Following the lead of the National Association of REALTORS®, local associations are focusing their charity efforts on the Boys & Girls Clubs of America in 2016. NAR announced its collaboration with the youth development organization during the 2015 REALTORS® Conference & Expo in November in San Diego and plans to organize a yearlong push for local involvement.
“BGCA has been close to my heart for many years, and as I begin my NAR presidential term, I am very excited that REALTORS® will be partnering with their local clubs and offering their time and resources to make a difference in the lives of their communities’ children,” said NAR President Tom Salomone, broker-owner of Real Estate II Inc. in Coral Springs, Fla. “Every REALTOR® knows building strong communities is an important part of the job, and working with BGCA allows us to contribute meaningfully to the lives of children in the neighborhoods we help to create.”
In December, the South Metro Denver REALTOR® Association dropped off nearly $7,000 worth of toys at the Boys & Girls Clubs of Metro Denver (pictured below). Association members donated the funds and association staff and volunteers bought the toys. It was the association’s first time working with the local BGCA.
Some local REALTOR® associations have partnered with BGCA for years. The Amarillo Association of REALTORS® in Texas has organized a “Cookies With Santa” event for a local elementary school for the past six years. “The kids come to our office to play games, work on crafts, eat pizza and cookies, and visit with Santa, who also gives them a small gift,” says Denise Price. “I just love seeing the excitement on the children’s faces when Santa walks in to the room. It’s also our staff’s favorite event. Seeing the dedication of the club staff has such an impact on me. They truly love their job and the children they care for.”
Every local Boys & Girls Club has specific needs, so associations and their members can work with their local club to determine the best way to volunteer and offer resources to have the greatest effect. Activities could include planning a cleanup day for the club, sponsoring a holiday-themed party, and offering tutoring assistance or hosting a career day for teenagers. Associations participating in the BGCA partnership may be able to meet either their community involvement or community investment requirements under NAR’s Organizational Alignment/Core Standards policy.
“My association partners with our local Dollar Tree store to collect donations to be used to make Easter baskets for five local clubs,” says Beth Tutwiler-McGuire, AE of the Morgan County Association of REALTORS®, Ala. In 2015, the association collected enough items to make 300 baskets and deliver them to the clubs. “Seeing the joy on the kids’ faces really makes our day,” she says.
Members, too, are encouraged to get involved with their local BGCA on their own. Opportunities include coaching the sports league, volunteering as an after-school tutor, and even hosting a career day for teens and their parents who may be interested in being a REALTOR® one day.
NAR has created an easy-to-follow tool kit for associations, members, and consumers on how to get involved with their local BGCA at nar.realtor/BGCA. For associations, NAR offers materials to promote member involvement, including ready-to-download web ads (pictured right) and banners, press releases, videos, and photos.