maybe in the next time we have a crisis that this will be organized and ready to go whoever is running it," said Emily’s mother, Janis Mackey Chaconas.
Emily said she is grateful to have seen this group grow and help so many people around the world.
“I mean it’s amazing. I joke I’m an entrepreneur myself and I’ve been trying to make things work like this forever and I feel like God put his hand on my back and said go go go and don’t look back," said Phillips.
Emily said the next chapter for her is being able to share the stories of RV owners and the families they helped through their Facebook page with everyone.