Of 10 Realtors NAR recognized for charitable work in 2022, two live in Fla.: Debbie Miller from Lakeland and MaliVai Washington from Jacksonville Beach.
CHICAGO – The National Association of Realtors® (NAR) announced the names of 10 Realtors® who have “gone the extra mile to support the most vulnerable in their communities, from creating a grocery store-style food pantry to innovative affordable housing units.”
The 10 are finalists for NAR’s 2022 Good Neighbor Awards, a program that recognizes Realtor volunteers who donate time, money and passion to enrich others’ lives.
Of those 10 names, two are Floridians: Debbie Miller with WebPro Realty in Lakeland, and MaliVai Washington, MaliVai Washington with Diamond Life Real Estate in Jacksonville Beach:
- Debbie Miller is a long-time volunteer for KidsPACK, helping to provide weekend food to kids who might not otherwise have enough to eat. When COVID-19 hit and demand spiked, the organization found that vendors could no longer supply the bulk food it needed. As inventory dwindled, Miller took to social media, starting a Facebook page and convincing hundreds of new people to donate Chef Boyardee provisions using Amazon. The organization was able to support 140 new children from this effort alone. Today, it feeds 3,000 kids from 80 area schools on weekends.
- For 26 years, MaliVai Washington Youth Foundation (MWYF) founder Mal Washington has been breaking the cycle of poverty through a vibrant after-school mentoring program. Originally rooted in his beloved sport of tennis, MWYF now serves 500 kids annually through a comprehensive youth development program of academic tutoring, leadership skills, financial training and fitness. He’s proud of a 100% high school graduation rate within the program, given that the surrounding neighborhood has a dropout rate of 20%.
The Good Neighbor Awards program is in its 23rd year. Of the 10 finalists, five will be named top winners and receive a $10,000 grant and national media exposure for their charity, including a feature in the fall issue of REALTOR Magazine. The winners also will be honored in Orlando in November during NAR’s annual convention. Five honorable mentions will receive $2,500 grants.
In addition, NAR has a “Web Choice Favorites” competition. Three nominees who receive the most online votes will receive additional money. The top vote-getter will take home $2,500, while the second and third runners-up each will receive $1,250. Realtor.com provides the funding, and votes may be cast through Oct 3. Winners and Web Choice Favorites will be announced on Oct. 6.
“This year’s Good Neighbor finalists have gone above and beyond to help build stronger communities and improve the lives of people across this country,” says NAR President Leslie Rouda Smith. “Their determination and selfless commitment embody everything that we strive for as Realtors and compassionate members of our community.”
Other Good Neighbor Award honorees
- Jennifer Barnes (Keller Williams Realty Peachtree Road, Brookhaven, Georgia)
- Dennis Curtin (Legacy Investments in Kansas City, Missouri.)
- Jim Edmonds (Emerald Isle Properties, Kilauea, Hawaii)
- Heather Griesser LaPierre (RE/MAX Preferred Realty, Newtown Square, Pa.)
- Tami Hicks (Century 21 Signature Real Estate, Ames, Iowa)
- Lisa Hoeve (Coldwell Banker Woodland Schmidt, Holland, Mich.)
- Debbie McCabe (Berkshire Hathaway HomeServices Fox & Roach, Realtors, and the Trident Group, Devon, Pa.)
- Kathy Opperman (Long & Foster Real Estate, Collegeville, Pa.)
© 2022 Florida Realtors®