The Good Neighbor Awards recognize REALTORSŪ who've made an extraordinary commitment to improving the quality of life in their communities through volunteer work. Five winners will receive $10,000 grants for their cause. The 2009 deadline will be May 22.
2008 Good Neighbor Finalists Announced
Want to Give to the Good Neighbor Award Winners' Organizations?
All of the Good Neighbor winners and honorable mentions serve organizations that depend on contributions to keep doing good. Here you'll find summaries of their activities and their charities' contact information. Please feel free to contact them directly to make a contribution or to get advice on starting your own community outreach efforts.
2005 Good Neighbor Award Winners
David C. Forward
107 Taunton Blvd.
Medford, NJ 08055
International Children's Aid Foundation
14 W. Lake Ave.
Medford, NJ 08055-3207
Fourteen years ago, Forward founded the International Children’s Aid Foundation, which currently supports more than 200 orphans in Romania. ICAF built and operates its own orphanage, Casa Emanuel, which the Romanian government has called “the finest childcare facility in the country” and also assists state-run orphanages through early childhood education programs. ICAF provides job-training and life skills classes for teenage street kids and orphans who will be released from state care at age 18. Forward has escorted more than 60 volunteer trips to Romania since 1991, often bringing doctors, dentists, physical therapists, and teachers to apply their skills to the crushing needs of Romania’s orphans. He personally raised 50 percent of ICAF’s annual $180,000 budget, set up a dental clinic open to the entire town, and opened a printing business to provide jobs to some of the orphans as they enter adulthood. Howard G. Freeman
Freeman Realty, Inc.
2622 N.W. 43rd Street, Suite C-1
Gainesville, FL 32606
Since his daughter, Bonnie, was diagnosed with leukemia, Freeman has raised money to support research on preventing, treating, and curing cancer in children. He founded STOP! Children’s Cancer in 1981, and has since raised more than $2 million to fund research and purchase equipment for the divisions of Pediatric Hematology/Oncology, Pediatric Neuro-oncology, and the Brain Institute at the University of Florida College of Medicine. Freeman raised more than $350,000 in 2004 alone. In 2003, STOP! committed $100,000 a year for 10 years to fund additional research grant applications and has built up a $600,000 legacy fund to fund pediatric cancer research in perpetuity. Today, more than 80 percent of children diagnosed with acute lymphocytic leukemia, the disease that killed Bonnie, are cured. Greg Garrett
Greg Garrett Realty.com
11864 Canon Blvd., Suite 103
Newport News, VA 23606
e-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org www.greggarrettrealty.com
Garrett founded Orphan Helpers to support children in orphanages and detention centers around the world. Currently working at 12 orphanages in El Salvador and Honduras, the organization provides food, shelter, education, and hope to more than 1,000 children. Orphan Helpers hires teachers and caregivers—who often outnumber government-provided staff by three to one—as well as donates food, clothing, books and toys. The group also partners with local churches and even the military to build, repair and upgrade facilities. Garrett has led 14 trips of volunteers and donors to the orphanages and has helped raise more than $1 million since 2000. The organization will be expanding into Nicaragua and Guatemala in 2006. Carole E. Sharp
Coldwell Banker Neuhaus Real Estate
301 West Main St.
Staunton, IL 62088
e-mail: email@example.com www.cbneuhaus.com
Staunton Food Pantry
506 S. Maple St.
Staunton, IL 62088
Sharp runs the Staunton Food Pantry, which serves more than 60 families a month, up from 15 when she started eight years ago. Unlike larger communities, this town of 5,000 people outside of St. Louis has few national charities for support. Nevertheless, the Staunton Food Pantry has become a model charity in an area where other food pantries have failed. Except for weekly food distributions, Sharp handles the entire operation by herself. She applies for grants and secures corporate sponsors, writes articles for local papers, sorts and inspects all food donations, stocks the shelves—often shopping for needed items herself—and plans food drives through schools, scout troops and churches year round instead of focusing on the traditional holiday season. Sharp acknowledges every donation with a handwritten personal thank-you note. Ouida Spencer
RE/MAX Executives, Inc.
