By Paul Yorkis, MAR Charitable Foundation Chairman and 2011 REALTOR® of the Year
I have been a REALTOR® since 1991. I have helped many sellers and buyers accomplish their real estate goals. I have represented many builders and developers before boards and commissions to secure permits to build residential and commercial properties. The work is hard, but professionally and financially rewarding.
However, what is most satisfying to me is when I am able to help individual volunteers and organizations make their organization, community, our nation, and our world a little bit better.
I have had the privilege of serving as a member of the Board of Trustees of the MAR Charitable Foundation, working with an incredible group of fellow trustees, for the past six years. I am proud of what we have accomplished, but even more proud of the work the organizations across the state that receive the Foundation’s funds have been able to accomplish.
We have helped children go to sleep on a full stomach instead of an empty one; abused women and children have a safe place to sleep; first-time buyers learn how to be responsible homeowners; veterans, both men and women, return to productive civilian life; homeowners recover from devastating natural disasters; and soup kitchens and food pantries supply the less fortunate families among us.
I have had the honor to represent the MAR Charitable Foundation at check presentations and have seen firsthand the way the funds are used. But why have I spent so much of my spare time volunteering for NAR, MAR, GBAR, candidates for office, local and regional community planning organizations, and many local charities?
The answer for me is pretty simple. My childhood was not very easy. When I heard President John F. Kennedy’s January 20, 1960 inaugural address, “…ask not what your country can do for you — ask what you can do for your country;” it became part of my fiber.
I honestly believe that one person can make a difference.
I honestly have received back much more than I have given.
I encourage you as fellow REALTORS® to try and identify an organization where your knowledge, your energy, and your expertise can make your community, our state, and our country a better place for those who may be less fortunate. If there is a need that you know of and no one is addressing it, start your own organization.
You will meet great people when you volunteer. You will feel good about yourself. You will learn a great deal about yourself and other human beings.