Motorhome Chapter Spotlight | Family Motor Coach Association
By George Myers, L2014S
Family Motor Coaching magazine, January 2013
Over the years, many FMCA members have joined together to help charities that provide assistance to people outside of FMCA. The Friends of Angel Bus chapter is one of those groups. However, instead of raising money, we volunteer our time and the use of our motorhomes through the Angel Bus program to help those in need.
Most of our chapter members are registered volunteers for Angel Bus. As one of the transportation-related charities under Mercy Medical Airlift (MMA), Angel Bus identifies financially needy individuals who require help getting to or from distant medical facilities where they can receive what is often lifesaving specialized medical treatment. A registered Angel Bus driver can then respond to the request and volunteer to conduct the mission.
The missions are carried out without any charge to the patient or any compensation for the driver. Patients must be ambulatory, so your motorhome does not need to be modified in any way to accept these missions.
Bill Connor, an FMCA member, created the original Angel Bus organization. He passed away in 2008, and his wife turned the organization over to Mercy Medical Airlift in 2009. Because the folks at Mercy Medical Airlift are airplane people, not motorhome enthusiasts, they didn't know how to find volunteer motorhome owners who would be willing to help others the way the volunteer aircraft owners do in Angel Flight Mid-Atlantic (another one of their medical transportation-related charities). That's where the Friends of Angel Bus came in. We formed a chapter to spread the word about Angel Bus and to share our experiences in helping others. We have meetings, participate in chapter fairs, and get together socially at FMCA Family Reunions, as well as some area rallies. However, our “Friends of Angel Bus Newsletter,” where we share what we learn, is our main activity.
Two articles about Angel Bus have appeared in Family Motor Coaching magazine. They are “Driving To Make A Difference,” May 2002, and “Angel Bus: From Home To Hope ,” April 2010. Both are available for FMCA members to read at www.FMCmagazine.com.