The Butler County Association of Realtors® recently partnered with the Butler County Human Services and the Butler County Housing Authority to offer a program called “Stand Down: A Hand UP…Not a Hand Out,” which provided services to homeless veterans, service members and community members in need in this month.
Realtors® donated their time serving meals, distributing food and clothing items, handing out hygiene kits and providing assistance with free medical screenings. In addition, Realtors® conducted a drive to collect clothing, shoes and hygiene products for distribution at the program.
Funding for a portion of project was made possible by a Century of Service grant from the Pennsylvania Association of Realtors®. PAR’s Century of Service grants allow local Realtor® organizations to help make a difference in their communities during the state association’s 100th anniversary.
BCAR President Ron Huber said the program has been happening for several years, but the association had never participated with it in the past. “A member of our board of directors brought it to our attention and we decided it would be a good program to work with,” he said.
“The Century of Service grant was a great help for them and allowed them to provide more services this year,” Huber added. “They said attendance was down a little, but they still saw nearly 150 people.”
The program also had business and healthcare partners provide food, clothing, hygiene items and haircuts, serve lunch and deliver flu shots.
“It was a humbling experience,” Huber said. “We often forget that there are people in need in our own communities, especially with the pandemic this year. It was a wonderful opportunity for Realtors® to give back.”
This 35-year tradition started when the association learned that the Berks Encore’s Meals on Wheels program offered meals every day of the year, with the exception of Thanksgiving and Christmas. Realtors® stepped in to cook and deliver meals on this holiday and have continued to do so.