Person giving gift

© Kira auf der Heide/Unsplash

REALTORS® Bring Holiday Joy to Health Care Workers, Kids

December 23, 2020

REALTORS® are using their community connections to ease neighbors’ suffering during the pandemic and bring a sense of kindness and happiness to the holidays. For Natalie Webster, a sales associate with Coldwell Banker Realty in Wayzata, Minn., that means showing appreciation to exhausted health care workers battling COVID-19.

She’s called on the strong relationships she’s made with local businesses to coordinate special holiday gifts for nurses, doctors, and hospital staff in her community. “Health care workers are doing an unimaginable job,” Webster says. “This is when it hit me that I can use my connections in the community with local businesses to support health care workers in our community.”

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© Courtesy of Natalie Webster

Real estate pro Natalie Webster, center, surprise ICU nurse Elle Johnson, right, with holiday gifts.

Webster enlisted a local painter to play Santa Claus and help surprise health care workers with gifts from local shops. Webster also arranged for Zoom visits between Santa and health care workers’ children. One ICU nurse, who’s been working 17-hour days, received a virtual Santa visit for her two young sons. The nurse also received a treat: a spa day at a local business and takeout from one of her favorite restaurants.

Webster is busy arranging more virtual Santa visits through the end of the year. Watch a video of the Santa visits from her local CBS news station.

While most holiday events have been forced into cancellation because of the pandemic, real estate pros are finding ways to adapt and still serve their charitable causes during the holidays. Sandra Nardoci, ABR, CRS, a broker with Berkshire Hathaway HomeServices Blake, REALTORS®, in Albany, N.Y., who was named a 2020 Good Neighbor honorable mention, usually organizes monthly events for a group of children with chronic illnesses through her organization, Circle of Champs. But the group has been unable to meet since February due to the pandemic. However, this month, Nardoci helped organize a “Capital District YMCA Circle of Champs Holiday Drive Thru” event, offering gift bags, costumed characters, lights, and fire trucks for 150 family members who attended.

Holiday characters

© Courtesy of Sandra Nardoci

Each family received a goodie bag filled with special treats, such as an Amazon gift card, a ticket to a local holiday lights event, an ornament, and specialty cupcakes. “Thanks to our local community’s kindness and generosity, we were able to give our families happiness and hope that we’ll be together again sometime soon,” Nardoci says.

REALTOR® associations also are encouraging members to join philanthropic efforts this holiday season. For example, the Hampton Roads REALTORS® Association in Virginia delivered holiday gifts to 30 students in need at five schools across the city of Norfolk. The gifts were part of the association’s ongoing “Have a Heart” volunteer initiative.

Sometimes, the best gift of all can be showing gratitude. Members of the Oklahoma City Metro Association of REALTORS® recently drew inspirational chalk art on the sidewalks in front of local hospitals to show their love and support to the medical staff dedicated to the fight against COVID-19.

Inspire others with your own acts of holiday kindness, too, and help ignite a movement. The National Association of REALTORS® is urging members to log their volunteer hours this year. Read more stories of real estate pros spreading kindness at the REALTORS® Are Good Neighbors Facebook page.