Do You Know a Good Neighbor?

January 23, 2019

Joy Nelson, a 2018 Good Neighbor recipient who runs Joy Ranch, which provides equine therapy to children with disabilities in Wa

© REALTOR® Magazine

2018 Good Neighbor Joy Nelson, center, says her nonprofit, Joy Ranch, has received wide media exposure since she won the award.

Real estate professionals support their communities in many ways beyond facilitating the buying and selling of property. Hundreds of thousands of practitioners across the country who have connections to local leaders and resources give their time, expertise, and money to charitable causes that lift neighborhoods up—from eradicating poverty and homelessness to saving lives in the aftermath of natural disasters. Sixty-six percent of REALTORS® can be counted among this noble group, volunteering in their communities each month, according to the National Association of REALTORS®’ Community Aid and Real Estate Report, which was released in December.

In the spirit of honoring those who give back, NAR is seeking nominations for the 2019 Good Neighbor Awards. The program, now in its 20th year, recognizes REALTORS® who have made an indelible impact on their communities through charity work. Nominees must be NAR members in good standing. The deadline for entries is May 10.

NAR President John Smaby recognized past recipients in a statement and lauded the Good Neighbor program’s importance in the real estate community. “We are incredibly proud of the good work of nearly 200 Good Neighbor Award recipients in the U.S. and across the globe through their dedicated volunteer service since this program launched in 2000,” he said.

Ten finalists for the 2019 Good Neighbor Awards will be announced in September, and the public will have a chance to vote for their Web Choice Favorite. Five winners will each receive a $10,000 grant for their nonprofit organizations and will be formally recognized at the REALTORS® Conference & Expo in San Francisco this November. In addition, five honorable mentions also will receive $2,500 grants for their charities. Since 2000, the Good Neighbor Awards program has donated more than $1.2 million to nonprofits led by REALTORS®.

Joy Nelson, a 2018 Good Neighbor recipient who runs Joy Ranch, which provides equine therapy to children with disabilities in Watertown, S.D., says the media exposure that the award brought to her charity has made it a more formidable organization. “The incredible exposure the Joy Ranch received through the Good Neighbor Awards Program has brought people all over the nation to inquire more about the ranch,” Nelson says. “People now understand all the quality of life issues that we address and it motivates me to work harder to help even more.”® and Wells Fargo are primary sponsors of the Good Neighbor Awards.