Give This Holiday and Make Your Home Clutter-Free

Charitable organizations make it even easier for you to donate your household items this time of year.

Guest post by Laura McHolm

‘Tis the season of gratitude, giving and of course: decorating, parties, feasts, shopping and more. But before you go down your merry, merry to do list, think about the needs of your community and all the stuff and clutter you don’t need around your home. Perhaps, you have clothing, furniture, kitchen items, or even food you have been meaning to clear out? The jolly news is charitable organizations make it even easier for you to donate your household items to assist those in need this time of year. You can make a difference, so everyone can have a joyful holiday. And, you get to rediscover the holiday joy you experienced as a child.

This is not just another to do on your holiday list, it’s very simple and the rewards are immense – it’s the ultimate win- win! You assist others and at the same time you get a clutter-free home, all prepped for the holidays. No need to scramble to find a solution for outgrown clothes and furniture, and pantry items you will never use, simply follow this guide of “What to Give and Where to Give” and the process will be Grinch-free!

1. Non-Perishable Food

Make room for all of the yummy holiday goodies! Wondering if your food bank wants your three pound bottle of mustard? Here are the top items that they need:

  • Canned Vegetables & Fruits
  • Canned Stews & Soups
  • Canned Beans
  • Canned Tuna
  • Pasta & Sauce
  • Baby Food
  • Dry Beans
  • Flour
  • Cereal & Oatmeal
  • Juice
  • Rice
  • Peanut/Nut Butters & Jelly/Jams

Where to Donate:

  • Your local Food Bank. You can find your local food bank here.
  • Check with your local fire department, churches, synagogues, schools, and grocery stores to see if they are hosting food pantry donations drop offs
  • Visit www.MoveForHunger.org, a non-profit organization that will connect you with a local moving company that will deliver your non-perishable food donations to your local food bank for you. Check out their Find A Mover tool.
  • Willing to roll-up your sleeves? Start your own food drive. Simply ask local businesses, schools and libraries to put out your colorfully decorated food drive donation boxes and use your social networks to get the word out. It only takes 1.2lbs of food to provide a meal to an individual in need, so it doesn’t matter how big your food drive is, every little bit helps.

2. Clothing

Make room for your holiday sweaters! Bring gently used clothing to the following charities or go online or call them to see if they will come to your door to pick up your donations.

  • Baby, kids and adult clothing
  • Coats (Kids and families are in great need of coats this time of year.)
  • Suits
  • Belts
  • Scarves
  • Ties
  • Pocketbooks
  • Boots
  • Shoes

Where to Donate:

  • Goodwill
  • Salvation Army
  • Epilepsy Foundation
  • Veteran organizations
  • Big Brothers Big Sisters of America
  • Red Cross
  • Check with your local fire department, churches, synagogues and schools, to see if they are hosting clothing donation drop offs

3. Toys

Make room for what Santa brings! Get your kids involved in sorting through their things so they get to learn the ultimate gift – the gift of giving!

  • Gently used, unbroken toys or new toys that are unwrapped (it depends on the charity if a new toy is required so contact them first.)
  • Stuffed animals
  • Coloring books & crayons
  • School supplies and stationery
  • Hand held games
  • Children’s books
  • No toy guns or other violent toys

Where to Donate:

  • Toys for Tots. Find your local Toys for Tots drop off locations here.
  • Local children’s hospitals & hospitals
  • Local Ronald McDonald House. Find a local Ronald McDonald location or care mobile here.
  • Local Boys & Girls Club
  • Many local shelters or children’s charities accept toy donations. Use this Homeless Shelter Directory to find shelters in your area.
  • Organizations like My Stuff Bags and Stuffed Animals for Emergencies offer children a familiar object in times of crisis.
  • Check with your local fire department, churches, synagogues, and schools, to see if they are hosting toy donation drop offs
  • Other places to check include a children’s social services office and even stores often have a donation bin at the front entrance where you can place donation

4. Household Goods & Furniture

Make room for your gifts!

  • Antiques, collectibles
  • Appliances (small)
  • Artwork
  • Bedspreads, blankets, curtains, tablecloths, decorative pillows
  • Bicycles
  • Books, records, tapes, CDs, DVDs
  • Cookware, dishes, pots and pans
  • Housewares and decorative items
  • Jewelry
  • Sporting goods
  • Gently used furniture

Where to Donate:

  • Habitat for Humanity ReStore
  • Goodwill
  • Salvation Army
  • Epilepsy Foundation
  • Veteran organizations
  • Big Brothers Big Sisters of America
  • Red Cross

5. Cell Phones 

Clean out the old gadget drawer! Donate old smart phones & tablets (make sure to clear your data from it first!)

