Charity Begins at Home

By Beacon Staff

When it comes to community involvement, not many organizations can boast the varied participation that NMAR, Northwest Montana Association of Realtors, can. The Realtors and their affiliate membership is close to 700 strong. If individual’s voices could be heard, each would have a pet cause, a charity of choice so to speak. With such universal enthusiasm, it became evident to leadership that a foundation should be created – a solitary, yet collective, voice to designate the areas that NMAR could donate collected funds annually. So, with the birth of the NMAR Charitable Foundation in 2012, all voices now can be heard and the local charities will all have an opportunity to receive the Realtor community’s support. A true testimonial to stewardship.

The liaison between the Foundation, the Realtors and the public is known as NMAR’s PR committee. This tireless group is responsible for planning and orchestrating every fundraising and community event that the Realtors host. Every season, NMAR is working behind the scenes, raising money on behalf of its members in a spirit of community outreach. Enjoying one of our area’s resources, golf courses, Realtors each summer host a tournament that raises thousands of dollars for the local food banks and a small army of deserving special needs children. The 10th annual tournament was hosted this past Friday and true to form the NMAR membership was out in force. Themes have varied over the past decade, but one thing is con sistent – amazing sponsors and dedicated Realtors come together to ensure that 300 plus children have memorable and joyous holidays. The proceeds are split and half is donated in cash to the local food banks. A true “it takes a village” approach.

Local communities are well aware of the Realtors’ fall fundraising event. Neighborhoods throughout the valley are canvassed door to door, and bags are disbursed to collect non-perishable food items. The Realtors are joined by a dedicated group of affiliates: lenders, bankers, escrow professionals, appraisers and home inspectors, to name a few, to retrieve the parcels a few days later and donate close to 20,000 pounds of food annually. It is the outstanding generosity of our residents and community members that make this event so successful. A true testimonial to neighbors supporting each other.

As the winter and holidays approach, the need to foster our children becomes primary and our Association bands together to do one, year end, financial push. As an Association we have to be collecting all year for our Child Development Center (CDC) children, but it never seems to be enough. All of the real estate companies and agencies, large and small, band together to assure that every child in this valley has a reason to celebrate the joyous season. The way our membership comes together is inspiring. As monies are collected, there is an advocate, Leslie, who receives these donations and uses them to individually purchase and wrap gifts for each and every child. We also have Realtors that dress as Santa’s Elves and deliver these specifically chosen items. Santa’s helpers don’t stop there. Going from company to company, they collect cash donations to assist in spreading Christmas cheer. A true labor of love.

Being a member of the PR committee, it is impossible not to hear of the good works of the Realtors within our community. Most would prefer to donate their time without recognition or fanfare. A married team of Realtors organizes “Christmas At Our House” each year. Realtors create Christmas in the Canyon for a myriad of children each winter. Realtors and our affiliate members sit on various nonprofit boards around the Valley and outlying areas, including Glacier National Park. They are also valued members of civic boards and committees that help direct the development of our area. It is a purposeful outreach into the communities and neighborhoods that they help create. A true desire to give back.

Realtors become involved in real estate because of an interest in helping others create their lives and livelihoods. Whether it is purchasing a family home, a vacation home, a piece of land to create a dream home, an investment property, a small business or even a time share, Realtors assist their clients with any and all of these major decisions that impact their future. It is only natural that this concern extends to the wellbeing of the communities and people that surround them. A true commitment to service.

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