Pamela Geurds Kabati is the former publisher of REALTOR® Magazine and senior vice president of communications for the NATIONAL ASSOCIATION OF REALTORS®.
REALTORS® are Always Giving
November 1, 2001
What can I do to help? Millions of Americans have been asking that question since Sept. 11, when we gathered around televisions to witness the most heinous acts of terrorism ever on U.S. soil.
A remarkable number of people from all over the world heeded the call for help—doing whatever they could, from providing water and supplies to the rescue teams to giving blood to enlisting in the military. The REALTOR® organization was no exception, stepping up within hours of the attacks to create the REALTORS® Housing Relief Fund.
The relief fund, for survivors in need of temporary help with mortgage or rental payments, is a great example of the power of the REALTOR® organization to do good. Volunteer and staff leaders, not just at NAR but at the state and local associations in and around New York and Washington, D.C., acted quickly to establish the fund and marshal support. By Sept. 12, information on how to contribute to the fund was posted online. By Sept. 20, an application form was available for families in need. By Oct. 1, fund contributions exceeded $4 million—and money was already being distributed to survivors of those lost in the attacks.
The Sept. 11 attacks prompted publications around the globe to tear up their covers and put aside planned stories. We thought it was fitting, however, to stick with our November cover, REALTOR® Magazine’s 2001 Good Neighbor Awards (page 41). The winners are ideal examples of the giving spirit that’s been so evident in our country over the past month or so. The five who won this year’s award, and the five who received honorable mention, are people who make it their business—every day of their lives—to answer the call and help others in need. We’re proud to share their stories with you, and we’re grateful to the sponsors who helped make the program possible: iPlace (creators of eNeighborhoods) and Fannie Mae. Their sponsorship enabled us to offer $5,000 grants for each of the winners’ causes of choice (up from $2,500 last year) and $1,000 for each honorable mention.
This is the second year of our award program, and we’ve each served as a judge once. Scoring the entries is difficult work, but it’s also inspiring to know that so many REALTOR® are putting their heart and soul into making the world a better place. Perhaps that’s why—horrified as we were and continue to be over the Sept. 11 attacks—we believe the heart of America beats as strongly as ever.
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Updated: August 11, 2022