I Know it Mattered......

By
Services for Real Estate Pros with Referral Group Incorporated

Earlier this year I was in Cuba. I have been to many third world countries but this was different. The people have come to either give up or work extraordinarily hard for next to nothing. Yes, everyone knows the old cars, but there is so much more. The building while once beautiful are crumbling from lack of attention, and no money to a attend to the deterioration. The reality is that only 50% of the people work and those who do earn an average of $10.00 a month. For professional people like Doctors the average is about $15.00. No matter who you are you get your food from from an assigned  bodega in your neighborhood with a government issued coupon book. These places look largely like road side stands we have here at home but with far less. There are pharmacies but they have almost nothing. Your prescriptions are useless if the store has no drugs to dispense. The irony is that the number one export in Cuba is pharmaceutical and yet the people who live there just go without.

So while I didn't know the extent of the poverty until I got there, I did bring things to leave. I brought a case of toothbrushes and small toothpaste I got from my dentist at home. I brought soap and hand cream, shampoo and band-aids. I knew I would visit a senior center and a children's day care place but as soon as I arrived it was clear the need was everywhere.

We were advised to leave our tips in the hotel daily, as it was possible that different people would work on different days. The first night there I left the equivalent of about $3.00 and a few toothbrushes, toothpaste hand cream and soap. When I returned to my room, I found the following note:

I can't remember when a small gesture touched me so deeply. Needless to say on each successive day, I left more and more until the last day when I left all the country currency I had left and the remainder of the things I brought to give away. 

When I came home I was sorry I didn't bring more to leave but hopefully others will. Being mindful of how lucky I am in my own life was never more apparent to me. So now when I travel, I think about what I can do to make a difference for someone else who by virtue of their birth, enjoys very little. Paying it forward, not just at home, but on holiday.

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When you think about real estate, it is time to focus. I have helped people for close to thirty years in all areas, and made the process not only simple but enjoyable. Why should you go it alone or settle for less? Call me and find a partner to help, direct and get you where you want to be.

Sheila Anderson

The Real Estate Whisperer...... Consultant, Trainer, Facilitator 732-715-1133

 

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  1. Roy Kelley 12/24/2016 05:56 PM
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Rainmaker
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Sheila Anderson
Referral Group Incorporated - East Brunswick, NJ
The Real Estate Whisperer Who Listens 732-715-1133

Hello Dick. We are of the same mind. Thank you.       Sheila

Nov 09, 2016 05:38 AM #98
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Steven Beam
RE/MAX Alliance - Parker Colorado Real Estate. - Parker, CO
Parker Colorado Real Estate

Interesting. I bet most Americans have no idea how bad the coditions are in Cuba. Great idea to bring items to give.

Nov 09, 2016 01:45 PM #99
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Praful Thakkar
eXp Realty - Andover, MA
Andover, MA: Andover Luxury Homes For Sale

Sheila Anderson - believe me, every bit matters to these people.

(I should share  the stories from my India trip - some day....)

Nov 09, 2016 01:54 PM #100
Rainmaker
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Sheila Anderson
Referral Group Incorporated - East Brunswick, NJ
The Real Estate Whisperer Who Listens 732-715-1133

Thank you Steven.       Sheila

Nov 09, 2016 08:14 PM #101
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Sham Reddy
H E R Realty, Dayton, OH - Dayton, OH
CRS

Great story!!!

Being mindful of how lucky I am in my own life was never more apparent to me. So now when I travel, I think about what I can do to make a difference for someone else who by virtue of their birth, enjoys very little. Paying it forward, not just at home, but on holiday.

Nov 09, 2016 08:29 PM #102
Rainmaker
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Sheila Anderson
Referral Group Incorporated - East Brunswick, NJ
The Real Estate Whisperer Who Listens 732-715-1133

Thank you Praful. I do get it and remember my good fortune everywhere I go. TY             Sheila

Nov 09, 2016 08:35 PM #103
Rainmaker
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Sheila Anderson
Referral Group Incorporated - East Brunswick, NJ
The Real Estate Whisperer Who Listens 732-715-1133

Exactly Sham. TY      Sheila

Nov 09, 2016 08:36 PM #104
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Marco Giancola
Beachfront Realty - Miami Beach, FL
Realtor (305)608-1922, Miami Beach Florida

Hi Sheila-congrats on the feature and message. You know I don't have to say anything else

