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Arizona family stops in Huntersville to lend a hand

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Isabella Bartolucci - ibartolucci@charlotteobserver.com
The Murset family is driving across the country doing household chores for families in need on Tuesday, July 15, 2014.

HUNTERSVILLE Sierra Murset is traveling large swaths of the country this summer with her parents and five siblings in the family RV. Yet it’s been anything but a summer-vacation sightseeing tour.

“It’s all service,” Sierra, 15, said when her family pulled into the Gilead Ridge community in north Mecklenburg County on Tuesday afternoon.

The Mursets unloaded shovels and rakes, hedge trimmer, leaf blower and Squeegees and went to work at the home of the Dang family, who lost their son Carter, 3, to neuroblastoma this year.

The visit gave mom Ann Dang a chance to host a neighborhood bake sale at the community clubhouse Tuesday to raise money to fight pediatric cancers.

“Working Across America,” the big lettering on the side of the Mursets’ RV says. “Kids doing jobs for charity.”

The Arizona family is making 25 stops in various states to do chores for families who have lost children to cancer and other diseases or whose kids are battling life-threatening afflictions. They raise money and awareness for such national charities as Cookies For Kids’ Cancer and the Leukemia & Lymphoma and National MPS societies. (MPS, or mucopolysaccharidoses, and related metabolic, genetic diseases are caused by the body’s inability to produce specific enzymes.)

They’ve appeared on the national “Fox News Rising” and “Good Morning America” shows.

Gregg Murset, 40, is a certified financial planner who said he hopes his children, ages 7 to 16, learn responsibility and the importance of serving those in need. He learned of the Dang family through Cookies For Kids’ Cancer.

Murset also developed the free MyJobChart.com app where parents can list chores and set up bank accounts for children and pay them a penny a point for completing a chore. The site generates revenue from banks with whom accounts are started.

“Paper charts on the refrigerator are not cool anymore,” Murset said.

He started the site 3 1/2 years ago, and it now has 725,000 members.

The Mursets left their home in Phoenix on June 29 and return July 22, the day before school resumes there. They’ve stopped in such cities as Albuquerque, Denver and Detroit and next head to Atlanta.

They drove to North Carolina on Tuesday from Richmond, Va. Before heading to Huntersville, they did chores Tuesday morning at the home of a family in the Wake County community of Holly Springs.

“It think it’s so phenomenal that they take their pleasure time to do this,” Ann Klein of Holly Springs said.

Her 22-year-old daughter has an MPS-related condition, and Klein said she and her husband have had only two or three hours of sleep each night while caring for her.

“For this family to help us catch up was a really big deal,” Klein said.

In Huntersville, Adam Murset, 11, mowed the Dang family’s lawn. Spencer Murset, 9, washed windows and ran the leaf blower.

Sierra pulled weeds and did other gardening work. “It’s opened my eyes,” Sierra said of the tour, during which the only sightseeing has been at the White House.

“It’s really helped me to see how to help struggling families.”

It’s also convinced her to enter the field of medicine.

Marusak: 704-358-5067; Twitter: @jmarusak
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