When the First Weber Foundation was created in 2006, it's mission was - and remains today - to give First Weber stakeholders, agents & staff a way to strengthen their communities through charitable giving and volunteer leadership. In short, make it possible for all of the players at First Weber to make a difference, an impact, to be able to step in where there was a need in the community and try to help whenever and wherever possible.
Today, we'll take a look at two First Weber agents who are at very different stages in their real estate careers to see how they give back to their communities by pitching in.
According to the December 2020 CARE Report published by the National Association of REALTORS, REALTOR members are twice as likely to volunteer, and 82% of REALTOR members-at-large made contributions in 2019. At First Weber, approximately 78% of the agents and staff are contributing to the self-funded First Weber Foundation.
"You'll Meet People You May Have Never Met"
John Crimmings, Office Manager and REALTOR of First Weber Racine, has been in real estate for 46 years and joined First Weber in 2006, the same year, coincidentally, that the First Weber Foundation was created. When he started in real estate, he was 24 years old and had just moved back to his hometown of Racine. He didn't know a lot of people, he said, so he joined the Jaycees, and the rest is history. Most recently, John was awarded the Sam Johnson Volunteer Award by the Racine County Economic Development Corporation. After many years of volunteer leadership in several areas and boards in the Racine community, today John is seated on the Board of Directors of the Racine Zoo and on the Racine Art Museum, as well as serves on committees for the Racine Community Foundation. John is also one of the Board Members for the First Weber Foundation.
When asked why he volunteers so much, he replied that there are organizations in Racine that shouldn't be there. "Racine sits between Milwaukee and Chicago," he explained, "and is probably the last place you think you'd find a world-class symphony orchestra and world-class art museum." John is passionate about supporting these organizations to be sure that they continue their legacies for years to come and to enrich the Racine community. John encourages agents to give back to their community because they will have a chance to meet people they may have never met before, and that you reap unintended consequences of growing your business and sphere. Best of all, you solidify your place in the community, he added.
John believes that agents should get involved in volunteerism in companion with work. "If you have a passion for an organization," he says, "it's an opportunity to do something more than just write a check."
It's safe to say that First Weber and the First Weber Foundation are proud of John's years of service and dedication!
Just 2 whirlwind years into her real estate career, Cheryl Mortvedt, a Rookie of the Year REALTOR from First Weber's Dodgeville Office, considers herself a "servant leader" and says she has been volunteering her whole life. Her motto - in life, in volunteering, in real estate - is "Love Does." Cheryl goes on to explain that who she is at home is who she is when she volunteers and who she is when she is working with clients and customers. "What you see is what you get." As her family was growing, Cheryl worked to align volunteer opportunities with her family, so as her children grew from one stage to another, she became a soccer coach, a religion teacher at her family's church and a mountain biking mentor to keep up with them. Cheryl currently is an active volunteer in a mountain biking club, at her church, and at the Barneveld Cafe, where she also serves on the Board. Cheryl came into real estate with an eye on giving back to her community in any way she could, sending mailers that highlighted local businesses and sharing videos on social media that were in turn shared by the businesses and their loyal supporters. Two years later, she is still scheduling those mailers, and has now added a newsletter to her marketing strategy that always features a non-profit agency. Cheryl lives in a rural Iowa County town and her 'neighborhood' reaches several miles to several towns around her, so she sees an opportunity to connect people to things they might not have otherwise known about. When asked how volunteering fit with her new real estate career, Cheryl answered without hesitation: "The more you love on people and the more you help people, the more love comes back." Cheryl cites the same unintended consequences as Crimmings of the way you become seen as a leader, as someone who cares. "I want my mailers to mean something. I want to expose people to different things because it brings them closer to their community." Cheryl, thank you for impact you are making on your community, especially when a lot of those businesses were suffering from pandemic shut-downs and slowed business. You make First Weber & the Foundation proud!
Watch For These Signs
Watch for these signs popping up with your favorite First Weber agents, staff and key stakeholders, as a sign that they give back to their communities through their participation in the First Weber Foundation and by serving their communities.
It's not too late to give! The First Weber Foundation is accepting one-time donations - and if you are so inclined, you can schedule monthly payments via our Donation Page PayPal link!