Where to Donate:

6. Gift Cards

Keep your drawers clutter free! Re-gift the gift cards you are given and turn them into charitable donations. Exchange your retail gift cards for a charity donation. You will receive a tax receipt for the entire full value or residual balance of your card.

Where to Donate:

  • CharityGiftCertificates.org

7. Vehicles

Open up a parking space for Santa’s sleigh!

  • Car
  • Truck
  • RV
  • Boat
  • Motorcycle
  • Trailer

Where to Donate:

  • Habitat for Humanity Cars for Homes
  • Salvation Army
  • Kars 4 Kids
  • Wheels for Wishes
  • Cars Helping Veterans.org
  • Goodwill

Once you have cleared the clutter and given to those who will actually use and need your unwanted items, well, just like they say in Whoville, your heart will grow three sizes and the true meaning of the holidays will come through, plus two!

Source: CB Blue Matter Blog

Posted on December 15, 2017 at 10:00 am
Kappel Gateway Realty | Category: Charity, holidays | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , ,

What Is Giving Tuesday and How Can I Give Back?

We spend Thanksgiving being grateful. A roof over our heads, loving family members, new and old friends, good health, and delicious Thanksgiving dinner are some of the things we are thankful for. Then we spend Black Friday and Cyber Monday scoping out great deals on goodies, perhaps for the people we are thankful for. Finally, we spend the Tuesday after Thanksgiving giving back to the community. Giving Tuesday is a day dedicated to giving back to the community. Here are 3 ways you can get involved with Giving Tuesday.

1. Donate

Giving Tuesday is the perfect day to make your year-end donations or donate goods to your favorite charities. What are you most passionate about? Are you passionate about ending poverty, finding cure for a disease, achieving equality for all, or combatting climate change? Whatever your passion may be, you can find nonprofit organizations that can help you make a difference in the world.

Most importantly, do some research on the charity organization. Charity Navigator is a great online tool that evaluates charities. It offers charity assessments for thousands of organizations. Check out the organization’s rating, mission statement, and fund allocations.

Here are some of the charities that we are thankful for this year.

  • Adopt-a-Pet.com 
    Adopt-a-Pet.com
     is North America’s largest non-profit pet adoption website. Since 2015, the Coldwell Banker community and Adopt-a-Pet.com helped over 20,000 pets find their new homes through the Homes for Dogs Project.
  • Move For Hunger
    Move For Hunger works to reduce food waste and fight hunger. Their network of moving companies, real estate agents, and relocation professionals rescues non-perishable food from people who are moving and delivers it to local food banks.

Remember, if you decide to make monetary donations:

  • Find out if your employer offers a matching gift program. Many companies often encourage their employees to give to the community by making a dollar-for-dollar matching contribution to the employee’s charity of choice.
  • Keep records of your donations. Donations to qualified organizations may entitle you to a charitable contribution deduction against your income tax.

2. Volunteer

The gift of time is invaluable. Volunteering is a great opportunity to meet and connect with others in your community. Share your knowledge and expertise with an organization that supports the cause you care deeply about. You may even be able to build on your existing skills or learn new skills. Volunteer this Giving Tuesday or on an ongoing basis.

 3. Advocate

Support a cause by giving your voice. You can be an influencer of political, economic, or social policies and practices. First, educate yourself on the important issue. Learn the facts on both sides of the issue to gain credibility. Then, start conversations and engage others to share the knowledge. It’s also a good idea to visit your elected officials and let them know why and how they can help with your cause. Find out who your Federal, State and Local Elected Officials are and how to contact them. Make your voices heard!

The love we give away is the only love we keep. You may decide to donate, volunteer, or advocate (or all the above) to participate in Giving Tuesday this year, but whatever you decide to do, become part of something bigger and meaningful. There is no better way to warm your grateful heart than to give back to the community.

Source: CB Blue Matter Blog

Posted on November 28, 2017 at 8:34 am
Kappel Gateway Realty | Category: American Cancer Society, Charity, family, real estate, Relay for LIfe | Tagged , , , , , , , ,

San Antonio Pet Adoption and Hurricane Harvey Relief

Coldwell Banker and Adopt-a-Pet.com renewed their partnership in 2017. Coldwell Banker D’Ann Harper, REALTORS® held a San Antonio pet adoption event and raised thousands of dollars for hurricane relief.

Coldwell Banker and Adopt-a-Pet.com teamed up again this year. The “Homes for Dogs” project launched in 2015 with a goal reaching 20,000 adoptions and Coldwell Banker affiliated offices nationwide joined forces and exceeded the goal.