3350 Northlake Parkway
Atlanta, GA 30345
For more than 25 years, Spencer has actively volunteered with the United Cerebral Palsy of Georgia, which serves people with developmental disabilities also including Down syndrome, spina bifida, mental retardation, epilepsy and autism. During her tenure, UCP, which has an annual budget of more than $17.5 million, has grown from serving 100 people in Atlanta to providing daily services to more than 1,000 individuals in Georgia and the Carolinas. Spencer, UCP’s current chair, is a tireless advocate for housing rights of the disabled, traveling throughout the region to identify suitable single-family homes where three or four adults will be able to live full lives with the help of UCP care providers. She raised more than $100,000 last year, and has helped establish six day-habilitation locations, which provide life skills training, dexterity therapy, job training and employment mentoring. 2005 Honorable Mentions
Esarey took a leave of absence from her real estate career to travel to Banda Aceh, Indonesia, for two months to help the victims of the Dec. 26 tsunami. A former nurse in the U.S. Navy, Esarey worked with nurses and general contractors to set up make-shift medical clinics to treat victims of the disaster and its aftermath. Through her church, the Fort Caroline Christian Church, and the Jacksonville community, Esarey raised $28,000 to purchase medicine and medical equipment and 12 sets of playground equipment for the children living in camps for displaced people. Marla S. Johnson, GRI
Maryland Real Estate Group, Inc.
2762 Lynn St.
Frederick, MD 21704
Johnson is president of Spectrum Support Inc., which supports hundreds of people with developmental disabilities such as mental retardation, autism, and cerebral palsy, 60 percent of whom also suffer from psychiatric disorders like schizophrenia, bi-polar disorder, or depression. In the 15 years Johnson has served on the board, Spectrum Support has provided day habilitation, housing, employment opportunities, and family support in Maryland and Tennessee. Under Johnson’s direction, the agency has grown in one year from an annual budget of $4 million to nearly $6 million and has begun a residential program that currently houses 26 people. Pam Kiker, CRS
The Kiker Team, Keller Williams Realty DTC
6300 South Syracuse Way, Suite 150
Englewood, CO 80111
Tel: 303/771-7500 x287
e-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org www.denvermove.com
Kiker is chair of The Adoption Exchange—an organization that recruits families to adopt children who are school-age, have disabilities or have survived abuse and neglect—where she has volunteered for 15 years. The Adoption Exchange, which has placed 431 children since 2004, spends approximately $2,500 to place each child, compared with $20,000 per year it estimates it costs taxpayers for each child in state care. Kiker was the driving force behind establishing the organization’s post-adoptive services program, which trains caseworkers and supports new parents with education, childcare services, and small grants to cover unexpected expenses—with the goal of reducing the number of failed adoptions. Robert Thomson
Waterfront Properties and Club Communities
825 Parkway Plaza, Suite 108
Jupiter, FL 33477
Fax: 561/575-0174 email@example.com www.waterfront-properties.com
After years of supporting children’s causes, Thomson founded Charities for Children in 2004 to provide holiday gifts and other support to poor children through churches, schools, and social service agencies. He donated 28,000 toys last year alone and made donations to such causes as Juvenile Diabetes Research Foundation and the American Cancer Society. Thomson recently donated 120 bicycles to a church toy drive, but when 275 children showed up, he quickly purchased 155 more bikes then found volunteers to assemble them in two days and deliver them to the children. Norma K. "Jeanne" Williams-Livesay
William E. Wood & Associates
3237 Western Branch Blvd.
Chesapeake, VA 23321
Portsmouth Volunteers for the Homeless, Inc.
1020 High St.
Portsmouth, VA 23704
Fax: 757/399-0200 PVHInc@verizon.net
Williams-Livesay coordinates 57 churches to provide shelter and meals to the homeless from November to April for Portsmouth Volunteers for the Homeless Inc. She recruits host churches to house anywhere from 25 to 105 homeless men and women and also provides overnight chaperones and supplies. It can be a complicated task, since churches may be willing to take anywhere from two nights to 10 during the 170 nights of the cold season. Williams-Livesay also finds support churches or local companies to plan, prepare and serve each night’s hot meal. Some guests stay in the shelter only for a short time until they get back on their feet; others are elderly or mentally disabled and will use the services for many years.