The CoolRVers are actually a couple of retirees, Judy and Luke Rinehimer and our 5 year old German Shepherd Dog, Miss Shady Lady. We are "extended-time" travelers with a home in Cool, California. Thanks for following along with us as we travel North America in our "rolling condo", enjoying the RV lifestyle. Your comments are always welcomed.

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Tuesday, April 4, 2017

C IS FOR CARE (#AtoZChallenge)

Today's letter of the day in the A to Z Challenge is "C" and I'll be posting about a very special place for RVers called the Escapees CARE Center.  CARE stands for "Continuing Assistance for Retired Escapees" and it is located at the national headquarters of the Escapees RV Club in Livingston, Texas.

As mentioned in yesterday's "B is for Boomers" blog, we have been members of the Escapees since 2005 and most of the club chapters and groups have adopted the CARE Center as their charity of choice when it comes to donating funds.  For example, the "Boomers" I wrote about yesterday have raised more than $53,000 on behalf of CARE.  Later in today's blog I will detail how a bunch of RVers can meet somewhere in the desert and conduct a benefit auction and raise thousands of dollars in just a couple of hours.


The Escapees RV Club and the CARE websites tell their story best.  Photos are from the Escapees, CARE, Inc. Facebook pages.

"Escapees CARE Center is a 501(c)(3) nonprofit (tax-exempt) corporation formed in 1992 and is under the guidance of a volunteer board of directors.

CARE answers the question, "What happens to full-time RVers when they cannot take care of their own or their spouse's needs following an illness, injury, surgery, or the progression of a long-term health situation?"

Friends may offer to help, not realizing that a "little help" will become a need for assistance with no end in sight. Is it fair to put that burden on neighbors or relatives who have their own lives to live? There has to be a better alternative than depending on neighbors or trading your RV home for a land-based residence.

There is!   
Here is a 0:36 preview of what goes on at the CARE Center for RVers.

It is located in Livingston, Texas, and it is called CARE (Continuing Assistance for Retired Escapees). Its mission is to provide a safe haven with professional assistance at affordable prices for members whose travels are impacted because of age or temporarily interrupted because of health problems.
  • CARE is a place where you will receive professional help for the things you may no longer be able to do. It is not a nursing home. Its goal is to delay or eliminate the need for a nursing home, or assisted living.

  • CARE provides three meals and a snack seven days a week. CARE serves over 40,000 meals annually. [The volunteer staff serves about 40-50 resident/clients for daily lunch and dinner.] 
Daily breakfast and coffee bar is supplemented with the Friday "Big Breakfast"
    They lined up for these ribs at dinner  
Making Chili in the CARE kitchen

Carving Thanksgiving Dinner turkey for 85 guests
  •  CARE schedules medical appointments for most of its residents, and provides transportation to and from the appointments for those residents who no longer drive. 
Handicap accessible CARE bus is driven by trained volunteers

Fitness videos keep them moving

Another van boarding for safe transportation to appointments
  •  CARE has a nurse on duty eight hours during the business day for the Adult Day Care.  
Medical condition discussion groups

CARE Office becomes a Mammogram room for a day. 18 Clients were served.
  • CARE's adult day care program provides a secure day room, with a trained staff to provide monitoring, games, exercise and much more for the adult day care clients. 
Learning about "balance" in the day room

Charcoal art class

Low Vision machine in the day room increases the size of documents

  •  The atmosphere at CARE is like an RV rally. It is nothing like an Independent Living Homes!

Walking the dog from a golf cart

Did someone say "Let's go out for ice cream?"

Those are just some of the services provided at Escapees CARE. Escapees CARE, Inc. is able to provide its services at very affordable rates due to the generosity of Escapees RV Club members through their monetary donations and volunteering."

Plenty to see in the CARE Photo Albums online 

Visit CARE Center weblinks listed at the beginning of this blog and scroll through the photos to see Thursday music jam sessions, dulcimer lessons, and Native American flute demonstratons.  Check out the construction of the "Saloon" for afternoon Happy Hours, the Thrift Shop designed, stocked, and run by the residents, and enjoy photos of meals, socials, and even a residents' wedding reception in the CARE Gardens.  They even had an ice chest full of Maine Lobsters flown in for a backyard luncheon.

"Hanging up the keys" is a well-known future event for RVers.  Many Escapee RV Club members have found their home base at the CARE Center.

Donations and volunteer workers from the many Escapee clubs keep the CARE Center open.  The "Boomers" I wrote about in yesterday's blog have been awarded 53 CARE patches representing donations of $1,000.  Yes, $53,000 donated by Boomers who gather in the desert, on crabbing docks, and at balloon fiestas and conduct "charity auctions" by emptying their own closets and storage bays and selling it back to their neighbors.  Bidding on wine bottles and purchasing drink tickets early keeps the bidding wars going.  Last year about $8,000 was sent to CARE following the Boomerville CARE Auction.

The CARE patches hung below this Boomer Banner amounted to 36
and that total is now 53 patches with more to come in 2017.



Tomorrow:  "D Stands for ________"


Emily Bloomquist said...

Judy, I am enjoying learning about the RV life from your blog. My husband and I have discussed perhaps buying an RV someday if we leave Ecuador. This post answered questions I never thought to ask. What a great support community. Love all of the photos!

Emily | My Life In Ecuador

Donna B. McNicol said...

CARE is so amazing and it was my fallback plan when I was a solo RVer. I've watched as many of our full-time friends have become part-timers and snowbirds (like us). We all have to put up the keys someday. We met a man on our last cruise who sold it all and had been full-timing for 5 or so years. He planned to never stop. Stu and I exchanged glances. We know better..

DB McNicol, author & traveler
Theme: Oh, the places we will go!

Unknown said...

I have heard of folks full-timing on cruise ships. No cooking and all the services included.
-- Judy Rinehimer (aka "Unknown")

Sonrisa said...

What an wonderful organization! Thanks for sharing. Heidi at, Decibel Memos (Perspectives absent of sound)