Home, Sweet, Motorhome.
I entered the non-profit world with my rose-colored glasses and Pollyanna attitude fixed neatly in place. For the last five years I’ve been fighting to remain that young woman that believes miracles happen in a moment’s notice and that dreams really do come true.
Life has a way of callousing a hopeful soul. With wise mentorship and supportive loved ones close by though it is possible to continue hoping long enough to see good things happen in this messy world.
For a few years now I’ve kept in touch with some key individuals in regards to the happenings of the non-profit -our growth, our needs, our Relay successes. This past winter a few particular communications evolved into a lunch, which evolved into interest, which evolved into grants and sponsorships and support designated specifically to purchase a motorhome unit for our 3,100-mile Relay.
I received an email late on January 4th – “We’re interested. Do you have some RV’s in mind?”. I squeaked (literally) and ran to Aaron in the kitchen. “We may have something here…!”. Just one week later over a $1.68 slice of Ian’s Pizza I was asked if I could “work with a $50,000 grant”? I coolly answered, “I think I can make that work” – because really I am so totally cool and 50K nbd, right?! I left the meeting in a cloudy daze. A fuzzy, fluffy, we-get-to-buy-an-RV-outright, cloudy daze.
By chance, I wondered, how far could I make this 50k go? I’ve looked at enough RV’s to know that a decent used RV runs about $35-85K, but we do have specific needs for the non-profit – extra sleeping space, slide outs for room to pass while inside, and a C-class for easier handling to name a few. I looked last year at just the kind of RV we would need. It was brand new and sitting on the lot at Burlington RV in Wisconsin. On my way off the lot the salesman added, “When you’re ready to buy give us a call. The boss might do something special for your non-profit.”
Could I call? And see? Could two miracles happen in the same week?
I called and I got transferred to sales rep Jim Kirkman. I spoke openly, “Jim, I need to buy an RV for my non-profit that helps people run across America for multiple sclerosis, and don’t want to insult you because I know your new RV’s are worth around $95,000 but I just received a $50,000 grant to buy an RV for the non-profit so I wanted to see if you could get anywhere close to that…”
Three hours later Jim called me back. “Can you make $63,000 work for a brand new Jayco Greyhawk?” (retail value at $93,000). I spoke my new mantra, “I think I can make that work.”
One step closer.
My last call was to friend and business owner Michael Sampson of SWARMM Events. Michael has been giving to MS Run the US, Inc. for a few years now and I just had to see if he would help fill the $13,000 gap between the grant and the RV cost. For a young for-profit business owner Michael has a big heart. The conversation didn’t last more than a few minutes before he committed to help.
Two months later I drove to Burlington to pick up our brand new 2015 Jayco Greyhawk (all 2014’s were off the line so they pushed through a 2015 model early just for us!). I’ll be honest – at the first introduction I still couldn’t wrap my mind around the fact that this RV was the property of the non-profit. The odometer read 215 miles…it still had the brand new vehicle smell, it still had it’s stickers (ya know, that one that valued it at $93,000), it still hadn’t been slept in – not once, not ever.
Being given an RV is one thing, but being given a never-been-used, perfect in every way, new RV is a whole other dream come true.
I sit in the RV at this very moment as I type this blog and I still can’t wrap my mind around it.
Either way, whether I ever comprehend the magnitude of this gift or not, it’s still here and I can’t wait to show it to you! Check out the pics below and please share this blog as a small, tiny, macro “Thank You” to the three companies that came together to give us this beautiful gift! A special thanks from my heart to The Hovde Foundation, Burlington RV, and SWARMM Events for making dreams come true!
- by ashleyk
- posted at 5:12 PM
- April 18, 2014