The National Association of REALTORS® and the Good Neighbor Society have announced the recipients of the 14th annual Volunteering Works grants and mentoring program. The program matches REALTORS® who work on small-scale charitable efforts with mentors who can help them improve and expand their impact.
The five Volunteering Works recipients will receive a $1,000 seed grant and a year of one-on-one mentoring from a member of the Good Neighbor Society. This group is made up of past recipients of NAR’s annual Good Neighbor Awards, considered the highest honor that the association awards to REALTORS® for community service.
“This year’s Volunteering Works recipients are truly an inspiration. They have dedicated their energy towards giving back to their communities and making a positive impact on the lives of others,” said NAR President Kenny Parcell, a REALTOR® from Spanish Fork, Utah, and broker/owner of Equity Real Estate Utah. “I am proud they are taking the next step in their volunteering journey with this program. Their selfless commitment to serving others is a shining example of what it means to be a REALTOR®.”
The 2022 Volunteering Works Grant and Mentoring Recipients are:
Debra Flower, Valley Realty Co., LLC, Elmwood Park, New Jersey
Flower is a volunteer leader with the Military Assistance Pantry, a program of the Great Falls Rotary Foundation that serves 99 veterans and their families. The food pantry has evolved into a resource center, helping veterans with clothing, medical equipment, housing and employment. Flower will receive guidance from 2020 Good Neighbor Award winner Christina Sauger, who will bring new ideas to boost fundraising and help implement a strategic plan.
Tisha B. Janigan, She Is Hope Realty, Encino, California
In 2021, Janigan founded She Is Hope LA, an organization devoted to building bridges, inspiring confidence and providing educational support for single mothers and their families. Janigan will receive guidance from 2008 Good Neighbor Award winner Lei Barry, who will help Janigan identify housing grants and expand her services.
Lana Homnick-Lee, USVI Sotheby’s International Realty, Christiansted, U.S. Virgin Islands
After fostering more than 200 cats, Homnick-Lee founded R.E.A.L. Cruzan Cats in 2016. The rescue organization promotes the humane treatment of cats on the island of St. Croix through rescue, education and adoption. Homnick-Lee will receive guidance from 2020 Good Neighbor Debra Griggs, who will help Homnick-Lee expand fundraising, boost volunteer participation and increase social media exposure.
Yvette Jones-Swanson, Real People Realty, Mokena, Illinois
An army veteran, Jones-Swanson founded 100 Pretty Purses for Female Veterans, a nonprofit that provides gift cards, toiletries and other gifts to assist and connect women who have served in the US military. Jones-Swanson will receive guidance from 2021 Good Neighbor Sharon Chambers-Gordon, who will help with strategic planning and leadership development.
Janice Robertson, Real Estate Partners, Chattanooga, Tennessee
Robertson launched the Snack Pack Ministry from her dining room in 2014. Hundreds of volunteers assemble meal bags that are provided to more than 2,700 food-insecure children every weekend. Robertson will receive guidance from 2021 Good Neighbor Award winner Bob Bell, who will help raise awareness and expand the program’s reach.
Volunteering Works recipients were selected based on current volunteer endeavors and the potential for their good works to be expanded or improved with the help of an expert mentor. The Volunteering Works program is made possible thanks to the support of Wells Fargo Home Lending.
“Congratulations to all of this year’s Volunteering Works mentoring recipients,” said Sue Barber, national sales manager for Wells Fargo Home Lending. “We are once again proud to be the sponsor of this great mentoring program, celebrating REALTORS® who have made a difference in their communities and want to do more. At Wells Fargo, we share their passion to make the places we live and work in better for all and hope the grant for their charitable organizations can help further their work. These REALTORS® are inspirational, and the mentorship they’ll receive from the Good Neighbor Society is invaluable.”
For more information, visit https://www.nar.realtor/.