It seems the Real Husbands of Loudoun County (RHOLC) never get tired of pitching in when someone needs help in the community. The most recent example was a half-dozen members helping out a family that is sick and tired – literally – of having trash dumped on their property.
Around the first of December, Rhonda Williams of Purcellville posted pictures on Facebook of dozens of junk tires that someone had dumped along the access road to one of the field she farms.
“There were about 200 tires,” Williams said. “It’s not our land but we lease it for farming. It was about noontime because we have two witnesses who saw the vehicle on the side of the road, looking like it was broken down. They were actually scouting for a place to dump their garbage.”
Williams said they have been victimized several times in the 55 years they have been farming in the area. This time, there was a surprising plot twist and a happy ending.
The day after she posted the photos in a Facebook group, she received a phone call from Kevin Wallen. who has been a member of RHOLC since 2014.
“I just kind of took it upon myself to take some action,” Wallen said. “I reached out to the poster and let her know that we had a group of guys willing to come out and clean it up for her.”
Williams said she wanted to wait until the police had checked the scene, and then she happily accepted the offer.
“We were absolutely shocked,” Williams said. “We had no idea somebody would help us out. In the past, we were responsible to clean it up and pay to have it disposed of. The amazing thing was that they did it within a few days. We just feel very blessed.”
Wallen, who is a project manager for Cisco, tapped into the resources of the 7,600-member RHOLC, and quickly had volunteers ready to start hauling tires.
“There were five or six of us who went out and took at least one load – whatever we could fit in the bed or cab of our trucks,” Wallen said. “Abe Gray made three trips, Dave Harris did two trips and Jay Ryan, Stosh Kowalski and I made one trip. Mike Scott, of Pack Rat Hauling, went over with a roll-off dumpster and picked up the last 67 tires.”
The landfill charges $2.50 per tire and $26 for each tire that is still mounted on the rim. Wallen credits Justin Morrow of Undisputed Auto Care for helping keep the costs manageable.
“I have to give a special note to Justin Morrow,” Wallen said. “He said he would take all the tires off the wheels, and he had a recycling firm dispose of the rims. That saved a lot of money.”
Wallen ran a GoFundMe campaign to raise the money to reimburse the volunteers for their landfill fees.
“I did some math and set the GoFundMe at $600,” he said. “I think it ended up raising 615 bucks, so every guy was fully reimbursed, except one guy who said ‘Don’t worry about it.’”
The tire cleanup was the latest example of the evolution of RHOLC. Founded as one of myriad Facebook groups for fellowship and business and social networking, Real Husbands has evolved into a community service organization that steps up when someone is in need.
Other recent examples include seven members collecting and transporting necessities to North Carolina after Hurricane Florence, crews helping a veteran with landscaping when he couldn’t afford to hire a contractor, and raising money to help a family displaced by a fire.
The group’s founder, Suhile Adam Alami, said the tire cleanup project fits with the club’s seven-fold mission for community impact: Brotherhood, Veterans, Human Faith, Patriotism, Family, Community, and Integrity.
“I like to call it a faith-in-humanity community,” Alami said. “The beauty of this is that the administrators or moderators didn’t initiate this. Kevin just saw the posting and the members themselves took the initiative and took action.”
At the group’s monthly networking event in November, Alami announced the formation of the RHOLC Foundation. In addition to helping fund ad hoc projects like the tire cleanup, Alami said the long-term goal calls for the construction and staffing of an RHOLC community outreach center.
“Our main goal is to have an RHOLC building, to be a place for us to partner and collaborate with existing groups, like fighting hunger or homelessness, or for abused women,” Alami said.
For people like Rhonda Williams, RHOLC is already making a positive impact for people in the community who are facing adversity.
“It is such a good feeling to know that somebody cares,” Williams said. “It is a wonderful group, as far as I’m concerned.”1 comment