Categories: Habitat Happenings, Volunteer, Habitat Tucson

Graham W: RV Care-a-vanner Volunteer

“The modular wall panel concept is the way of the future for all construction,” Graham Welbourn, RV Care-a-vanner volunteer, says.


RV Care-a-vanners are volunteers who travel from throughout North America to various Habitat affiliates, bringing with them their significant passion, skill, and enthusiasm. Only recently, with the opening of the CHUCK Center, did Habitat Tucson establish the necessary infrastructure to support the arrival of our very first RV Care-a-vanner: Graham.  

Graham travelled to Tucson all the way from Canada just to volunteer with Habitat Tucson!  

Graham has been retired for 6 years and enjoys woodworking as a hobby. He finds joy in using his hands to build things that last and jokes about making a lot of saw dust. Graham can make everything from furniture for his home, to canoes for fun. When there was no more room for furniture or canoes, he started doing odd jobs or building things for friends and family. He says, “They pay for materials, and I tell them I like red wine and whiskey and we leave it at that. I just enjoy building things.” In his free time, he likes RV’ing, sunshine, and being outdoors. 

4 years ago, Graham’s wife attended a Habitat build. She came home and said, “This would be great for you, Graham!” So, he started researching it and accidentally found the RV Care-a-vanner program, and thought, “That would be kind of neat!”  

A retired Olympic swimmer, Graham went to college at ASU on a swim scholarship and has loved the desert Southwest ever since. Now, Graham visits Quartzsite every year and thought it would be fun to join a Habitat build in the Southwest. 

So, last winter he went over to Las Cruces, NM following his visit to Quartzsite and participated in his first Habitat Build. At the end of the build, he knew he wanted to do it again and inquired if there was anything closer to Arizona. Someone had mentioned Tucson, so he kept an ear and eye out for it. He quickly found out about the CHUCK Center and wanted to check it out. 

Obviously, it’s too cold to build outside in Canada in the winter, so it felt like the right time to make his goal of visiting Habitat Tucson come true. 

Graham arrived in Tucson at the end of January and has been making fast friends with our volunteers and crew. He tells us he loves it because he’s doing exactly what he wants to be doing. After a long corporate career, Graham feels gratified to now be able to build something with his hands. He enjoys building with Habitat and loves how it attracts like-minded people. “Everyone is there to build because they want to be, they enjoy it. I like that, there’s a lot of enthusiasm among the volunteers here.”   

RV Care-a-vanners 

Make a difference in the lives of those in need of decent, affordable housing by participating in RV Care-A-Vanner building projects in partnership with local Habitats across North America. These local Habitats benefit from the significant skills, energy and enthusiasm of the RV Care-A-Vanners, who in just two weeks can substantially accelerate their building program and raise the community’s awareness of Habitat’s work.  


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