Good Neighbor Program Shows Community Love in its 20th Year
February 14, 2019
Real estate professionals not only serve buyers and sellers, but also have become major service stewards within their communities. Nearly 70 percent of real estate professionals say they volunteer in their communities each month, according to a survey by the National Association of REALTORS®.
That give back attitude is exactly the point of NAR’s Good Neighbor Awards program, which is celebrating its 20th anniversary. The program recognizes REALTORS® who make an exceptional impact as volunteers in their communities. Every year, five Good Neighbor Award winners receive $10,000 grants for their nonprofit, and five honorable mentions receive $2,500.
“We are incredibly proud of the cumulative impact that Good Neighbors have made in the U.S. and across the globe for two decades,” says NAR President John Smaby. “They are a small portion of the ‘army’ of REALTORS® who give their time and talent in virtually every American town and city to help people have a better quality of life.”
Over the past two decades, the Good Neighbor Awards program has distributed $1.3 million to REALTOR®-led nonprofits, and more than 200 nonprofit organizations have received funds. Good Neighbors have come from across the globe, spanning 40 U.S. states, Puerto Rico, and 15 other countries.
“For the past 20 years the Good Neighbor Awards have showcased extraordinary stories of REALTOR® generosity and service,” says Victoria Gillespie, NAR’s chief marketing and communications officer. “Good Neighbors reveal the heart of the real estate profession—a spirit of service and volunteerism that builds the communities we live and work in.”
Good Neighbor recipients have raised hundreds of millions of dollars to help people in need and they have volunteered more than 60,000 hours each year, according to NAR. Good Neighbor stories of real estate professionals have captured media attention, appearing on CNN Heroes, 60 Minutes, NBC’s Making a Difference, People magazine, The Washington Post, and more.
“We are more than REALTORS® who simply sell houses and then go home,” says 2018 Good Neighbor honoree Necia Freeman with Old Colony REALTORS® in Huntington, W. Va. Freeman founded Backpacks & Brown Bags to help reduce the pains of poverty and opioid addiction. “We invest in our communities, and because we work with all kinds of people we are at an advantage to see where the needs are. The Good Neighbor Awards encourage us to continue to make a difference where we live and work.”
More than 4,000 REALTORS® have applied for the Good Neighbor Awards since its inception 20 years ago.
The 2019 Good Neighbor Awards call for entries is now open. Visit nar.realtor/gna and click “Nominate a REALTOR®” for more information and to download the entry form.
The 2019 honorees will be named in August.
Updated: May 29, 2020