The National Association of Realtors and the Good Neighbor Society honored the recipients of the 12th annual Volunteering Works grants and the mentoring program recently.

The program matches Realtors who work on newer, small-scale charitable initiatives with mentors and provides funding support to individual volunteer efforts.

The five Volunteering Works recipients will receive a $1,000 seed grant and a year of one-on-one mentoring from a member of the Good Neighbor Society, comprised of past recipients of NAR’s annual Good Neighbor Awards for volunteer service, according to a NAR news release.

“It is truly remarkable the Realtors being recognized today have been able to continue giving so much to their communities despite the disruption we’ve experienced for much of the past year,” said NAR President Vince Malta, a broker at Malta & Co., Inc., in San Francisco in the news release. “As a reward for their dedication, these five individuals will receive mentorship, resources, and support to ensure their efforts are benefitting as many people as possible.”

Volunteering Works recipients were selected based on the dedication they’ve shown to their communities through volunteer work and the potential for those efforts to be expanded or improved upon with the help of an expert mentor. Mentors are past winners of the Good Neighbor Awards, the highest honor that NAR awards to Realtors involved in local community service initiatives.


Stephanie Mitchum, the founder of Love & Mercy Ministries, an organization dedicated to assisting homeless inner-city teens, says her Volunteering Works grant has coordinated transportation to local social security offices to help area teens obtain state identification and housing assistance. “As a single mom, this experience has taught me to keep working harder and has filled me with confidence to fulfill my mission,” said Mitchum, a 2019 Volunteering Works mentoring recipient with Coldwell Banker Wallace & Wallace in Knoxville, Tennessee. Mitchum was mentored by 2007 Good Neighbor Award winner Bert Waugh, Jr. in the news release.

The 2020 Volunteering Works program was made possible thanks to the generous support of Wells Fargo. “At Wells Fargo, caring for our communities is an intrinsic part of our culture,” said Liz Bryant, executive vice president for Wells Fargo Home Lending in the news release. “Today, the needs in communities across the U.S. are greater than ever due to the effects of COVID-19 on the most vulnerable populations. We appreciate how Realtors® are providing selfless leadership in their local communities, and we join NAR in recognizing all the Realtors® committed to making a difference through the Volunteering Works program.”

The 2020 recipients of Volunteering Works grants and mentoring services are:

Tim Crabtree, Benchmark Realty, LLC, Murfreesboro, Tennessee

Since September 2019, Crabtree has helped increase awareness and fundraising for The Shepherd’s House, a nonprofit organization that provides temporary housing, clothing, and food for the homeless. He will receive guidance from 2017 Good Neighbor Kay Wilson-Bolton of Century 21 Everest in Santa Paula, California. The founder of SPIRIT of Santa Paula, Wilson-Bolton will provide counseling services and financial guidance as Crabtree works to increase The Shepherd’s House’s impact.

Jamie Leach, Marinello Realty, Sterling, Ohio

In 2017, Jamie Leach founded Lolo’s Ark, Inc., a nonprofit organization for foster parents who open their homes and hearts to area children in need. She will receive guidance from 2019 Honorable Mention recipient Kristy Payne of Keller Williams Realty in Edmond, Oklahoma. A former foster mom and founder of Fostering Sweet Dreams, Payne will provide strategic planning, fundraising, and volunteer recruitment assistance.

Julie Lykins, The Broker Network, Escondido, California

After discovering that breast implants were the cause of over 40 medical complications, Julie Lykins has spent five years partnered with the Breast Implant Safety Alliance (BISA) and other organizations in support of research projects dedicated to breast implant safety. She will receive guidance from Vince Mirabelli of RE/MAX First Choice Realty, Ltd., Thunder Bay, Ontario, who will offer strategies to build awareness and support through websites and social media platforms.

Janice Overbeck, Broker, Janice Overbeck Real Estate Team, Keller Williams, Marietta, Georgia

In 2017, Janice Overbeck founded Jo Gives Inc., a nonprofit organization that focuses on animal activism, and nurturing relationships with dogs and cats in overpopulated animal shelters facing euthanasia. She will receive support from 2018 Good Neighbor Joy Nelson of Haugan Nelson Realty in Watertown, South Dakota, founder of Joy Ranch. Nelson will provide Overbeck with a streamlined strategic plan along with networking and fundraising support.

Matthew Ritchie, CCIM, Ritchie Real Estate, Alexandria, Louisiana

Matthew Ritchie served on the Christus Cabrini Hospital Foundation Board for nearly a decade before becoming chairman of the Children’s Miracle Network Fundraising Committee. Ritchie created his fundraiser, Play It Forward Tennis Tournament, to benefit the CMN. He will seek guidance from 2019 Good Neighbor Bruce Johnson of RE/MAX of Wasaga Beach Inc., Brokerage, Wasago Beach, Ontario, on new ideas to help expand participation and sponsorship opportunities. Johnson is the founder of Motorcycles for Miracles, which is a significant fundraiser for CMN.

To learn more about Volunteering Works or the Good Neighbor Awards, visit here.

Source: NAR