Many Realtors, myself included, volunteer in the community throughout the year. We see great value in giving back to and improving our community. What better time than the holiday season to make a commitment to community, especially in light of the hardships so many have endured as a result of the coronavirus pandemic.
People often donate items to charitable organizations or give non-perishable food to local food banks, support causes like toy-drives or directly give money to a worthy cause.
But even if times are tight and you can’t spare any cash or purchase any items, you can still donate your time. Where would a soup kitchen be without the volunteers who serve the food? Where would an adult-education center be if no one wanted to teach adult-literacy classes?
The point is that you almost certainly have something valuable to contribute, so whether you offer your time, donate items, give money, or do some combination of the three, take a look at the community and identify a need that speaks to you, then address it.
When it comes right down to it, reasons to volunteer are very personal. At its root, volunteering involves the desire to help and serve, but volunteers also gain a tremendous amount from the experience.
Most people volunteer just to help others, but there is nothing wrong with drawing some benefit for yourself, too. Sure, the real beneficiaries of your volunteer work will be those whom you directly help. But there’s more to it than that. In addition to investing in the community, you can also meet people, exchange ideas, get a break from your daily routine, learn valuable new skills and more.
Volunteering also gives you an excellent opportunity to be a positive role model. People, especially children, follow others’ examples. This can be a great way to teach kids about compassion and the importance of selfless actions.
No one wants to think about themselves being in a rough spot, but the truth is that many people will eventually find themselves in need at some point in their lives. Today you may be the person helping; tomorrow you may find yourself in a position of need.
Throughout the year, please do not forget about these important causes all across our greater Houston community.
Realtors understand the value of a strong community. Nothing adds strength to our city and neighborhoods like involved residents. So, from a quality-of-life perspective, your participation adds value to your community.
Times are tough for many in our community who may be suffering from the health, emotional and economic effects of the pandemic, or are still rebuilding after a severe weather event. Everyone’s time is valuable. We all know that. And that’s why I believe wholeheartedly that it’s more important now than ever to offer a helping hand.
The Women’s Council of the Houston Black Real Estate Association is one of the many organizations that are always looking for volunteers to help serve the community. You may check their website for upcoming events. For other great organizations and ideas on how you can help, check out VolunteerMatch.org. Remember: a community is only as strong as its residents make it.
Marla Lewis is 2021-22 President of the Houston Black Real Estate Association (HBREA).