Meet the 2015 Volunteer Works Recipients

May 7, 2015

Five REALTORS® who dedicate their time to making a difference in their communities and the lives of others are set to receive the 2015 Volunteering Works award. Volunteering Works, now in its seventh year, is a program that pairs REALTORS® who work on small-scale charitable efforts with grant money and mentors to help expand the reach of their charities.

These Volunteering Works recipients show a passion for improving their communities and have the potential for their charitable work to expand and improve with the help of an expert mentor. They receive a year of one-on-one mentoring from members of the Good Neighbor Society, which features past recipients of the REALTOR®MagazineGood Neighbor Awards and is the highest honor that NAR awards to REALTORS® who are involved in community service. The five Volunteering Works recipients will also each receive a $1,000 grant.

"The challenges of running a nonprofit often seem insurmountable however, talking to my mentor and other Good Neighbors has been invigorating and inspiring," says 2014 Volunteering Works recipient Laneta Goings, Welles Bowen REALTORS®, Maumee, Ohio. She used her $1,000 grant to update her charity's website and to receive matching funds to buy Books4Buddies bookplates.

These are the 2015 Volunteering Works winners:

Kerry Constantine, Power Brokers Real Estate, Inc., Ft. Myers, Fla.

Since 2012, Constantine has provided homeless outreach and advocacy in Southwest Florida. She works closely with churches to provide blankets, toiletries, clothes and other emergency items to ensure that the homeless have all the necessities. Constantine will seek guidance from her mentor, 2002 Good Neighbor Cynthia Shafer, Lahaina Realty, Inc., Ft. Myers Beach, Fla., to develop an effective fundraising plan so she can expand her reach.

Jennifer Hodge, Century 21 Results Realty Services, Cumming, Ga.

Hodge has raised thousands of dollars for addiction recovery facilities through commission donations and has had four mobile homes donated to house recovering addicts. She founded Realty4Rehab in 2013 to encourage others to help fund treatment for people who can't afford rehab. Hodge will seek guidance from her mentor, 2010 Good Neighbor Cathie MacGregor Critchlow, Better Homes & Garden Real Estate Franklin Group, South Ogden, Utah, to build a strategic plan. 

Kristin Joyner, Designer Realty, Dacula, Ga.
For 15 years, Joyner has served the Sawnee Women’s Club on many projects, most recently providing backpacks full of weekend food to schoolchildren in need. She plans to start a vegetable garden at a local high school to provide fresh produce for the struggling families. Joyner will seek guidance from her mentor 2013 Good Neighbor Kristina Rhodes, FC Tucker Emge REALTORS®, Newburgh, Ind. Joyner will look for guidance on how to seek grants and increase community involvement.

Sandra Rubolotta, Realty Executives-Exceptional REALTORS®, Pompton Plains, N.J.

In 2008, Rubolotta founded the Greater Pompton Area Chapter of Deborah Hospital Foundation to raise awareness and funds for a local hospital that treats patients regardless of their ability to pay. Her mentor is 2010 Good Neighbor Honorable Mention Janice Mueller, RE/MAX Creative Realty, Lexington, Ky. Rubolotta will look for guidance on how to build a stronger network of volunteers and groom new leadership.

Patti Gray Whann, Glens Falls Area Realty, Glens Falls, N.Y.

Whann is founder and president of the Glens Falls Collaborative, a community organization that promotes cooperation among businesses and nonprofits through events, fundraisers, and neighborhood cleanups. Whann tries to attract and retain residents and bring tourists to her small city of 15,000. Whann will seek guidance from her mentor, 2001 Good Neighbor Craig Conant, Key Realty, Inc., Warrensburg, Mo. about how to recruit and engage more partners.

"REALTORS® work tirelessly to help their clients achieve the American Dream of homeownership," said National Association of REALTORS® President Chris Polychron, executive broker of 1st Choice Realty in Hot Springs, Arkansas.  "The Volunteering Works program provides an opportunity for REALTORS® who serve their communities through volunteer work to engage in one-on-one relationships with mentors who will help them impact their communities in even greater ways."