By Connie Hill, REALTOR®
Real estate agents giving back to the community is nothing new at the CENTURY 21 Scheetz offices, but something very remarkable happened in August. If people didn’t know any better, they might assume they were in Whoville because the sales agent’s "Hearts of Gold" grew three sizes in August.
Since 2005, C21 Scheetz agents have volunteered their time, talent and money to the CENTURY 21 Scheetz Charitable Foundation. Unlike many other charities, this Foundation is made up of all volunteers. Other than nominal costs, the donations are used to provide emergency relief for victims of fire, crime and other casualties in our community, as well as, support housing opportunities for the less fortunate and fund other charities that strive to improve our community.
All CENTURY 21 Scheetz agents were challenged to a fundraising contest, appropriately named, “Hearts of Gold.” Brad Elliott’s encouraging email announced that Mick Scheetz and Tracy Hutton would match the raised funds dollar for dollar up to $5,000. This email was the catalyst that started the ball rolling and in less than one week the goal was reached.
As with most goals, once achieved, the motivation to go beyond that goal seems to lessen unless another challenging goal is presented. With five days left in August, the motivation to go further appeared to me in an email from Melissa Sowers. This time the goal was in the form of a reminder that a contest for a free lunch and bragging rights between the five CENTURY 21 Scheetz offices was still in play.
Having witnessed the positive reaction from previous call to action emails, another email was sent to rekindle the spark of giving. But this time, the email was only sent to the sales agents at the Carmel office. After all, that’s the office I represent and who doesn’t like a free lunch and bragging rights?
The response I received was phenomenal! One after the other, agents sent emails stating what amount they would donate. Even our preferred lender, Shane Welker with Stonegate, got into the charitable mood.
Although most agents replied only to me, a special return thank you email was quickly sent to every donator, with all Carmel agents copied on those thank you emails. The giving frenzy continued and the thank you emails morphed into alliterations and rhymes. Even “Big Bucks Bryan Maire Buttered my Biscuits” with his own dollar for dollar matching challenges.
The contest is over now and the totals are in. Although the goal for the Foundation was to raise $10,000, the donations received surpassed that amount by almost double. With $18,000 added to the Foundation’s funds, many families and individuals in need will now be able to receive that helping hand, all because of those who demonstrated they do have ‘Hearts of Gold.’