I was talking with someone in ActiveRain about our February"give back"challenge. I said that we did not expect a huge turnout for this challenge....points should not be the motivation. If you missed that post and your invitation to give back...click here...you have the whole month of February to figure out how your year long giving "present"will be present in your community.
Thoughts are easy...one time is easy...the regularity of giving back sometimes slips off the calendar...not intentionally...it is that life gets in the way. My Mom used to say..."The good you learn at Mother's knee, the bad at other joints." She and my Dad were outstanding examples to me of what giving back means...not as a one time thing..not just writing a check...but participating in the whole concept. Every year my Mom and my Aunt set a goal for how many pairs of mittens they would knit..never less than a hundred. They would have field trips to pick out yarn and go to breakfast or lunch and then knit till their arthritic hands needed a rest.
There was a weekly trip to St. Ben's, an inner city food program where they served a meal, helped the children and disabled with trays, etc. My Dad would go to the bakeries and fill the trunk with rolls, desserts, loaves of bread and off they went to do what they could to help. They also recruited friends and made a "night of it". Over 90,000 meals a year are served at this facility all done with the generous help of community volunteers.
There was never anyone they knew who got sick, lost a loved one, had a new baby, had family visit for an extended stay...that there was not a meal, home made bread, cinnamon rolls ...some home made something delivered to them. Hence, we try to have elements of meals (frozen made meat balls, etc,) ready for the needs of our friends and neighbors as well. Thank you ...next door neighbors before the crack of dawn plowed our drive and shoveled our walk...Busketti was your reward ...a Mom's knee kind of "come from contribution" lesson.
At the end of every year and as the new year starts, we evaluate our charitable giving and time/efforts and the organizations that we work with...and sometimes revise the list...change what we do add and subtract. This was one such year. The holidays are always the time of year when you see collections for meals at grocery stores and some other retailers. Hunger doesn't know a season...so we thought about what we could do regularly that was "accountable"to address this issue. Regardless of where you live...how much your "house is worth"...we will guarantee you that not far away there is a food pantry or shelter that could benefit from your generousity.
We began by going to our title company and asking them if they would help us "give the food a ride" to the local food pantry. Yes of course, 1st Service Title is always there to help us...and was happy to give a hand out to the community. We talked to the food pantry ...they wanted canned pasta with meat...some source of protein that was both child and adult friendly eating. Ahhh...the generous folks at Aldi added to the cases of pasta with meatballs that were purchased.
OK...that works for "right now" and how do we begin to do this regularly and accountably. Our practice is largely niche based and not geographic in terms of our regular marketing. This year we added another dimension to our regular marketing. Our subdivision has "come of age." While we have been fortunate to list and sell homes in our 110 homes in the subdivision of Country Estates in New Berlin, the turnover due to the ages of the homes and families in them, to this point, has been very infrequent...some years with no homes for sale at all. We also have a smaller neighboring subdivision of Nicolet Woods with just 24 homes. Statistics would say...these homes will begin to sell. While some of these people are already on our snail mail newsletter list...we now have another list that is mailed to these two subdivisions with different copy directed specifically to these areas in addition to other information. These envelopes are RED unlike the other traditional PURPLE ones. Soooo in the new red envelopes we announced that every third Tuesday, we would pick up canned goods ..pasta/protein or one of their choice at their mailbox with a text to us at : 414 628 7259 0r Drop an email to: Sally@HansonRealEstate.Net. It will take a while for people more people to remember to do it...put it in their "phone calendar" on their computer...scribble it on the wall calendar...but we are hopeful that the numbers will build AND the reminder will be a part of every newsletter we send to this two sub division group. It is about ...giving back....we ALL can...it doesn't have to take a ton of time...or cost a bushel of money...it does have to be a priority in your head....and your heart...Just DO IT...we know you can.
This has been a "Lead from Contribution" example for the Give Back to the community effort from Sally K. & David L. Hanson, Broker Associates who are honored to be serving southeastern Wisconsin for all things real estate.