Lending a Helping Hand, Making a Difference

Lending a Helping Hand, Making a Difference

Members of our development team and local real estate agents learned firsthand this year what kind of impact a few hours of their time can make. 

Our communities of Grand Central Park and Woodforest launched a volunteer program early this year that is part of our Empower Realtors initiative. Empower Realtors includes industry-related classes as well as sessions and outings — such as volunteering in the community — to help agents grow personally.

The four outings collectively brought more than 100 volunteers out to local charities, where they packed food for more than 5,500 meals, helped build five homes and replaced information cards on 200 dog kennels.

The volunteer program was born after a successful Habitat for Humanity of Montgomery County Build Day in 2022 that saw 30 local real estate agents and staff from the Woodforest and Grand Central Park development teams build 10 walls — about half needed for a two-bedroom home.

“It was such a rewarding experience for all who were involved,” said Monica Conchola, Realtor Relations Liaison for Johnson Development. “We knew immediately this would be something we’d want to continue.”

During the recent visit to Meals on Wheels Montgomery County, a crew of 30 worked two shifts and packed 800 bags of food for program recipients. This type of community support is vital to the program’s mission, said Carrie Watkins, Director of Community Development.

“This volunteer team was incredible,” she said. “They were a fun and fully engaged group who worked together to quickly get 800 meal bags ready for delivery. This work has a tremendous impact on our organization because it allows us to use every dollar possible towards meals for our seniors rather than operating costs.”

Meals on Wheels serves approximately 950 people in Montgomery County.

The volunteer program launched in February with more efforts to help the food-insecure in Montgomery County with a visit to the Montgomery County Food Bank. About 30 volunteers split into two teams to sort and pack more than 2,300 pounds of produce and fill 368 boxes of bagged rice and beans for boxes of meals. 

“They did an awesome job,” said Volunteer Services Manager Andrea Richardson. “Their work will result in 4,725 meals out into the community just in the couple of hours they spent packaging the rice, beans and produce. Every volunteer involved with us in any capacity makes an incredible impact.”

Next, 25 volunteers visited the Montgomery County Animal Shelter in April, replacing information cards and cardholders on 200 kennels there.

September saw a return trip to Habitat for Humanity where more than 30 Realtors and staff from Grand Central Park and Woodforest laid the groundwork for the construction of five new homes.

The volunteer opportunities will continue into 2024 as we support our local community and our Realtor partners.



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