ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. (KRQE) – One group is lending a helping hand to New Mexico’s healthcare workers so they don’t carry the coronavirus back to their families at home. The community effort is taking off across the country, providing a free place to stay for our ‘front line’ heroes.
When you think of ‘RVs’ — summer camping trip probably come to mind. However, one growing group of volunteers hopes to expand their purpose, giving our healthcare workers somewhere safe to stay while they care for coronavirus patients.
“This started back in late March by a woman in Texas who got a request from a friend to see if she could loan out her RV to a doctor who was concerned about exposing his family,” said Melissa Leymon, a volunteer for RVs 4 MDs. “He’s an ER doctor, he was spending his days treating patients and he was really fearful for exposing his wife and his young child.”
Leymon works at PNM but when she heard about what her friend was doing in Texas, she wanted to find a way to help here in New Mexico.
“We are so fortunate and so blessed to be able to continue to do our jobs from a safe place and for these workers that are out there every day caring for the community, that’s not an option,” said Leymon.
Since late March, Leymon says the Facebook group has reached all 50 states and has grown to almost 30,000 members. New Mexico has about 5-6 volunteers so far, coordinating exchanges within the state.
“I’ve really just been trying to help the group get the word out but we have local volunteers who are also working on making matches, pairing up RV owners with healthcare workers, trying to arrange delivery,” said Leymon. “Those are really kind of the core functions and others just trying to spread the word any way they can.”
The New Mexico team has already distributed a few of the RVs out. Leymon says another 13 RVs are ready to go — they just need the healthcare workers to give them to.
“Right now we have more RVs than we have workers who have requested one,” said Leymon. “Really, what we’re trying to focus on is getting the word out to these workers and letting them know that there is this option available.”
While many are unsure of how to help during this pandemic, Leymon says it’s one small gesture for the community to show their thanks for our healthcare heroes.
“I think this is just a really good way for the community to say, ‘we see you, we see what you’re doing, here’s some help to give you peace of mind when you need it most,'” said Leymon.