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1 April 2014

What have you done for them lately? Random Acts of Kindness week, a success at BHGRE Tech Valley

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Doing good works.

Everyone talks about it, and if they’re lucky, people actually go out there and do them. This past week, we took a bit of a break from our real estate lives, packed up our snazzy Better Homes and Gardens Real Estate–branded MINI, and drove around Albany trying to do some good work. It’s important as real estate professionals to give back to the communities in which we serve. After all, our business is all about people!

We called it our “Random Acts of Kindness” week. What’d we do, you ask?

Going to the dogs
On Monday, we filled up the MINI (we really should name her, I think), and BHGRE Tech Valley visited the Mohawk Hudson Humane Society armed with pet supplies (so much pet food!). We met with their executive director, Brad Shear, who also runs @MohawkHumane, and runs a blog in our local paper. Mohawk Hudson is the oldest and largest animal protection organization in the Capital Region, receiving an average of 6,000+ animals a year. I’ve been involved with them for a while, and also served on the Board of Directors of the Humane Society.

Our visit was short, but the fantastic team there introduced us to some really sweet rescue animals who desperately need your help. I don’t know if you noticed, but I picked up a new friend myself – my new dog Reily, adopted from the Humane Society about two weeks ago! Believe me, he was very happy to sit in the front seat with his head out the window.

Miguel Berger and new friend Reily

We’re lovin’ it
On Tuesday, we stopped by the Albany Ronald McDonald House, armed with toys and games for the family activities room.

The Albany house has been around since the early 1980s – there’s two of them now, serving the area by providing a stable home environment for sick children and their families who are away from their own homes.  That’s one thing I’ve learned this week, wherever there’s a sick child, chances are there are siblings and other family sitting in a waiting room somewhere.

Ronald McDonald House helps support that family.  There were so many people at the house, volunteering (they can always use more hands!), and it was very touching to see the happy smiles on the kids that day – ages 2 to 18. Hopefully our visit made them forget their troubles for a few minutes.

Also, your RMH fact of the day: did you know that the men, women and families who own local McDonald’s donate one penny for each pound of french fries sold, as well as a penny for each Happy Meal sold?

Albany Ronald McDonald House

If I had a hammer…
So on Wednesday, we dropped by one of Habitat for Humanity Capital District‘s jobsites to bring their volunteers a little breakfast. It’s the most important meal of the day, and they need it, given how much hard work they put into building Habitat homes! These volunteers are out there in all weather conditions, working without pay. They’re working not just for the individual families, but helping better the community.

It’s a well-known fact that homeownership stabilizes communities and helps make neighborhoods safer. In fact, 97 percent of children in HFH homes graduate from high school – that’s amazing. Here’s something more amazing: our local volunteers have completed 85 houses to date just in our region alone!

Such fantastic work going on here, and we were happy to help start their day.

Albany Habitat for Humanity

Let’s play!
For our final day out and about, we filled up the MINI backseat with balls and hula-hoops and other fun sports equipment for the Boys and Girls Club of Albany.  They serve about 1,200 youth every year with after school, holidays and summer vacation programs. (And are always looking for volunteers!)

The @BGCA_Clubs mission is to help kids develop character/leadership qualities, achieve education/career goals, and develop life skills to last a lifetime. Also – they want to get kids active, so they’ll form good fitness habits, as well as be exposed to a positive use of leisure time.

The balls and stuff were a hit. But I have to admit that some of it fell by the wayside when we let the kids play with our shiny new toy!

Boys & Girls Club of Albany

Lessons learned
What’s that saying again in Hollywood? Never work with animals and kids?  Not so, in real estate!

All in all, we had a very productive week. Our BHGRE Tech Valley agents participated, got to meet some great animals, wear hard hats, and meet some really great kids.

But here’s the secret about getting out there in the community, meeting the people who are doing these good works day in, day out, day after day.

It was gratifying. It was fun.

In fact, that has to be the secret of doing good work. Yes, it was just some pet food and coffee, some toys and games, but every little bit helps.

We’re very much looking forward to continuing our #RandomActsofKindness weeks throughout the year, because there’s really nothing better than the feeling you get when you know you’ve had a hand in helping someone else – although, maybe come talk to me this summer, when I’ve been able to cruise down I-90 at top speeds, with the top down on the MINI!

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