As we wrap up 2019, we start to look forward in the year ahead. Our community service (formerly REACT) group is changing, and we need your help. Please come to a fun, festive and very informal planning session for our 2020 calendar. You do not need to commit to anything – just come and share your good ideas for fundraising or assistance we can offer the community in the coming year, vote on event ideas others share brainstorm ways we can contribute to the Berkshire community, nominate special non-profit charities that could use our support and learn about the new Realtor CARES Program, just approved at the last board meeting of the year. Cortney Dupont has been named the inaugural Community Service Coordinator and is hoping for a room full of caring REALTORS who can share their thoughts, have some fun and set our 2020 goals. Register to attend this social (light refreshments and snacks provided!)
REALTOR Community Service – #ThatsWhoWeR:
Our mission is to mobilize the real estate community and public in raising funds, awareness and support for Berkshire County charities that improve the life of Berkshire residents. We shall also maintain a ‘Berkshire REALTORS Housing Assistance Fund’ to provide emergency housing aid so that Berkshire residents can maintain safe and secure housing in time of crisis. 100% of our fundraising proceeds and donations received go directly to supporting one of our 4 REALTOR C.A.R.E.S. programs.
C – Community Grants – Twice per year, a Berkshire 501(c)3 will be selected for their efforts in advancing housing and providing homeless assistance in Berkshire County. In recognition, we will work with the selected organization to apply for a grant through the Massachusetts Association of REALTORS Charitable Foundation in the amount of $500-$1,500 for local nonprofit projects. Members may nominate charitable organizations for consideration in the spring and fall of each year.
A –Aid in Emergencies – All fund raised and earmarked to the ‘Berkshire REALTORS Housing Assistance Fund’ will be distributed solely for transitional housing needs of Berkshire County residents who are housing insecure as a result of, but not limited to, natural disasters, domestic abuse or violence, or other personal tragedies. Payment will be made directly to fund monthly mortgage or rent expenses, home improvements needed to bring home accessibility or initiatives that improve housing safety or security for residents. Nominees are generated from the Board of Directors (and via the members), and/or the Board of Trustees and guidelines are under development to keep this a small, manageable option for those we know affected by tragedy.
R – REALTOR® Community Service Events – Annually, the members of the Berkshire County Board of Realtors will establish a series of community initiatives and fundraising events designed to improve and enhance the life of Berkshire residents and/or sustain valuable Berkshire non-profits working to do such work.
E – Educational Scholarship – Dedicated to investing in tomorrow’s leaders, we maintain a restricted investment account for providing an annual scholarship to a deserving business student attending the college. The college shall select the candidate so qualified and we will award $750 to this student at the Annual Awards Ceremony.
S – Service – Our community outreach efforts are so successful because our members donate hundreds of service hours every year in soup kitchens, holiday food program coordination, building homes through habitat for humanity and more. Some projects require substantial commitment, while others are classified as ‘One and Done’ to allow members to contribute a few hours on a one-day service project and accomplish our goal. Sprucing up a home or organization, performing clean-up work, painting, etc. are all quick and easy ways to brighten the Berkshires quickly.
Community Service Coordinator: There shall be one named Coordinator annually to ensure the 4 facets of our community service commitment is accomplished. Additionally, there will be at least one annual meeting open to the general membership to determine the Realtor Community Care Projects that will be worked on during the calendar year, with named chairs and volunteers for each project.
Board of Trustees: Additionally, there shall be a 6-person Board of Trustees appointed annually by the President and ratified by the Board of Directors, to oversee the distribution of any emergency aid funding. The Board of Trustees shall follow the emergency aid funding guidelines, as approved by the Board of Directors, in the execution of their duties. All paid funding will be reported to the Board and to the membership. The Board of Trustees shall be led by the Community Service Coordinator and 5 at-large members, whether Realtor or Affiliate, who have demonstrated a commitment to community service. The Board of Trustees shall determine ‘Berkshire REALTORS Housing Assistance’ fundraising goals for the upcoming year. This should be done so that the
member’s annual project selection meeting can take this into consideration when planning the annual calendar of community events.