When you are in the downsizing business, helping others tends to have a ripple effect.
Let me explain. My clients come to me looking for a simpler life. Perhaps they want a smaller home, a less expensive footprint, or an ADU. As a Realtor, my job is to connect them to this future life.
As a Downsizing expert, my goal is to put resources in their hands that will help them take tiny steps, resulting in big changes. That might mean connecting them with a professional organizer or other trusted referral, giving advice on zoning or small space design, or helping them access local resources as they are decluttering and recycling.
Often, the work of downsizing is tied to the work of helping those suffering from excess, give to those who are lacking basic necessities.
How I give Back: The Windermere Foundation
The Windermere Foundation, which funds local non-profits focusing on homelessness and poverty, is committed to this work. The foundation has been one of the primary ways that I give back. Every Buyer and Seller that I work with results in a monetary donation to the Foundation. Each Windermere office holds various creative fundraising events like Poinsettia and Tulip sales, Chili Cook offs and golf tournaments, and talent shows.
Last year, Windermere gave over $360,000 to 48 local non-profits, including Free Geek, Friends of the Children, Bridge Meadows, Project Lemonade and the Community Transitional School, along with 43 others. In October, we received recognition at the Portland Business Journal’s Corporate Philanthropy Award. We were also named the number one philanthropic company in the large company level for the second year in a row!
A Great Local Recycling Resource for Portlanders
This year, my Sellwood / Mooreland office will be putting on a Talent Dinner & Show, featuring ten talented Windermere brokers. Lots of fabulous prizes will be featured, like my beach house! 100% of the proceeds will go directly to the Windermere Foundation.
Last year’s talent show was a big success, and we were honored to donate to Free Geek, a local electronics donation resource that connects much-needed devices to low-income households.
Free Geek is a great example of one of those local resources that my clients rely on to accept their donations as they are downsizing.
Their Digital Equity Program is run by Hillary Shohoney and does tremendous work in the community. Free Geek’s mission statement is “All residents of Portland/ Multnomah County will have barrier-free access to high-speed broadband internet at home and school, an affordable computing device, and the training to use them effectively.
These folks recycle all electronics and refurbish used devices to send back out to those who need them most. Your tax-deductible donation is extremely meaningful for them. Since brokers tend to have lots of gadgets, we are constantly collecting older items and sending them to Free Geek. We love supporting the work that they are doing in the Portland community!
If you’d like to donate to Free Geek, you can learn more here. If you are interested in being a sponsor of the talent show, you can find more information by contacting Peggy Reaume at email@example.com.
It’s all About Small, Everyday Actions
The goal of this post is to demonstrate that there are multiple ways to tap into a simpler and more meaningful life. What does that look like for you? Decluttering and donating to a local resource like Community Warehouse or Free Geek has the power to change the lives of others. Donating to a cause that you care about is a small, actionable decision that will give you a powerful feeling of contribution.
When you begin helping others in this way, you put yourself in the position of being helpful in all kinds of other, unexpected ways. I am repeatedly blown away by the incredible giving that takes place in Portland, and am always inspired to do more as a result.
There are so many ways to give back, and there is no wrong way to do it. How will you know when you’ve made a difference?
It will put a smile on your face.