Hundreds of Realtors® throughout the commonwealth participated in local associations’ annual Realtors® Reach Out events last month. Throughout the month, 25 local associations hosted a variety of programs to benefit charities in their communities, raising nearly $68,550 for those causes as part of PAR’s Realtors® Reach Out event. In addition, associations collected nearly 9,000 pounds of food, packed weekend food backpacks, created Thanksgiving bags and gathered hundreds of coats, hats and gloves for charities.
“Realtors® are dedicated to making the communities they serve a better place for everyone. When I hear about the amazing programs local associations host each year, I’m truly in awe of the impact they have. Realtors® find ways to roll up their sleeves to have a positive influence on their communities,” said PAR President Al Perry.
The Lancaster County Association of Realtors® raised $25,450 for Lancaster’s TLC temporary shelter through fundraising initiatives. The association held its 35th annual TLC Charity Fundraiser and a golf outing to raise monies for the charity that provides temporary housing and services for those experiencing homelessness.
“This year’s success demonstrates not just LCAR’s dedication but the collective strength of our membership,” said Donna Giovingo, LCAR’s Community Partnerships Committee chair. “We stand alongside TLC in their mission to provide shelter, hope and a brighter future to those in need. Our commitment is not just in dollars; it’s in the impact we bring to the lives of our fellow Lancaster residents.”
The Greater Harrisburg Association of Realtors® members participated in five different events held throughout the month at Community Cares, Wildheart Ministries, Family Promise, New Home Ministries and Central Pennsylvania Food Bank.
Laurie Carney, president of GHAR’s Foundation, enjoys working annually at New Hope Ministries where the Realtor® volunteers help organize donations, help with decorations for a Halloween parade, as well as provide outdoor maintenance and planting.
“Our Realtors® Reach Out events provide a great opportunity to work alongside other Realtors® while doing good for the communities we serve. It’s a way to establish good relationships in an informal setting with people you may do business within a future transaction,” Carney said.
A Habitat for Humanity build was the focus for members of the Realtors® Association of Westmoreland, Indiana and Mon Valley last month.
Bob Bustamante, past RAWIM president, said Realtors® worked to install insulation and sheet rock in a new home, along with the grandson of the future homeowner. In addition, Bustamante helped secure a $10,000 grant from Westmoreland Human Services where he serves as a board member.
“Realtors® benefit from the community, so when given an opportunity to give back, we should take advantage of that. Providing people with homeownership opportunities is what we do daily,” Bustamante said. “Our association has done a lot of fundraising for other organizations in the past, but actually contributing in a home build effort rather than just raising dollars makes for a much more meaningful experience.”
Tri-County Suburban Realtors® held its annual coat drive this year to benefit the Boys and Girls Club of Philadelphia. The Boys and Girls Club provides a place of opportunity for thousands of children and teens in southeastern Pennsylvania where they can develop intellectual, social and emotional skills.
“The annual coat drive has been part of the Tri-County Suburban Realtors® for several years,” said TSR Chair Suzanne Kunda. “We can provide a large donation of brand-new coats, hats and gloves to local children in need through the Boys and Girls Club. As Realtors®, we are always searching for ways to help our community as proven by our members’ ongoing participation in this coat drive.”
Despite inclement weather, the Reading-Berks Association of Realtors® held a successful 5K Run for Shelter last month. The association raised $7,445 for Habitat for Humanity and Neighborhood Housing Services.
“The fact that it poured the entire time of our event and about 70 showed up was fantastic,” said RBAR 5K Chair Darren Kostival. “This was our fourth year and it gets better every year with more people involved and more sponsors. We’ve kept it the same weekend and have a great location, so people know when it’s going to be. We welcome everyone to attend and to help raise funds and awareness of these two organizations. We also held an office team competition to encourage more people to come out.”
He continued, “Our association hosts a lot of events to benefit the community, including a food drive this month to benefit Helping Harvest. It’s a great way to become more involved in RBAR and learn about what the association does for members and the community.”
Local associations participating in Realtors® Reach Out include:
- Allegheny Highland Association – participated in the Mountain Lion Backpack Packing Night, a non-profit organization that provides weekend food for elementary students.
- Beaver County Association – Food drive for Salvation Army and school supplies collection for Aliquippa School District.
- Bucks County Association – Thanksgiving food drive for Bucks County Housing Group food pantries.
- Central Susquehanna Valley Board – Held Cards for a Cause event, collecting gift cards to donate to food banks in five counties and collected smoke detectors for local fire companies.
- Clearfield-Jefferson Association – Holding their annual food drive and donating to the local food pantry, food bank and Salvation Army.
- Greater Erie Board – Held annual bingo event raising more than $26,000 for the local fire department.
- Greater Harrisburg Association – Held volunteer events with Community Cares, Wildheart Ministries, Family Promise, New Hope Ministries and Central Pennsylvania Food Bank.
- Greater Lehigh Valley Realtors® – Raised $4,550 during a 100 Realtors® Who Care event to benefit the Kellyn Foundation and the Project Easton Food Pantry.
- Greater Philadelphia Association – The YPN Committee coordinated volunteer efforts at MANNA, where they prepared and packed 3,200 meals for participants.
- Greater Scranton Board – Held a food drive and raised more than $300 for the Breadbasket of Northeastern Pennsylvania.
- Huntingdon County Board – Held a food drive to benefit local food pantries in Huntingdon and Mount Union.
- Lancaster County Association – Held 35th annual TLC fundraiser event including a live auction, cornhole tournament, Halloween costume contest.
- Lawrence County Board – Collected food items for the Family Care Ministry of the City Rescue Mission.
- Lebanon County Association – Held Habitat for Humanity fundraiser.
- Luzerne County Association – Held a food drive for the Holy Family Food Pantry.
- McKean Association – Sponsored Special Olympics Spark Run 5K.
- Pennsylvania Association of Realtors® – Volunteered at the Central Pennsylvania Food Bank.
- Pike-Wayne Association – Held a basket sweepstakes raising more than $2,000 for a local charity which provides bags of food for families in need.
- Reading-Berks Association – Held fourth annual 5K Run for Shelter event, held annual food drive for Helping Harvest.
- Realtors® Association of Metropolitan Pittsburgh – Prepared lunch for 160 individuals through the Daily Bread Feeding Program, prepped for winter at a community garden with the Western Pennsylvania Conservancy and collected hats, gloves, scarves and toiletries for Shepard’s Heart Veterans Home and Light of Life mission.
- Realtors® Association of Westmoreland, Indiana and Mon Valley – Participated in a Habitat for Humanity build.
- Realtors® Association of York and Adams Counties – Sponsored Homeless Outreach Project providing benefit and housing assistance, health screenings, job services.
- Tri-County Suburban Realtors® – Held an annual coat drive for Boys & Girls Club of Philadelphia.
- Washington-Greene Association – Partnered with local City Mission.
- West Branch Valley Association – Association and YPN Committee held a Williamsport Scavenger Hunt and basket sweepstakes and raised $2,650 for the Court Appointed Special Advocates.
- Westmoreland West – Volunteered at the Westmoreland Food Bank and collected food, gift cards and monetary donations for the food bank.