Volunteering Works: 2011 Recipients

A mentor can be the key to helping someone navigate the early stages of any new endeavor. Volunteering Works recipients benefit from experienced mentors to teach them the ropes.

For the third year, REALTOR® Magazine and the Good Neighbor Society have announced five new grant Volunteering Works recipients. Each of the honorees has turned their passion for helping others into action and is making a remarkable difference in their communities.

Through Volunteering Works, these five REALTORS® will be given a $1,000 grant to support their volunteering efforts. For one year, these five rising stars will be matched with a past Good Neighbor Award winner who will serve as their mentor.

One of last year’s recipients, Sarah J. Sorenson, of Whale’s Tail Realty Inc. in Kahului, Hawaii, attended the Good Neighbor Networking Meeting during the 2010 REALTOR® Conference & Expo in New Orleans. “What I found valuable was hearing about how each of the Good Neighbors got started with their cause, what they did to grow it, and their fundraising efforts,” Sorenson said. “I realized we were all in the same boat trying to bring in money so we can do more for our charity.” 

Sorenson benefitted from the guidance of her mentor, 2008 Good Neighbor Awards Honorable Mention Victor Kee of Pete Anderson Realty Inc., of Astoria, Ore., who helped her find ways to recruit volunteers and enhance communication with teachers and students.

The program is funded by The Stuart & Jill Siegel Charitable Foundation.

The five 2011 Volunteering Works recipients are:

Rosemary Dutter of American Dwellings, in Beloit, Wisc., started the Dutter House to help relieve parents from constant care responsibilities for children with disabilities by offering specialized child care. A former teacher with a passion for children, Dutter bought a house and recruited volunteer caregivers to provide respite care for parents of children with special needs. Since 2009, The Dutter House has served 40 families. Working with her mentor, 2010 Good Neighbor Winner David Philp, CRS, GRI, of Coldwell Banker Burnet in Chaska, Minn., a 25-year volunteer for the Ridgeview Foundation, Dutter will seek guidance on raising funds to build a handicap-accessible playground and pay off the $114,000 mortgage on the house.

Joy Lynch, CRS, SFR, of Northeast Signature Properties, in Piscataway, N.J., co-founded Just 4 Women Inc. to support women who have experienced abandonment, domestic violence, and sexual or substance abuse. Support ranges from painting and furnishing an apartment for a homeless mother to providing Christmas gifts for children whose single mother is unemployed. Lynch will seek guidance of her mentor, 2008 Good Neighbor Winner Lei Barry, ABR, CRS, of Keller Williams Real Estate in Blue Bell, Penn., on developing a strict budget and implementing an effective fundraising plan.

Robert H. Patterson, ABR, CRS, GRI, ePRO, broker of The Bob Patterson Group, in Hamilton, Ga., chairs The Ferst Foundation for Child Literacy of Childhood Literacy/Harris County. Since 2007, Patterson has promoted early literacy by providing a free hardcover book each month to children in Harris County (population 30,000) from birth to five years old. Currently, 60 percent of the county’s children receive books. Patterson will work with his mentor, 2010 Good Neighbor Winner Joe Perry of RE/MAX-Gold in Clovis, Calif., and founder of Boys2Men Girls2Women, on ways to reach the other 40 percent of parents an convince them to sign up for this free program.

Casey Stallone, of Prudential Utah Elite Real Estate, in Orem, Utah, helps fathers after divorce with counseling and resources to help them rebuild a healthy working family. In 2008, Stallone, a divorced mother, founded Our Legacy Vision to help change lives of fathers and their children helping them find essentials like furniture, bedding, appliances and dishes to create a loving home environment for their children. Stallone will seek guidance from her mentor, 2010 Good Neighbor Cathie McGregor Critchlow, GRI, PMN, of the Franklin Group in Morgan, Utah, and founder of The Women’s Retreat House, to build a stronger network of men to help each other and to complete the process of obtaining 501c3 nonprofit status.

Marc Takacs, ABR, of Keller Williams Atlanta Midtown, in Atlanta, Ga., is fighting to keep long-time resident seniors who are on fixed incomes from losing their homes as a result of repairs. As a founding board member of Neighbors in Need-East Atlanta Village, Takacs has helped 25 people stay in their homes by making emergency home repairs, such as fixing leaky roofs. Takacs will seek guidance from his mentor, 2010 Good Neighbor Honorable Mention winner Joe Rempson, T.R. Lawing Realty Inc., Charlotte, N.C. and founder of REALTORS® Care Day, on how to replicate this program in other neighborhoods.