My 14 Day Challenge to Make a Difference in your Community

By
Services for Real Estate Pros

I just got back from a week off from the Thanksgiving holiday -- I went up to "snow country" to visit with my 3 children in college. When I got home I had a handful of ActiveRain emails requesting more information about my Food Drive in a previous (11/8/2010) ActiveRain article titled: Pay It Forward - How I Helped My Local Food Bank (and got some good publicity too!)

I have a complete "Done For You" package almost ready that will give you the same success in your community, (more on this later) but first let me give you an update on this years food drive.

A quick recap on the project: A 2 sided flyer is stapled to a brown grocery bag and passed out to your local community or farm area. The goal is to collect food or toy donations to your local charity or food bank. The flyer has a "sales" message on one side explaining the food/toy drive project. The second side has a suggested shopping list of food or toy items. Flyers and bags are passed out on one weekend and food and/or toys are collected the following weekend.

I talked to the local food bank and my son's scout troop -- they were ready and willing to help with the project again this year. I contacted a local grocery store and bought the bags from them at their cost, saving me a few bucks and giving them some promotion. We met twice and stapled the 5,000 flyers to the 5,000 bags! I bundled the bags in 250's to keep them straight and make it easier to pass out with maps. (thanks google maps!)

We passed out the bags on November 13th with the flyer stating that we would return on November 20th to pick up any food donations. Wow - Starting on Sunday afternoon, and all throughout the week, I started receiving phone calls thanking me for doing this project! I fielded over 50 positive phone calls from people that wanted to reassure me that their food basket was going to be out on the porch. Eh, I only had one negative phone call from a guy that though we "littered" when we placed the grocery bag & flyer on his doorstep - oh well, can't please everyone!!

Much to our dismay, Saturday the 20th it was raining! We met early and I had doughnuts and juice for the kids. We split up with maps in hand and collected what food and toys that were out there. Once the final donation bags were in, we collected a total of 7,000 pounds (3 1/2 tons) of food! It was a rainy day success!!

Now here's the good part. This is totally do-able in your community!

If you have a farm area of 500 or 5,000 homes, this is a good project that will:
1. Develop good will in your community (with your name attached)
2. Get your name out there in a positive, "non-sales" way
3. Help your favorite local charity (there are a bunch of them that need the help this time of year!)
4. Get some free publicity - Submit a press release to the local newspaper before and after about your project and watch them jump on it! Take your flip cam or video camera and let a kid shoot some pictures and videos of the process and post it on YouTube!

So here is the scoop.....

I challenge everyone here on ActiveRain to a "14 Day Challenge to Make a Difference" in your Community.

I have my local graphics girl and web designer working overtime to prepare a complete "done for you" package. All you have to do is insert your name, phone number and local charities information in the documents and press print. Take the masters to the copy machine or local print shop, get some grocery bags and you are ready to go.

Here's what the package will include:
1. The food drive 2 sided flyer - formatted and ready to go in a MS word .doc format. There are areas for you to edit and insert your information. It's an easy project.
2. A second flyer, "Adopt a Child Toy Drive" that promotes a toy drive. It's Christmas time and there are a lot of charities that are in need of toys this year. You can staple one or both on your bag!
3. Pre-written press release that you can submit to your local newspaper. One that tells the readers about your food/toy drive and one that tells of your success. Both are easily editable and a snap to submit.
4. A follow up farming package that includes:
- "Thank You Card" - I have my all of the scouts sign it, and it has a link to my web page where they can check out the pictures and read more.
- "Christmas Wish List" note pad - Insert your photo and other information and take it to your printer
- All stuffed in a smaller poly door hanger bag
5. A schedule that helps you plan and get everything ready in time.
6. A short video that explains each of the steps to make your project a success, and a yearly repeat event!!

My design team tells me that everything will be ready for you to grab on Friday evening. This is a proven project that will generate phone calls and publicity that I have decided to give to all ActiveRain members as a freebie. If you take action and follow the simple steps you will make a difference in your community and jump start your business for the coming year! If you decide to NOT take action, you will be missing out on your chance to "Pay It Forward".

Daily updates to follow!

 

 

 

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As a Real Estate Agent, my main focus is helping others learn how to market themselves and their properties using online and offline methods, thus increasing sales.

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Rainmaker
670,411
CA COASTAL ESTATES Lauren Selinsky Perez CRS
California Coastal Estates - Aliso Viejo, CA
"Your Real Estate Broker" #oclauren

Great job Jeffrey... I really like giving back and gathering my community to get involved ;) It's so important~!

Dec 01, 2010 08:25 PM #1
Ambassador
1,265,709
Susan Emo
Sotheby's International Realty Canada - Brokerage - Kingston, ON
Kingston and the 1000 Islands Area

Fantastic results!  I would love to give this a try and see what results we could get too.  Thanks so muh!

Dec 01, 2010 08:32 PM #2
Rainer
407,272
Randy Ostrander
Lake and Lodge Realty LLC - Big Rapids, MI
Real Estate Broker, Serving Big Rapids and West Central MI

Amazing the amount of need these days in almost every community. Good job finding a way you could help.

Dec 01, 2010 08:51 PM #3
Rainmaker
407,823
Cameron Novak
The Homefinding Center - Corona, CA
Featured Corona Real Estate Agent Team

That is a great idea and something people can do just about everywhere.  Thanks for the boost.

I've decided that if you provide us with information as specified and my office generates any business from the exposure... The Homefinding Center will make a donation to your scout group.

Dec 01, 2010 09:28 PM #4
Rainer
118,516
Noah Levy
Coldwell Banker - Highland Park, IL
Coldwell Banker Highland Park IL

What a nice to give back to the community and people who are in need ~ look forward to seeing your package ~ thanks for sharing.

Dec 01, 2010 10:37 PM #5
Rainer
33,057
Jeffery Newton
Redlands, CA

@Lauren - Getting out in the community is a great idea.  Getting the community to rally around you and different projects you host is key!

@Susan - Every RE agent that I have coached, that has taken action on this, has had excellent feedback from the community! (and it has been a great source of referrals too!)

@Randy - There IS a great need this year.  I would hate to see a family not have a nice dinner around the holidays or a child without a Christmas present.

@Cameron - Keep an eye out on my blog Friday evening -- my designers look like they are on track to have the package completed.  It's all fill in the blank and easy to tweak to fit your needs. If your team wants to take action on this, just remember the 2 key items: The 2 Press Releases and farming the Thank You Card & Notepads - follow up is critical.  I look forward to seeing your success!

@Noah - The response that I have heard from the community has been comments like this. "We really wanted to help out, but wanted to keep it local. Thanks for letting us help."  "Thank you for doing this, I am taking my kids shopping for food and toys to teach them how to give. We'll have food and toys for 4 children. Our address is....make sure you remember us!"

One heart wrenching note stuffed in a bag with a few canned food items read, "I am sorry I could not provide more, I too have been out of work from December of last year until just 2 weeks ago. I did find a few items that I hope can be put to good use by someone.  May God bless you for what you are doing."

Some times the ones to give the most, are people that have hit a hard spot in life and are now in a better position to give.

Dec 02, 2010 04:15 AM #6
Rainmaker
356,176
Lynda White
Bluegrass Homes & Farms Realty, Agent Know How - Louisville, KY
Admin. Mgr., Keller Williams Realty

That is a fantastic idea! Here in our neighborhood the Thanksgiving and Christmas food donations are generous and last sometimes into January, but after that, donations slow down...I think I'll do it then!

Thanks so much, Jeffery.

Dec 21, 2010 01:43 AM #7
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