ARCC Partners with Real Estate Industry
By: Laura Poff
Real Estate For Rehabilitation, a new initiative founded in partnership with the homeownership industry and The Salvation Army, pitches existing furniture, household goods and clothing donation pickups to real estate brokers across the nation, increasing donations and filling trucks in all four territories.
The concept initially came from Joseph and JoAnn Callaway, best-selling authors, real estate brokers and members of the National Advisory Board.
The Callaways were first introduced to The Salvation Army in 2012 and were later asked to join the advisory board in their hometown of Phoenix. As a part of that process, they toured the community’s adult rehabilitation center and were deeply moved by the work and mission being accomplished there. They wanted to find a way to support them.
“We can save lives, we can restore families, and we can do it as a community,” JoAnn Callaway said.
Real Estate For Rehabilitation began as a way to involve the Phoenix home-buying community in that mission. They asked title companies, who play a role in the home-buying process, to display toy-sized donation trucks, business cards, brochures and other marketing information in their lobby as a way to introduce The Salvation Army’s in-kind donation pickup services to clients who were moving and likely looking to get rid of old or unwanted items. In just two years, more than 300 title companies pledged support for the program, leading to a full warehouse, healthy stores and supported centers.
This year, the program went national with representatives from all four territories partnering with the homeownership industry in their communities to pitch The Salvation Army’s services to their clients too.
Through the Real Estate For Rehabilitation website, companies can order free marketing materials to display in their offices to educate clients about services and tell the story of the impact of their donation.
All four territories came together to market the program and represent The Salvation Army at the annual National Association of Realtors Conference in Orlando in early November.
While at the conference, they encountered a real estate broker whose life had been forever changed by the organization when his family first moved to the United States from Belarus 25 years ago.
“When I saw The Salvation Army booth I was more interested in the toy truck for my 2-year-old son,” Alex Galitsky said. “But somehow I found myself at the booth again.”
When an officer asked him if he was familiar with the work that they do he said he was and started to share his story with her. She asked him to share it with JoAnn Callaway, and as he started to, he was overcome with emotion.
“I couldn’t get a word out,” he said. “Somehow I realized how far my family has come and how many people helped us along the way. Tears were rolling down my eyes, and I think some officers joined me. Officers were so nice and compassionate. I felt they were there because they wanted to be there and had a passion for helping others.”
He did take the truck, got more information on the program, met the Callaways and picked up a copy of their book. He learned more about the organization that provided clothes and food to his family all those years ago.
“I was not very familiar with The Salvation Army at the time,” he said. “And I wish I did my research. I would much rather drive a little further and donate to The Salvation Army now.”
Though Real Estate For Rehabilitation was launched to support adult rehabilitation centers, corps in non-ARC cities who wish to boost their in-kind donations are encouraged to participate in raising awareness and building relationships with realtors in their community to further the mission, ministry and impact of The Salvation Army.
To learn more about Real Estate For Rehabilitation, please contact the Southern Territory Adult Rehabilitation Centers Command’s Development Department.