Nov 09, 2016 09:26 PM #105
Rainmaker
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Sheila Anderson
Referral Group Incorporated - East Brunswick, NJ
The Real Estate Whisperer Who Listens 732-715-1133

Thank you Marco and I do know.     Sheila

Nov 09, 2016 11:26 PM #106
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Lynn B. Friedman
Atlanta Homes ODAT Realty Call/Text 404-939-2727 Buckhead - Midtown - Westside -- and more ... - Atlanta, GA
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Sheila Anderson 
The photo of the man at the dumpster is a reminder of one of my dominant memories from Cuba. Was on a humanitarian mission* - bringing medicine to a free pharmacy was a required part of the trip. Watched a man in his 60's walking down the street, picking up food scraps, partially eaten chicken bones, etc,, from the gutter.

The people were very gracious and welcoming but their lives were so difficult. It was very disconcerting to see the situation.

What we read in the Cuban "press" releases isn't what one sees there.
All the best - Lynn

*Happy to discuss more if you or someone else if interested. L.

Nov 10, 2016 03:43 AM #107
Rainmaker
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Sheila Anderson
Referral Group Incorporated - East Brunswick, NJ
The Real Estate Whisperer Who Listens 732-715-1133

Hi Lynn. I too was on a humanitarian trip and it was sooooo sad. There were bright spots like the barber who worked hard and opened both a senior center and a childcare center. Both were very special. It is hard there too. Thanks for stopping by.       Sheila

Nov 10, 2016 08:46 AM #108
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Kimo Jarrett
WikiWiki Realty - Huntington Beach, CA
Pro Lifestyle Solutions

God Bless you for your compassion and giving, yet, there are millions of Americans who are in poverty and living out of dumpsters. While the Cubans can't change their government, Americans can, so, hopefully with new political leadership, we'll see tremendous improvement in reducing or eliminating the poverty in America. Great post.

Nov 13, 2016 02:38 PM #109
Rainmaker
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Sheila Anderson
Referral Group Incorporated - East Brunswick, NJ
The Real Estate Whisperer Who Listens 732-715-1133

  Thank you Kimo. I do what I can where ever I can. I have no faith in the so called new leadership.

Nov 14, 2016 03:09 AM #110
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Beth Atalay
Cam Realty and Property Management - Clermont, FL
Cam Realty of Clermont FL

Sheila Anderson, we have so much to be grateful for, thank you for sharing. 

Nov 14, 2016 09:47 AM #111
Rainmaker
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Sheila Anderson
Referral Group Incorporated - East Brunswick, NJ
The Real Estate Whisperer Who Listens 732-715-1133

Thank you Beth.      Sheila

Nov 15, 2016 12:15 AM #112
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Michelle Carr-Crowe-Top 1% Diamond Certified Real Estate Team Sells Cupertino San Jose Homes-Just Call 408-252-8900
Get Results Team...Just Call (408) 252-8900! - San Jose, CA
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Wow, that is a powerful experience you shared about Cuba and poverty.

Dec 24, 2016 06:11 PM #113
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Fred Griffin
Fred Griffin Real Estate - Tallahassee, FL
Licensed Florida Real Estate Broker

     My aunt and uncle (in Fort Lauderdale) told me they used to go to Havana on weekends, for the entertainment.  Then came "The Revolution", and those days were over.

    As Gloria Estefan said (paraphrased), it is difficult to celebrate the death of someone - unless that person is Fidel Castro, and the destructive ideology that he brought to that once great country.

 

 

Dec 24, 2016 06:49 PM #114
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Lise Howe
Keller Williams Capital Properties - Washington, DC
Assoc. Broker and Attorney Licensed in DC, MD, VA,

Hopefully some day the Cuban people will be able to enjoy the lifestyle that they should have available to them and come into the 21st century

Sep 07, 2017 05:18 AM #115
Rainmaker
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Sheila Anderson
Referral Group Incorporated - East Brunswick, NJ
The Real Estate Whisperer Who Listens 732-715-1133

Thanks Michelle.     Sheila

Sep 07, 2017 05:54 AM #116
Rainmaker
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Sheila Anderson
Referral Group Incorporated - East Brunswick, NJ
The Real Estate Whisperer Who Listens 732-715-1133

Hi Lise. I hope so too. TY     Sheila

Sep 07, 2017 05:56 AM #117
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