By Charlie Schrenkel, L140050
This month brings much warmer weather across the Lower 48 states and on up into Canada. Most FMCA members who travel to warmer climes during the winter — our so-called snowbird members — are headed back to their comfortable summer locales.
May also includes the following days of remembrance and celebration: Mother’s Day (honoring the person ultimately responsible for my lifestyle); Armed Forces Day (celebrated in the United States; Canada has a similar commemoration in June); Victoria Day (celebrated in Canada); and Memorial Day (observed in the United States). The latter officially begins the summer months with parades, picnics, rallies, and remembrance of those who have made the ultimate sacrifice so we can live in a country with untold freedoms: freedom of speech; freedom of self-expression; freedom to choose the way we worship, or choose not to worship.
As I began writing this month’s column, I was reflecting on the past of Family Motor Coach Association. The thought occurred to me, just who are we? We have a rich history. From the very beginning, FMCA has been a group dedicated exclusively to the motorhome lifestyle. We will have a special celebration of our 50th anniversary next month at the Family Reunion and Motorhome Showcase event in Gillette, Wyoming, June 19 through 22.
But just who are we?
We are the dedicated members who belong to the FMCA chapter focused on the efforts of Habitat for Humanity, traveling to different places across this continent each year and becoming instrumental in constructing homes for the less fortunate among us; to give them that extra boost in self-esteem and security for their families.
We are the member who found out that another member, someone he did not even know, experienced a serious health issue during the Family Reunion in Indianapolis this past summer and had to be transported home and thus could not drive his motorhome. The fellow member stepped forward and drove the motorhome to his own home, several hours away, and secured it there until it could be transported to the stricken member’s residence, because he cared.
We are the members of the FMCA chapter known as The Wild Bunch, which formed a committee to locate a wounded soldier in their area who needed assistance. They found a veteran who was in arrears on his bills and they raised money to pay the creditors directly so the soldier could concentrate on his family and his future. They took this action because they wanted to do something for our wounded heroes, quietly, with respect and dignity.
We are an FMCA employee, who, along with her son, every Memorial Day puts American flags on veteran’s graves in the cemetery where her family is buried. They do this quietly, with no fanfare, but with plenty of love and respect.
We are the Friends of Angel Bus members, who give their time and use their motorhomes to transport people they don’t know to and from treatments at hospitals and health care centers across the continent. They do so on their own dime, because they care and want to help another human being by making his or her travel more comfortable and affordable.
We are the FMCA employees who purchased gifts and food items during the holidays so that Cincinnati-area families experiencing challenges could enjoy meals they might not have otherwise had and watch their children open gifts they couldn’t otherwise afford to give them.
We are the Mechanic’s Helpers, listed in the Stoppin’ Spots section in the January issue of our Family Motor Coaching magazine and online at FMCA.com; should you need mechanical assistance while traveling and you happen to be in their vicinity, they will help you find repair stations that they are familiar with, all because they want to help another member.
We are the Stop Over Spot members who open their homes and property to members who need emergency parking for 24 hours while far away from home. These members are indicated by a triangle in the Stoppin’ Spots section of the January issue of the magazine and are listed online as well.
We are the Come Visit members, indicated by a black square in the listing in the magazine and found online as well, who welcome you to stop by while traveling in your motorhome and visit on a friendship basis for 24 hours, or longer if invited by the host to stay on. Remember, if these members didn’t want you to stop by, they wouldn’t have offered; again, they extend this invitation because they want to meet you and get to know other family members.
These are just a few examples of the many thousands of our members who help one another on a daily basis, asking nothing in return.
Who are we? We are Family. We are Family Motor Coach Association!