At Coldwell Banker D’Ann Harper, REALTORS® we had planned a San Antonio pet adoption to join our Gen Blue family across the country by hosting a local pet adoption event. Our office locations span nine locations in seven cities in San Antonio and the surrounding areas. We had teamed up with local shelters, gathered resources, and promoted the National Adopt-a-Pet weekend.

What none of us could have planned for was the storm on the horizon. Hurricane Harvey made landfall on the evening of August 25 near Rockport, Texas. Home to many of our sales agents, family, friends, and sister brokerage the Ron Brown Company. The Category 4 hurricane sent wind gusts upwards of 100 mph through the Texas Coastal Bend. This area is composed of numerous small towns.

An Action Plan

We watched helplessly as the torrential rains moved along the 300 miles of Texas coastline to Houston and farther north to Beaumont. This is not only a Texas story; the storm moved painfully slow over the course of a week bringing the flood waters into parts of Louisiana, Arkansas, Kentucky, Mississippi, and Tennessee.

Without hesitation, Leesa Harper Rispoli rallied with the sales agents, employees, and partners here to formulate a plan of action. In step with our parent company, Realogy, who pledged to match up to $75,000 for Red Cross Hurricane Harvey relief funds, we launched a fundraiser directly benefiting the American Red Cross. To date this fundraiser has raised over $5,300.

Leesa put together a special message and effective immediately, on August 30, we began collecting donations. We then planned for a Big Donation Event on September 7, just ahead of our Adopt-A-Pet event on September 9. We communicated directly with our fellow Coldwell Banker family members who sustained severe damage. We continue to encourage and support their respective fundraisers found here:

HelpRockport.CBHarper.com
HelpPortA.CBHarper.com

Texans Rally Together

Even in the midst of a gas shortage caused by panic here in San Antonio, our Big Donation Event unfolded with grand success. Allen Pozzi and Richard Davies, in true Texas fashion, brought in their barbecue pit and served up brisket, sausage, and fajita tacos. Each taco sold for $2 with the proceeds earmarked for relief efforts. Over $1,387.44 was raised in monetary donations. Checks were delivered directly to the San Antonio Food Bank, a hub of distribution for those affected by Hurricane Harvey.

Donations for Hurricane Harvey Relief

Hurricane Harvey Relief Donations

Physical donations came in by the truckload until our entire trailer was filled with new goods, including cleaning supplies, food, and hygiene products. Some of our donations were even sent via Amazon from other locations across the country, like ones we received from Heather Ostrom at Coldwell Banker Roseville and Rocklin. We worked with a church who organized and delivered all the items collected. They put them directly into the hands of those affected and set up a team of volunteers who are assisting in the rebuilding process.

Helping Furry Friends

With our donations delivered on Friday, we pushed forward together to promote our Adopt-a-Pet event. It was no longer about only the San Antonio pet adoption. It became about relieving the shelters who were feeling the pressure as they received incoming pets displaced by the flooding.

Cat Lodge and Leesa Harper Rispoli

Cat Lodge & Leesa Harper Rispoli

Our very own Cat Lodge appeared on SALiving with TV personality Shelly Miles to voice how adopting a dog can make all the difference. Already full shelters here in San Antonio were seeing a large influx of animals that had escaped the storm or lost their families. Seeing a need, our friends at Adopt-a-Pet.com announced the release of a unique peer-to-peer platform that helps displaced people find local citizens who can provide temporary foster homes for pets until they can be welcomed back home.

On Saturday, September 9 our offices joined together with God’s Dogs, SARocks, San Antonio Pets Alive, and Pet’s Barn to take part in the nation-wide Adopt-a-Pet weekend. In total, 28 dogs found new homes, which for us is a tremendous success! Below are photos from our event and they speak louder than any words we can share.

At the end of the day, we’re all Texans. What does it mean? It means we’re family — here to lift one another up. We rise only by lifting others. So if that means raising money, donating goods, or hosting a pet adoption — count us in. If there is one thing we are passionate about here at Coldwell Banker D’Ann Harper, REALTORS®, it is changing lives by affecting real change where we can. Texas is a wonderful place to live and raise a family. If this tragedy has taught us anything, it is that we are Texas Strong. Stay on this journey with us as we continue down the path to recovery post-Hurricane Harvey . . . and Hurricane Irma. It is a long road home for some but we will reach the destination, together.

Cat Lodge, Julie Gezella and Mark Stillings

Adoptable puppy named 'Moana'

Wendy Holtorff and her family with their new adopted family member

Wendy Holtorff and her family with their new pup! Congratulations!

Julie Brown and Donna Frye put in some serious “sign-holding” time — committed to pups and all things Adopt-a-Pet!

Posted on September 22, 2017 at 12:37 pm
Kappel Gateway Realty | Category: Charity, Dogs, family, pets, real estate | Tagged , , , , , , , , ,