A fundamental belief in our organization is to give, and to give wholeheartedly. With great success comes great opportunity, and we’re genuinely ready and eager to use that opportunity to help those in need. We strive to demonstrate an attitude of selflessness, which has become an essential part of who we are as a company. By giving to those around us, with no hidden agenda, we grow closer with one another while helping the community become a stronger place for all of us to live. We divide our outreach in two directions: the company, including agents and their families; and the community itself.
Our company provides several different events throughout the year where our agents and their families can unite and enjoy time together. During the spring and summer, we put on a friendly, yet very competitive volleyball league. We invite agents and their families to play so that we can get to know one another, especially outside of a working environment. For the fall and winter, we host a ping pong league at our office building. Throughout the year, we throw events such as our chili cook-off, BBQ grill-outs and holiday potlucks. Bounce houses, water balloon fights, pumpkin carvings, face paintings, water slides, and yes, even clowns, are all part of the experience. We want families to feel how much we care and to truly enjoy these events, creating everlasting memories.
This year, we also implemented The Ambassador Care Fund, a very unique form of giving to our agents. This fund was established to help people as they face challenging times, to ease the burdens of current life situations, and to give a lending hand of support as needs arise. For each housing transaction, agents donate $5 and the company matches it dollar for dollar. We raise at least $75,000 each year. This fund ultimately allows us to become more aware of what other agents and staff members are going through, and to not only give with our time and focus, but to provide financial aid, as well.
These company-oriented events have a direct impact on our office, making it a more productive and friendly environment. We believe that by bringing agents together on a more personal level, they’re more willing to share ideas, advice, etc. The bonds that are created benefit everyone and help cultivate an environment that agents are passionate about and proud to be part of.
The second direction of outreach is focused on the community. Every 18 months, we partake in our largest event raising funds for The Sunshine Kids. This charity holds a special place in our hearts because it aims to improve the quality of life for kids with cancer. This past September, we had approximately 2,000 people at our event and raised over $300,000. Most importantly, however, we get to come together for something bigger than ourselves. It takes about five months, five multiple committees, and 100 agent volunteers to organize and plan this special event. We split the committees into food and beverage, fundraising, silent auction, oral auction, and tent set-up. We also invite some of the kids who are a part of the charity to join us and share their stories and appreciation, so that all guests can understand what we do and why we do it.
Another charity that we help on an ongoing basis is a local homeless shelter here in Omaha called The Open Door Mission. Every month, we have agents volunteer to serve dinner to those in need, and every holiday season, we gather over 100 agents, including their families, to help bag toys and box holiday meals.
Being a part of both company and community events has united us as a group and has established a positive work culture. By being a part of something bigger than ourselves, and always having the attitude of giving—whether that be of our time, our attention or our finances—we’ve created a way to bond with each other as agents, as neighbors, and as friends. We understand that with our successes, we have amazing opportunities to give to those less fortunate, and with those opportunities, we strive to make a difference.
Vince Leisey is the president of Berkshire Hathaway HomeServices Ambassador Real Estate. Share your culture-building ideas with Vince at firstname.lastname@example.org.
For more information, please visit www.bhhsamb.com.
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