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Cover story: Realtors deeply involved in communities
Question of the Day
The holidays are a time when generous spirits prevail, and families, individuals and businesses often donate their resources to help others, whether by collecting toys for needy children, feeding hungry people or gathering clothing for wounded service members and their families.
Many Realtors in the Washington area participate in this holiday kindness individually and with their offices and local associations, and many give their time and money in abundance all year to help their communities.
While many Realtors are naturally drawn to issues related to housing problems and many have participated over the years in Habitat for Humanity projects, local Realtors are involved with a broad spectrum of causes and needs, as is evidenced in the following list.
- The Northern Virginia Association of Realtors (NVAR) is a major sponsor of the nonprofit Housing and Community Services of Northern Virginia (HCSNV), which counsels people in housing distress. Jill Landsman, communications and media relations director for NVAR, volunteers as vice chairman at HCSNV.
For the past two years, NVAR has sponsored the Drumstix Dash fundraiser for HCSNV at Burke Lake Park in Fairfax Station, raising money for a housing fund to assist distressed Fairfax County residents so they can receive counseling and support services.
As an organization, NVAR supports Graham Road Elementary School in Falls Church, and at the annual NVAR convention it collects money and groceries to be donated to United Community Ministries service organization.
- The Greater Capital Area Association of Realtors (GCAAR) has a GCAAR Cares committee of members who are dedicated to fundraising and volunteering for a variety of groups in Montgomery County and the District. GCAAR Cares recently donated more than $10,000 to Habitat for Humanity International for building homes in Haiti.
More than 50 GCAAR Realtors participated in Rebuilding Together in 2010 to refurbish two homes in Montgomery County and the District.
Other groups supported by GCAAR include the Affordable Housing Conference and Habitat for Humanity in Montgomery County; Bright Beginnings, the Community Council for the Homeless at Friendship Place, and Manna in the District; the Dwelling Place in Gaithersburg, Md.; the Montgomery Housing Partnership in Silver Spring, Md.; and Places for People in Rockville, Md.
- The Prince George's County Association of Realtors (PGCAR) recently partnered with the county’s Public Safety Assistance Program to raise money to help feed more than 6,000 families in Prince George’s. Realtors not only raised money, which provided boxes of food for families, but also helped organize and pack the food.
PGCAR Realtors volunteered for the Christmas in April project earlier this year, refurbishing a home for a needy Prince George’s County family.
The PGCAR Community Service Committee also presented five Prince George’s County high school seniors with $12,500 in scholarships earlier in 2010.
- One of the most popular charities around the Christmas holiday season is Toys for Tots, and many Realtors’ offices offer their space as designated drop-off points for donated toys. At the Avery-Hess Realtors office in Tysons Corner, the staff has local church and school groups decorate donation boxes for the office. In addition, staff members are organizing pickups of toy donations from other offices to bring them to the Tysons Corner office so more of their branch offices can participate in the toy drive.
The Tysons Corner Avery-Hess also works with St. Jude’s Ranch for Children’s Recycled Card Program, collecting used holiday, birthday and greeting cards for the organization, which helps abused children. The children at St. Jude’s take the front of the cards and recycle them by attaching a new back and then putting a sticker on the back about the environmentally friendly reuse of the cards.
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By Andrew P. Napolitano
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