REALTORSÂ®Â not only help people realize their dream of homeownership, they also volunteer countless hours to help improve the communities in which they live and work. For seven years, REALTORÂ® Magazineâ€™s Good Neighbor Society has helped RealtorsÂ® broaden and shape their charitable efforts through the Volunteering Works grant and mentoring program. The program, which matches expert mentors to RealtorsÂ® who are looking to expand and improve their community service outreach, is seeking entries through February 27, 2015.
â€śREALTORSÂ® lead the way to neighborhood revitalization and work to make our communities better places to live,â€ť says National Association of RealtorsÂ®Â President Chris Polychron, executive broker of 1st Choice Realty in Hot Springs, Arkansas. â€śThrough the Volunteering Works program, we recognize REALTORSÂ® who are trying to make a difference and support them through guidance and funding.â€ť
The Good Neighbor Society is seeking applications from REALTORSÂ® who work on small-scale charitable efforts with growth potential. Five Volunteering Works recipients will benefit from a year of one-on-one mentoring from a member of the Good Neighbor Society and a $1,000 grant to be used as seed money to help implement improvements in their community program. The Good Neighbor Society is comprised of past recipients of REALTORÂ® Magazineâ€™s Good Neighbor Awards, which recognizes outstanding achievement in community service.
Volunteering Works recipients are selected based on their dedication to their community through volunteer work and the potential for their charitable work to be expanded or improved with the help of an expert mentor. Ideal candidates have been active in charity work, can identify specific challenges they would like to address with the help of a mentor, and have specific goals for the future of their community service project. Applicants must be NAR members.
â€śThe Volunteering Works recipients benefit from their mentorâ€™s years of experience and wisdom as they have faced and conquered the challenges of starting and growing a charitable project,â€ť says Victor Kee, Good Neighbor Society Advisory Council Chair, 2008 Good Neighbor Awards recipient and a former mentor. â€śThis program is an opportunity for REALTORSÂ® to work together to help make positive changes in their community.â€ť
2014 Volunteering Works recipient Laneta Goings says the Volunteering Works experience has benefitted her charity in many ways; the $1,000 grant enabled her to update her charityâ€™s website and to receive matching funds to buy Books 4 Buddies bookplates.
â€śThe challenges of running a nonprofit often seem insurmountable; however, talking to my mentor and other RealtorÂ®-volunteers has been invigorating and inspiring,â€ť says Goings, a REALTORSÂ® with Welles Bowen REALTORSÂ® in Maumee, Ohio. â€śBeing a Volunteering Works recipient will help Books 4 Buddies for years to come.â€ť
The Good Neighbor Awards winners, who mentor the Volunteering Works recipients, on average spend more than 20 hours a week on volunteer work and have built and led some of the most effective charitable organizations in the country. Since 2000, there have been more than 150 winners and honorable mentions of the Good Neighbor Awards.
Volunteering Works is funded by The Stuart & Jill Siegel Charitable Foundation.
For more information, visit www.realtor.org.