If you’re wondering where I’ll be Thursday…
“From what we get, we can make a living; what we give, however, makes a life.” ~ Arthur Ashe
I love when people ask me if I like working for Keller Williams. It is something that I’m passionate about and who doesn’t love to talk about their passions? (Okay, the G-rated passions, here people!) I could go on and on for days about what a great company KW is and what their greatness has meant for me as a small business owner, Realtor, individual, Mom and wife but in the favor of time I am focusing on one of those reasons today: Giving back.
Once a year Keller Williams worldwide puts their entire business on “pause” to give back to the communities that we live in. A whole company. Worldwide. Giving back. Are you with me here? That’s a big deal! (For those of you mentally discounting this, Keller Williams also does year-round giving back with grants & donations with not only national tragedies but personal circumstances within our company’s agents, teams and offices so we aren’t a one-trick pony here when it comes to giving back.)
We call this day, Red Day. Renew, Energize, Donate. Each year on the second Thursday in May we celebrate Keller Williams Realty’s year-round commitment to improving our local communities. By devoting our time to renewing and energizing our local communities, we participate in a wide-range of activities from rehabbing houses, updating local shelters, helping to revitalize public parks and helping Meals on Wheels participants with home maintenance that they’re no longer able to do.
We don’t just volunteer ourselves either. We spend each year raising money to help fund these projects for people and non-profits who otherwise wouldn’t be able to reinvest in themselves or their efforts.
This event is just one of the many aspects of our company culture. If you’ve worked with a Keller Williams associate before, you can testify about how we run our daily businesses but our company culture doesn’t just end there. We put this culture and way of thinking on the forefront of our personal lives too and it becomes a passion that we care deeply for.
As Mark Ozman, associate with the Indianapolis/Carmel market center, wrote:
“RED Day isn’t about cleaning up a park. It is a one-day expression of what happens 24/7 in the Keller Williams culture. It is seeing a need, discovering who can meet that need and then getting it done.”
View some of the success stories from around the country here:
In 2011, we learned that there is no local shelter in our area to keep families together, and there are over 1800 homeless children in our county alone. Last year “60 Minutes” did a story on this tragic situation including Pathways to Home, which places homeless families and children of Seminole County in a house. Pathways also help these families get back on their feet through education and job opportunities.
So many people at our Market Center were touched by the cause that we decided to partner with the organization for Red Day 2011. So, last May 12, we set up a home for a family of 10 who had been separated in shelters for many months–two parents and eight children aging from two to 16. The house is a 3/2, 1200 square-foot home with an added room on the back, no garage and a nice yard.
As you can imagine, many weeks of preparation and planning took place to make this happen. Our agents reached out for donations–money, furniture, food, cloths, etc. We went to many stores and small businesses asking for support. And, it was amazing to see it all came together with donations of time and materials.
To see over 40 agents and volunteers come together to put up a fence, furnish the home, stock the cabinets with food and supplies, install blinds and landscape with almost 100-percent donated goods was an amazing experience.
The finished project is a happy family in a beautiful home. And, it is hard not to cry every time we watch the video of the family coming together to see their new home for the first time.
But, our project does not end here! We have committed to helping this organization throughout the year to get other families into homes as well. We are currently working on three more homes, setting up furniture, getting donations, supplying food and reaching out for help from our local business owners. There will be many more stories and memories to share and our agents are looking forward to making a difference in the lives of these local families.
Red Day is not just one day in May for us, but an ongoing effort to reach out and help others in need.
RED Day News
Kids Come First in Doylestown
Children ruled Red Day 2011 in Doylestown, Penn., as the Bucks County Central Market Center galloped onto Rainbow Ridge Farm. The farm, a non-profit program, that provides individualized equine related therapeutic activities to children with physical, developmental, social and emotional disabilities, was in need of some sprucing and general maintenance, noted Committee-Member Eileen Smith. “Over 35 participants showed up at 8:30a.m. to paint, clean and fix barns, garage doors, jumps, kitchens and more.”
Though the day was challenging, Eileen said Red Day draws a crowd and holds a special place in her heart every year. “Giving back to the community we service and knowing that you are impacting the lives of those in need in a good way is priceless.”
This year, Bucks County Central will be back on the Red Day saddle, but its focus will be Veterans. “In light of all who served during the Iraq/Afghanistan War, we are using this Red Day to say thank you in a special way,” Eileen explained. Keep your eye peeled for more specifics as May 10 draws nearer.
RED Day News
West Haven looks to Trump Red Day 2011 by Making it Green
The West Haven Market Center in Northern Florida is turning Red Day 2012 Green. Aiming to top the 50-plus participants who literally gave sweat, blood and time at last year’s event, West Haven is teaming with the Green Bag Project to hit the pavement and get local homeless children fed and off the streets.
“This year we are really looking forward to making our efforts bigger and better,” says Holly Nilges-Spivey. And, they’re literally planning to talk the talk and walk the walk.
“We will be hitting the streets handing out recycled green grocery bags throughout the neighborhood and asking the community to fill them with groceries to donate to the Green Bag Project,” Nilges-Spivey explains. West Haven hopes to grow awareness, educate and improve a less-than-desirable reality through face-to-face interactions and special-made fliers. And, all proceeds and food will go to local children in the community.
According to Nilges-Spivey, the team is consolidating its resources this year into one large project, as opposed to last year’s three – Habitat for Humanity home build, local blood drive and a bowl-a-thon to raise money for KW Cares. “It’s always nice to pull everyone in the office together for one great cause. And, by combining forces we will be able to make a larger impact and help more of our neighbors.”
Keep an eye on West Haven Market Center’s Facebook page for KW Cares stories that inspire the group to do more.
A Look Back at RED Day 2011: KW Referred Realty in Toronto Paints the Town RED!
On Thursday May 12, 2011, associates with Keller Williams Referred Realty celebrated RED Day by helping two local charitable organizations: Wychwood Open Door and Humewood House. Wychwood Open Door has been providing homeless and socially isolated people with guidance, food, friendship and support since 1986, and operates out of St. Matthews United Church. On RED Day, Keller Williams Referred Realty associates and friends painted St. Matthews kitchen and dining hall to provide a clean and welcoming environment for those who frequent the space. Humewood House is a Young Parenting Resource Centre, which offers young moms and soon to be moms residential services, life skills training, childcare, education and counseling. RED Day volunteers painted, cleaned and gardened at Humewood House to make the gardens and buildings beautiful for the young moms and babies that come to the Parenting Resource Centre for help.