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Elemntary age children at the art center working on a creative project.REALTORS® have always been huge supporters of their communities. Now, in an effort to help build even stronger community connections, the National Association of REALTORS® is joining forces with Boys & Girls Clubs of America (BGCA), the premier youth-serving organization in the U.S.

Each year, nearly four million kids call Boys & Girls Clubs their “home away from home,” particularly after school and during the summer. With more than 4,100 Clubs located across the U.S. and on military bases around the world, there are Boys & Girls Clubs in every state and practically every community, just like REALTORS®. Sharing your time and resources with a Club can have a significant impact—on the Club, the kids they serve, and even you.

NAR President Tom Salomone, broker/owner of Real Estate II Inc. in Coral Springs, Fla., has long been a supporter of the program. “BGCA has been close to my heart for many years, and I am very excited that REALTORS® will be partnering with their local Clubs and offering their time and resources to make a difference in the lives of their communities’ children,” Salomone says. “Every REALTOR® knows building strong communities is an important part of the job, and working with BGCA allows us the chance to contribute meaningfully to the lives of children in the neighborhoods we help to create.”

How to Get Involved
It’s easy to get involved with a local Club—either as an individual, or a brokerage firm. First, check with your REALTOR® Association to see if any initiatives are already planned on the state or local level. If not, contact your local Boys & Girls Club director to begin a dialogue about specific Club needs and the resources you can provide. You can donate your time by tutoring kids, becoming a coach, teaching a skill like knitting or volunteering on the Club’s board of directors, to name a few. You can also mobilize your agents to provide resources and volunteerism efforts as a brokerage firm, perhaps by organizing a back-to-school supply drive, hosting a clean-up day at the Club or hosting a holiday party for the Club kids to meet Santa. Each Club’s needs are unique, and there are many ways to get involved. Find the Club nearest you by visiting www.realtor.org/BGCA.

Monetary donations are also welcome. We ask that if you choose to make a donation to please send it to the national BGCA organization, rather than sending it to your local Club directly. You’ll still be able to direct your donation dollars to the local Club(s) of your choice. This way, BGCA and NAR can track contributions and successes. More information about donations is posted at www.REALTOR.org/BGCA.

With your help, we can all make a difference in the lives of so many special kids in our communities. View the site and success stories for inspiration, review the toolkit and then get involved with your local Boys & Girls Club to learn how you can make a difference today.

Clubs have had a huge impact on those who have volunteered. Past REALTOR® volunteers couldn’t agree more:

“I love volunteering because it reaches kids that aren’t necessarily being reached. I often take time to read to them, even dressing up in character from time to time. The kids love the extra adult attention.” – Ruth Briggs King

“Volunteering at a Club is such a simple thing. Just by being there and spending time with someone, you might spark something in them. You never know who is watching you. Taking 5-10 minutes to talk to someone might change their outlook on something. As simple as that is, it impacts their life.” – Jim Hamilton

“The biggest impact the Club has had on me is knowing that it is a safe place for the kids, and provides a positive influence for them. This is an important part of what the Clubs do. They are exposed to a great amount of the world by the volunteers who spend time with them.” – Brian Thompson

For more information, visit www.REALTOR.org/BGCA.

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