SAN DIEGO — Van rental companies are banding together to offer free vacations to essential workers who are working through the coronavirus pandemic to keep others safe.
"Road Trips for the Rock Stars" is an initiative undertaken by rental companies in California, Colorado, Oregon, Washington and Canada. The companies have contributed to offer 500 free nights of camper van rentals to essential workers.
The funds were all made available through donations — both monetary or through others booking their own trips.
It started when Deborah Kane, founder of GoCamp , noticed a wave of cancellations in March when the pandemic hit.
"She was having customers cancel who were also nurses and doctors who had planned these trips and were now having to go work the front lines," said Derek Mason, the co-founder of VanCraft in Oceanside, California.
The program is accepting nominations for the free trips through the end of May. According to Mason, "first responders, EMTs, nurses, doctors, anyone who is working on the frontlines," are eligible for a trip.
Then there will be a voting period from June 1 through June 20 to determine who gets the free trips.
Those with the most nominations will be announced on June 20 and can redeem their trip anytime before 2022.
Mason said he's glad there is a way for them to help.
"What I really want to say but I don't know if it will translate well is thanks for showing up, because we're here safe at home while they're on the front lines and risking their health and their livelihood, so thank you for that," he said.
This story was originally published by Cassie Carlisle on KGTV in San Diego.