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Volunteering... That's What It's All About!

by Monika Strand

VolunteerhandsHave you ever been in a room full of people when the frightening question is tossed to the crowd that brings them to utter silence?  Your inner voice begins to chatter:

“Maybe they won’t see me if I slouch in my chair. This might be a good time to head to the bathroom. Where’s the backdoor, maybe I can make a run for it.”

No way out…

“Can I get a volunteer?”

You can hear a pin drop. