While the holidays are known as a time for giving, real estate professionals give back to their fellow REALTORS® and the community all year long. These are just a few of their stories:
Natally Fisher, REALTOR®, The Pure Integrity Homes Team, RE/MAX Preferred, Wisconsin
"We hold a cocoa bar toy drive to help our community in the holiday giving spirit. Additionally, we help set up and sort toys for the Toys for Tots distribution. The Pure Integrity Homes Team is dedicated to our community. We host several events throughout the year and will be really expanding our charity work for 2019. A few items that we do annually are the food drive at our community fall festival that we host, personal hygiene drives for local food pantries, college scholarships, as well as volunteer hours and financial donations to other events."
Celia Robertson, Managing Broker/Owner, House 2 Home Realty, Illinois
"Our mission, along with selling real estate, is giving back to the community in which we live. I am proud to say each one of our wonderful brokers has a charity they have freely chosen to donate to. A portion of every commission check they receive goes to this charity and House 2 Home adds an additional broker donation. Along with commissions, we host a Kentucky Derby Party with proceeds going to The Veteran Honor Flight. We have an annual yard sale that gives to St. Jude and Shriners. Our biggest event this year was a raffle, through which we gave away a $1,000 Visa gift card. In turn, this raised $7,500 to feed the local food pantries. We are very excited that in 2018, we have given over $21,000 in donations back to our communities. We call this our 'We Care, We Share' mission."
Lucy Oliveira, Agent, Realty ONE Group Summit, California
"I've helped the community this holiday season by participating in food drives and in the Big Brothers & Big Sisters Holiday Angels program supporting a child's Christmas wish list."
Shawna Parsons, REALTOR®, Cornerstone Real Estate, Utah
"I helped coordinate a day of service in my small town near where my brokerage is located. We got about 20 volunteers to sew and tie quilts for children in poverty who live in the city near us. In eight hours, we completed 38 quilts. It was amazing!"
Jeff Como, REALTOR® and Secretary of the Orleans County Board of REALTORS®, RE/MAX All Seasons Realty, Vermont
"Our REALTOR® organization hosts an auction every year on the first Thursday of December to raise money for the Department of Children and Families (DCF) and fuel assistance for the elderly and food banks in Orleans County. This year, we raised $10,000! DCF received $5,000, and the fuel assistance program and food banks received $2,500 each! In the summer each year, we have a separate golf tournament to raise money for student scholarships."
Laury Gardner, Founder and Operating Partner, Living Down South Realty, Georgia and South Carolina
"We just launched our company in August; the other operating partners and I were racking our brains about what to give our agents for Christmas. We opted to make a $25 donation to charities we know they favor in their honor. Charities included a local animal rescue, Habitat for Humanity, a local Humane Society, the American Cancer Society and the Alzheimer's Association."
Jenn D'Elia, REALTOR® Associate and Office Manager, Samsel & Associates Real Estate Services, New Jersey
"My office works as a team to work in our community. We donate to several purse bingos and tricky trays for the different schools in our surrounding towns. We sponsor a baseball team and a football team. The biggest charity we are involved with is Relay for Life, an American Cancer Society walk. We have a team of walkers and host several fundraisers throughout the year. I am on the Board for the Rahway Relay for Life—something I am very passionate about and was able to get my broker to help and have his full support. I lost several family members to cancer, so these organizations are really close to my heart."
Eric Sommerton, REALTOR®, Team Bailie, Downing-Frye Realty, Inc., Florida
"I've donated nearly 400 hours per year over the last seven years to the local office of The Sunshine Kids in Naples, Fla. I donated services including graphic design of nearly all prints and online promotional materials and social media promotions, as well as created monthly newsletters designed to promote fundraising activities for the Kids. Locally, I've held several fundraising events for children with cancer. I create the invitations for these events and disseminate them among audiences. The Sunshine Kids is an amazing organization that helps children being treated with cancer—and their families—enjoy themselves at amazing events designed to elevate the throes of their situation. Eighty-five percent of funds raised goes directly to the Sunshine Kids programs."
Joe Torres, REALTOR®, Berkshire Hathaway HomeServices CW Real Estate, Washington
"It was a heartwarming experience to be able to show my kids what it means and looks like to give back. It's important to me to not only talk about giving, but to actually do it. We impacted lives by this—children, parents, families. We need to take care of our communities," said Torres of a food collection campaign he participated in with Berkshire Hathaway HomeServices to help fight hunger for local families.
Brandon Sweeney, REALTOR®, RE/MAX Insight, Massachusetts
"I started the nonprofit 'MS is BS Dracut Inc' four years ago, before becoming a real estate agent. My organization has given out six $1,000 grants to multiple sclerosis patients in the last week [at press time], and our goal is to hit 10 grants by the end of 2018. Each and every one of these individuals has a story and have been overwhelmed with joy and happiness! Spread the positivity you wish to see in the world!"
REALTORS®, share some of your other stories of charitable giving below!