With only a few weeks left in 2017, I like to take time to reflect on all aspects of my life: faith, family, business, health, relationships, volunteering, and more. I don’t know about y’all, but I find that it is harder and harder in life to maintain a balance and not go a little crazy trying to do so. In 2018, I will NOT strive to find the perfect balance, but instead, as a friend of mine said, make efforts to achieve a “healthy tension.” 

With that being said, one of my main focuses for 2018 is spending more time giving back to the community in which I live, work, and play. I have chosen to donate my time, treasure, and talent to three local charities in 2018: Rebuild Upstate, the Upstate Warrior Solution, and the GHS Children’s Hospital. My hope in sharing information about these three organizations is to educate and inspire you to give back to organizations that you are passionate about. Because as Gandhi once said, “The best way to find yourself is to lose yourself in the service of others.” 

Rebuild Upstate

As a realtor in Greenville, SC, affordable housing is a huge topic of discussion. The U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) defines affordable housing as “housing for which the occupant(s) is/are paying no more than 30 percent of his or her income for gross housing costs, including utilities.” With the rapid growth that is taking place in Greenville County, finding housing that is affordable is becoming increasingly difficult. Organizations such as Rebuild Upstate are working to prevent the need for affordable housing by keeping homeowners in their current homes. 

Rebuild Upstate focuses on repairing and improving existing homes in Anderson, Greenville, Oconee, and Pickens Counties, so that homeowners are not forced to seek other means if there homes become unsafe or no longer accessible. Their goal is to create “safe, healthy, sustainable home environments for disabled, low-income and elderly people.” Rebuild is always looking for support in the form of volunteering or donations.

Upstate Warrior Solution

Veterans have always held a special place in my heart as my father served in the 82nd Airborne Division of the U.S. Army. Growing up my father instilled in me values of hard work, determination, and loyalty. I choose Upstate Warrior Solution as my second charity because I believe it’s our duty to protect those who have served us.

Upstate Warrior Solution is a non-profit organization in the Upstate that seeks to be a resource and support system to veterans in our community in the form of Mentorship, Healthcare and Benefits, Education and Training, Housing, and Employment. After speaking with Theresa Thompson, the Community Development Director, she said that their current greatest need is temporary housing for veterans who have not been able to pay their rent or mortgage payments. Hotels, AirBnb’s, etc.. that can donate a few nights stay a month would be greatly appreciated. If you or anyone you know can help with short term housing, please get in touch with the Upstate Warrior Solution team today!

GHS Children’s Hospital (Dog Therapy Program)

Another focus of mine for the 2018 year is bringing my Labradoodle, Maggie, to the GHS Children’s Hospital as a therapy dog. After getting Maggie this past August, my husband and I just knew that she would be the perfect fit for the Dog Therapy Program (once she gets all of her puppy excitement out!). Maggie is so good-natured and absolutely adores people and children! We are currently taking obedience classes now with the hope of having her ready to be a therapy dog by her first birthday on June 11, 2018. After she passes her classes, she will be able to visit the hospital and cheer patients up! Click to see other volunteer opportunities at the GHS Children’s Hospital.

I hope you’ve learned about an organization that you were not originally familiar with and that this post has sparked you to take action in 2018 in making the difference in other’s lives! Remember that with each sale, I donate to my client’s choice of one of the three charities mentioned above on their behalf. Please share with everyone you know and let’s make 2018 great!

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