Giving Tuesday

Well, the holiday season is officially upon us, with it’s usual bevy of shopping, parties, family, friends, and stress, It’s so easy to get caught up in it all and forget that the real purpose of this time of year is to appreciate the joy and blessings in our life and to share some of that joy with others.

Photo Courtesy of Giving Tuesday

Photo Courtesy of Giving Tuesday

Today is Giving Tuesday, a national day of giving established last year. The idea is that after spending Black Friday, Small Business Saturday, and Cyber Monday shopping, we as a nation make a focused effort to give back. It’s an official day of giving to kick off what will hopefully be a whole holiday season of giving.

Today is what Give Realty is all about. A desire to give back to our community is what drove Laurie to found the brokerage back in 2008, and this desire remains the driving force of Give Realty today. Laurie gives not just for herself, but in the hopes that her business model will help to encourage others to give back as well.

With thousands of nonprofits in our local community, and hundreds of thousands nationwide, the opportunities for you to give back today are endless. Find a nonprofit that supports a cause you are passionate about and help them out. Don’t have the funds to make a donation? Giving of your time counts, too.

This is your chance. Be inspired. Let today be the beginning of a season of giving that will become a tradition, and might just change your life.

Missed Opportunity for Giving: April 2013

As we promised last month, we are once again going to share the missed opportunity for giving – the amount that could have been donated to the community if every Realtor® in the Austin area donated 25% of their commission the way that Give Realty’s agents do.

April2013MLSGiven the total sales volume of $812,424,317 in the Austin MLS in April, the missed opportunity for giving last month was $12,186,364.75.

In case you can’t imagine what $12.1 million could have done for our community, here are a few examples. $12.1 million represents 25% of all expenses for Capital Area Food Bank for the fiscal year ending in 2011.  It represents 38% of all expenses for The Livestrong Foundation for the fiscal year ending in 2011. It also represents 127% of the total expenses for Life Works for that same fiscal year. Finally, 12.1 million is 49 times the $244,553.05 that Give Realty has donated since our beginning.

Talk about a missed opportunity…

Look for the “missed opportunity” every month on our Facebook and Twitter accounts.

*Financial information based on numbers released in Austin Business Journal’s 2013 Giving Guide.

Putting our money where your heart is: A story of incalculable impact

Don’t get me wrong, for every client there is an amazing story to tell about how or why they connected to the nonprofit they chose. This is Gwen’s story – a story about a client who discovered a father making a $20 monthly payment on the funeral costs for his little girl  – and her decision to help.

Any Baby Can donation Gwen S. sold and purchased a home using Give Realty last year.  She is one of the most amazing, funny, independent and beautifully spirited people I know. She’s no stranger to doing good – she’s been part of the nonprofit world for years, both as an employee and a volunteer.

When we started talking about where the $2,100 would be donated from her home sale and purchase, she told me she wanted to start a fund for Funeral Services and Bereavement Counseling through her employer, Any Baby Can, a nonprofit which provides case management for families with children who have serious illnesses.  As Gwen was doing her administrative work one day, she noticed a father had put a $20 down payment on his little girl’s  $2000 funeral costs  – a funeral the family had to finance because they didn’t have  insurance or the money to pay for it.  Imagine…writing a check every month for the indefinite future to pay for the burial of your child.  Sadly, Gwen found there were two more clients nearing the end of life and decided her Give Realty donation would be a darn good start for a fund that could help provide services for these families.

This is really what it’s all about. People (who sell real estate) helping people (buy and sell their homes) help people (who are in need). I’m also pleased to report, after hearing Gwen’s story, another Give Realty client designated their $1,600 to help these families too.

It’s my wish that none of us will ever have to experience the need for funeral assistance for a child, but I’m sure glad there are people like Gwen in the world who are doing what they can to help make a difference.  And I am extremely proud, yet amazingly humbled, to have founded a company that makes this possible.

If you would like to donate specifically to the funeral and bereavement fund,  visit donate and note funeral and bereavement costs in the comments section.