Volunteering Works Program Announces 2019 Mentoring and Grant Recipients

WASHINGTON (June 20, 2019) – The National Association of Realtors® and the Good Neighbor Society have announced the recipients of the 11th annual Volunteering Works grants and mentoring program. The program matches Realtors® who work on newer, small-scale charitable efforts with mentors and awards them with funding for their project.

The five Volunteering Works recipients will receive a $1,000 seed grant and a year of one-on-one mentoring from a member of the Good Neighbor Society, composed of past recipients of NAR’s annual Good Neighbor Awards for volunteer service.

“This year’s recipients are committed to addressing needs in their community and have the drive to make a real difference,” says NAR President John Smaby. “The opportunity to work with Good Neighbor mentors will help them grow and improve their nonprofits for years to come, and NAR is proud to support those volunteers by offering mentoring, guidance and funding."

The Volunteering Works recipients were selected based on their devotion to their communities through volunteer work and the potential to improve or expand upon their good with the help of an expert mentor. Their mentors are past winners of the Good Neighbor Awards, the highest honor that NAR awards to Realtors® who are involved in community service.

2018 Volunteering Works mentoring recipient Carl Carter of RE/MAX Elite in North Little Rock, Arkansas, founded the Beverly Carter Foundation to teach safety strategies to Realtors after a man posing as a homebuyer killed his mother. "Volunteering Works has taught me to dream bigger, and has filled me with the confidence and renewed conviction to pursue my mission of making the real estate profession safer," says Carter, who was mentored by 2001 Good Neighbor Ron Phipps. "The mentorship has stretched my vision and creativity to new places."

The 2019 Volunteering Works program was made possible thanks to Wells Fargo Home Mortgage. “Wells Fargo is delighted to join NAR in recognition of the volunteerism and leadership of Realtors® who make a meaningful difference,” said Heidi Vogel, interim executive director of Wells Fargo Foundation housing philanthropy initiatives. “We applaud all the Realtors® engaged in the Volunteering Works program since they directly contribute to the important work nonprofits do in their communities.”

The 2019 recipients of Volunteering Works grants and mentoring are:

Hannah Ensor, RE/MAX Premier Properties, Louisville, Kentucky

In 2017, Hannah Ensor founded Baht Babies, a nonprofit organization that supplies educational materials, medical supplies, and water filters to refugees and displaced persons on the Thailand/Burma border. She will receive guidance from 2018 Good Neighbor Elias Thomas of EXIT Key Real Estate in Shapleigh, Maine, who has led Rotary projects to build dams in India, on how to generate awareness and motivate more people to volunteer.

Michael Hunstad, ABR, e-PRO, CRS, SFR, Broker, Counselor Realty, Anoka, Minnesota

Since 2009, Hunstad has turned a small holiday gift program funded by his local association into Toys for Joy, which ensures thousands of children have gifts under their Christmas tree. Each year, he helps raise $45,000 and spearheads a backpack collection and birthday club for children in need. Hunstad will seek advice from 2017 Good Neighbor Louise McLean of RE/MAX Solutions in Merritt Island, Florida, co-founder of Space Coast REALTORS® Charitable Foundation, on strategic planning, expanding programs, and recruiting volunteers.

Stephanie Mitchum, ABR, Coldwell Banker, Wallace & Wallace, Knoxville, Tennessee

In 2017, Mitchum founded Love & Mercy Ministries to reach homeless inner-city teens. She meets every Monday with 10-25 at-risk teenagers to help them establish personal goals and gain stability. Today, two teens are in college, four have been awarded college scholarships, and two are in rehab. She helped 18 get state IDs and birth certificates so they can seek employment and housing. She will receive guidance from her mentor 2007 Good Neighbor Bert Waugh of Prudential Northwest Properties in Portland, Oregon, founder of Transitional Youth, to recruit mentors and become a more effective ministry.

Candice Payne, 5th Group Realty & Management, Chicago, Illinois

In 2017, Payne’s desire to protect the homeless from plunging temperatures during Chicago’s Polar Vortex led her to rent hotel rooms that housed more than 122 people. That act of kindness resulted in national publicity and an influx of donations that will enable her new nonprofit, Action For a Cause, to turn shipping containers into tiny homes on donated land. She will receive guidance from her mentor, 2017 Good Neighbor Mony Nop of Compass in Danville, California, founder of Mony Nop Foundation and co-founder of Tri-Valley Nonprofit Alliance, on how to build an effective working board of directors.

Alicia Stukes, iGoldenone Realty and Concierge LLC, Upper Marlboro, Maryland

For three years, Stukes, founder and CEO of I’m Bruised But Not Broken LLC, has provided services and resources to victims and survivors of domestic violence in Prince George’s and Anne Arundel counties. Stukes’ goal is to collaborate with other nonprofits to service the entire state of Maryland. She will seek guidance from her mentor, 2015 Good Neighbor Ida Petkus of Keller Williams at the Lakes in Celebration, Florida, founder of Domestic Violence Advocacy Center, to expand the grassroots nonprofit, increase fundraising, and improve community outreach.

To learn more about Volunteering Works or the Good Neighbor Awards, go to www.nar.realtor/gna.

Wells Fargo Home Mortgage offers home loans through the largest network of mortgage locations and bank branches as well as online and by phone. Wells Fargo leads the nation in originating residential mortgages. Working together with its business partners, including Realtors®, Wells Fargo financed one of every nine home loans in 2018 and currently services one of every seven home loans in the United States.

The National Association of Realtors® is America’s largest trade association, representing more than 1.3 million members involved in all aspects of the residential and commercial real estate industries.