Seventeen Associations Sponsor Realtors® Reach Out Activities in October

By Kim Shindle | Nov. 23, 2020 | 4 min. read

Realtor® associations across the commonwealth found creative ways to volunteer in their communities for Realtors® Reach Out month in October – despite the challenging circumstances this year.

Over the past 13 years, more than 17,000 Realtors® have participated in Realtors® Reach Out. PAR started the initiative to highlight how Realtors® give back to their communities. Collectively, Realtors® and their local associations have raised more than $580,000 and collected 54,600 pounds of food, as well as thousands of meals and coats for charitable organizations throughout the state.

The Realtors® Association of Metropolitan Pittsburgh sponsored several volunteer activities in October.

This year, one of the projects coordinated by RAMP’s Community Service Committee was working with the Western PA Conservancy to help plant roadside community flower gardens that decorate heavily-traveled streets. Realtors® planted two gardens in the spring and in October, they cleaned one huge flower garden for the winter by pulling the annuals out of the ground and clearing the landscaping fabric and irrigation hosing.

“We always have fun when we’re volunteering together,” said Emily Platts, a co-chair of the committee. “I feel like we forget how much we have and take for granted when we have food and shelter. There are a lot of people who are less fortunate, especially this year, and it feels good to give back.”

In addition, RAMP members volunteered at the Light of Life Rescue Mission donation center, sorting and folding donated clothing.

“Light of Life is an outreach program for people in need, providing food, clothing and toiletries with donations collected throughout Pittsburgh. People are able to shop there at no cost for needed items. It’s a great resource,” Michelle Senko, another co-chair of RAMP’s committee, said. “I really enjoy giving back to my community. In a year like this one, we’ve seen so many needs come to the surface. It feels good to help better our community as a whole.”

Realtors® from the Greater Harrisburg Association also held several events last month. They cleaned a homeless shelter, distributed food to youth and their families, assembled Thanksgiving food bags and assisted in stocking a food pantry.

GHAR Foundation Vice President Danielle Wadsworth said, “I always enjoy our Realtor® Reach Out activities because it’s an opportunity to learn about a local organization, what they do, who they serve and their needs. Everyone from the organizations is always so grateful and usually impressed with our work ethic and how much we accomplish in a few hours. And it’s great to spend a few hours with fellow Realtors® while also volunteering.”

“I really can’t overstate the importance of Realtors® being visible in the community. Giving back not only helps the reputation of the profession but is an opportunity for us to help people in the most selfless way. The fact that the Realtor® organization organizes and provides the opportunity to volunteer is such a blessing. All we have to do is show up,” she added.

Other associations holding Realtors® Reach Out events include:

    • Bucks County – Held a virtual Thanksgiving food drive.
    • Cambria Somerset – Cleaned gravestones and installed veterans memorial.
    • Central Susquehanna Valley – Collected grocery gift cards to be distributed to seven area food banks throughout the five-county area.
    • Clearfield Jefferson – Sponsored a food drive for local food pantries.
    • Fayette – Collected items for Fayette Friends of Animals, collected toiletries for Beechwood Court residents and collected cases of water for the Salvation Army.
    • Greater Harrisburg – Cleaned a homeless shelter, distributed food to youth and their families, helped assemble Thanksgiving food bags and assisted in stocking a food pantry.
    • Greater Lehigh Valley – Held a charitable drive to benefit Valley Youth House.
    • Luzerne County – Collected food to benefit the Holy Family Parrish Food Pantry.
    • Montgomery County – Held a coat drive and gift card collection to benefit Family Services of Montgomery County.
    • Pen-Mar Regional – Held a school supply drive and fundraiser for Children in Need, Inc.
    • Pennsylvania Association of Realtors® – Held a virtual food drive for the Central Pennsylvania Food Bank.
    • Reading-Berks – Held sixth annual food drive to benefit the Helping Harvest Food Bank.
    • Realtors® Association of Metro. Pittsburgh – Worked with the Light of Life Rescue Mission donation center.
    • Realtors® Association of York and Adams Counties – Sponsored a virtual 5K for RAYAC Foundation to benefit local charities and volunteered for food distribution at the York County Food Bank.
    • Suburban West – Held a coat drive and gift card collection to benefit Family Services of Montgomery County.
    • Washington Green – Partnered with 412/724 Food Rescue  to find a way to distribute items to food-insecure people.
    • West Branch – Conducted four food drives four local pantries in two counties.

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