By John Daux
As the inaugural chairman of Greater Tampa REALTORS® newest committee, the Community Outreach Committee, it is my pleasure to give you an update on the committee. As many of you may recall, the Community Outreach Committee was a combination of our former Public Relations and Housing Opportunities Committees. The primary goal of this committee is to seek volunteer opportunities that we as a 12,000+ strong member organization can do together. While that’s a lofty goal, we have done some positive things in the community as REALTORS®.
In search of volunteer opportunities, we started our year participating in the City of Tampa’s quarterly Community Resource Fair. Several members were able to help manage a GTR booth at Jefferson High School, Saturday, February 1. Over 300 residents were in attendance, and the GTR team was able to distribute YPN’s first time homebuyer brochure, give potential buyers insight on the homebuying process and share information about GTR. A few members even had the opportunity to take a photo with Mayor Jane Castor.
Committee members were signed up and prepared to participate in the City’s 2nd quarter Community Resource Fair scheduled on April 11 at Cyrus Greene Community Center in east Tampa. Unfortunately, COVID-19 stepped in and all plans were canceled. Undoubtedly, hundreds of children were disappointed when they learned the helicopter egg drop in celebration of Easter was not going to happen.
On Thursday, February 20, 6-9 p.m. at the Centre Club in downtown Tampa, several members enjoyed Habitat for Humanity of Hillsborough County’s mixer as GTR was the title sponsor of Habitat’s Real Estate Home Build, which is a first partnership of this kind. The Real Estate Build would have required the sweat equity of many REALTORS® and Alexis Barnes, the first-time homebuyer recipient and mother of two. Although COVID-19 altered the plans of the build, I’m happy to report that Habitat has offered GTR another Real Estate Build title sponsorship once our communities return to full operations. More importantly, Habitat was able to implement safe measures with sub-contractors to continue to build and complete the Barnes family home.
President Darlene Davenport challenged the Community Outreach committee to have “boots on the ground,” to overcome the hurdle of COVID-19. We moved to “virtual” boots with our support of Metropolitan Ministries (MetroMin). As a result of the COVID-19 pandemic, the resources of MetroMin were being quickly depleted. The nonprofit had never experienced such a high demand on their services as well employed individuals lost their jobs and joined others in seeking assistance. The Community Outreach Committee led our association in establishing a food drive and GoFundMe page in the month of April. I thank those of you who were able to participate in raising over $5,500 and donating 1,650 pounds of food and supplies. There is always more that could have been done, but the MetroMin staff were very happy with our donations. The GTR staff is to be applauded for
executing the vision on very short notice. They did an excellent job of setting up the Gofundme page, managing the logistics of the food drive and promoting the event. The video of the GTR lobby full of food and supplies was outstanding.
I commend committee members as we explore and act on plans to be of service to our community. If you are aware of any opportunities that could involve REALTORS® doing good in a major way to help a cause, please don’t hesitate to contact Joey Henderson, Director of Public Affairs and Staff Liaison to the Community Outreach Committee. Please send emails to Joey@tamparealtors.org. We welcome you to our committee meetings, look forward to your suggestions and encourage your participation.