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REALTORS® Giving Back: NAR's Volunteering Works Announces 2019 Honorees

Five real estate professionals were selected as recipients to the Volunteering Works grants and mentoring program, which helps to expand their charitable causes, which this year range from aiding the homeless to helping provide educational materials and medical supplies to needy children across the globe.

The Volunteering Works program matches real estate professionals who have newer, smaller-scale charitable projects with mentors. Recipients also receive a $1,000 seed grant to help grow their project.                                                                                                     

Volunteering Works is a program from the National Association of REALTORS® and the Good Neighbor Society.

This year’s five recipients will receive a year of one-on-one mentoring from a member of the Good Neighbor Society, which includes past recipients of NAR’s prestigious Good Neighbor Awards for volunteer service. The Good Neighbors Award is the highest honor that NAR awards to REALTORS® who are involved in community service.

“This year’s [Volunteering Works] 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.”

Recipients to Volunteering Works are selected based on their devotion to their communities through volunteer work and the potential to improve or expand their charity with the help of a mentor.

This year’s honorees for the Volunteering Works program are:

Hannah Ensor, RE/MAX Premier Properties, Louisville, Kent.

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, Minn.

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 has been partnered with 2017 Good Neighbor Louise McLean of RE/MAX Solutions in Merritt Island, Fla., co-founder of Space Coast REALTORS® Charitable Foundation, to focus on strategic planning, expanding programs, and recruiting volunteers.

Stephanie Mitchum, ABR, Coldwell Banker, Wallace & Wallace, Knoxville, Tenn.

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, Ore., founder of Transitional Youth, to recruit mentors and grow her outreach.

Candice Payne, 5thGroup Realty & Management, Chicago, Ill.

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, Calif., 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, Md.

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, Fla., founder of Domestic Violence Advocacy Center, to expand the grassroots nonprofit, increase fundraising, and improve community outreach.

The 2019 Volunteering Works program is sponsored by Wells Fargo Home Mortgage.

Source: National Association of REALTORS®

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