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Valley family trades summer vacation to help others

PHOENIX — A Valley family is spending the summer crammed in a recreational vehicle heading across the country, but it’s no summer vacation.

“There’s very little sightseeing other than the view out the window of the RV,” Gregg Murset said.

Murset, his wife and six kids have been on a cross-country journey taking time to help those in need rather than helping themselves to a vacation. The family is making stops in 20 cities around the country over the course of six weeks, visiting homes and families in need and helping them with chores.

On Thursday, Murset said the family was in the Bronx borough of New York City helping to paint the house of a woman whose son has autism.

“It’s such a great experience to be able to go into these homes and within an hour or two of serving somebody, you really start to love them,” he said. “Our kids become friends with their kids and something is accomplished, grass is mowed, wood is stacked, walls are painted.”

Murset said the goal of the trip was to help others, but also to teach his kids, which range in age from 7 to 16, some valuable life lessons.

For the past three and a half years, Murset has been running Valley-based website, a site that “provides opportunities for kids to work, manage time and money, while practicing accountability, responsibility and problem solving,” according to the website.

“I literally created it for our six kids and now we’ve got 725,000 members,” Murset. “It’s been crazy that way, but it’s just simply evidence that parents care about this stuff. They care about teaching their kids work ethic and how to be smart with their money.”

He said this trip is just an extension of the lessons he’s tried to teach them all along.

“I think the message is, the next generation needs to understand the world is bigger than they are,” he said. “They need to understand work ethic and really see how when you get a work ethic, and when you can do these kinds of things for other people, it’s totally rewarding.”

With all the hard work and tight quarters, Murset said it hasn’t always been easy, but his family has been enjoying the experience.

“It’s pretty hard to jam eight people in an RV and go 6,500 miles over almost a month,” he said. “Talk about a situation where you could start getting on each another’s nerves, but they’ve been pretty good (and) I’m pretty impressed.”

The trip has already taken the family to places such as Denver, Chicago, and Detroit so far.

Murset said they are about half-way through their trip and the next stop is Philadelphia on Saturday.