Seeking what you can give to others is where purpose and fulfillment begin. It was our honour and privilege to accept the Chapter of the Year award presented at last week’s conference in Las Vegas. This award recognizes dedication to our local market, the growth of the industry and community involvement. Lisa McIntee, who accepted the award on behalf of RESA Niagara, was overwhelmed as she witnessed the personal impact that our story had on the audience in attendance.” Receiving the award was one of the most amazing experiences I have ever had. We put a lot of hard work and long hours into getting the chapter running and I never would have expected we would be honoured in such a way. After the awards, I had countless attendees at the conference approach me to discuss how our charity jobs had not only impacted them but inspired them to pay-it-forward. I had absolutely no idea our small town chapter had such an impact across North America.” With our story, our hopes are that we have lit the way for a brighter future.
RESA Niagara began as a group of 2 individuals last November (2012). Our goals were simple: to create unity and support for professional stagers in the Niagara area, to foster credibility and become the educational conduit for realtors, homeowners and the community at large to realize our purpose/ value and finally, to work toward integrating stagers into the Real Estate industry in Niagara.
Building a new chapter brought forth many opportunities and challenges for us. I recall our many inspirational conversations as we began; ” build it and they will come” or ” we’re the little engine that can”.
In January (2013), with the seed planted and 3 more ladies on board, we were presented with an opportunity for a charity project. Our project (“Terri’s Angels”),focused on a woman who had lost her son and had ,at that time, been diagnosed with a rare form of cancer. Having had an unfortunate experience with an unnamed Realty Company, she was on the verge of losing her home. To that end, we gave ourselves a 2 week window to complete the many issues presented in her home. Community support was overwhelming! Concerns and problems became opportunities for solution. By February 10, 2013 we had raised over 35K for her in services and products. That money was applied to her treatment rather than payment for commission, staging, legal costs and moving costs. Lisa McIntee and I saw her in early December. Then in hospital, she again expressed her gratitude for all that was done for her at that time; “you ladies and RESA saved my life”. Terri passed away peacefully just weeks ago; she will always have a special place in our hearts.
Working and learning together taught us that although we are different people with different gifts and needs, the respect and strength of the collective group grew stronger as we ventured together along this steep learning curve. We are, in keeping with the little engine that could analogy, “on the same train, going in the same direction.”
RESA Niagara again heard a call for help in late October 2013. We quickly put the wheels in motion and off we began. This project, “Nadine’s Angels”, focused on an amazing woman who had nursed others throughout her entire career. Nadine’s job provided her much more than a career. It was ultimately a life filled with joy in her ability to help others. There were countless stories of how Nadine made a difference in the lives of her patients.
At this time, for Nadine , life in her home was nearly impossible. She suffers from COPD, a serious respiratory disease that requires dependency on an oxygen machine for breathing. The incredible RESA Niagara team stepped up to the plate and work began. Packing up her home, updating paint colours, new lighting, new hardware, backsplash and staging were just some of the items Nadine received from us in order to help prepare her home for sale. RESA Niagara was privileged to experience again not only the opportunity to ” pay it forward” but to get to know Nadine personally. Her lovely home is currently on the market and we pray for a speedy sale.
We hope that our story has touched and inspired you to reach out and continue to make a change. “Seeking what you can give to others is where purpose and fulfillment begin. Remember, It begins with one!”