This past weekend, several of my staff and I volunteered a few hours at the "Realtors to the Rescue" booth at the "Bark in the Park" event. This 5K walk, which was hosted by the Anti-Cruelty Society, was intended to raise the community's awareness of the need for assisting homeless animals.
REALTORS® to the RESCUE is a newly formed not for profit 501(c)3 group of Chicago REALTORS® that is joining forces to bring to bear the power of the strong network of Chicago Association of REALTORS® members in the city of Chicago to impact the issue of homeless animals. Targeting C.A.R.'s large association membership, we strive to achieve the following goals regarding the problems and solutions related to the homeless animal situation in the city:
- Provide and recruit volunteer support for shelters;
- Provide numerous existing homeless animal shelters across the city support and cooperation to enhance their organizations' outreach, missions, goals and objectives; and
- Raise money to support shelters using the expansive network of Chicago realtors.
Check out the organization's Web site. Suzy Thomas, Rubloff, is the Founding member who still guides the efforts to great degree.
Now, helping homeless animals may not be your thing, but I'll bet there is another organization that can benefit greatly by even a small amount of your volunteer time. How about if each of our 13,000+ members donated just two hours each to a favorite cause? Think of the impact we could have. 26,000 volunteer hours? That would go a long way.
Volunteerism has been a central theme of my life since I was a child, and virtually every job I've held required me to be a volunteer and/or organize volunteers. C.A.R. couldn't function without its' core of dedicated volunteers, who serve on our committees and set policy and direction for the association.
Want to donate some clothes to the needy? We're coordinating a clothing drive until the end of June. Want to assist the Greater Chicago Food Depository for a few hours? We still got several openings on our 2009 Realtor Community Service project. Click here for more details.
If you choose to volunteer, keep a few things in mind: 1) Research and keep in mind the causes and issues that are important to you. You'll keep your commitment if you have a passion about something; 2) Consider the skills you have to offer; 3) You may have an opportunity to learn something new or connect with others in a new way; 4) Don't overcommit (think 2 hours each) and 5) Invite your family and friends along.
You can give voice to your heart through your volunteerism. I've found nothing better to help me from focusing on "my own troubles" than helping someone else. Large reward for such a small investment of time - 2 hours each.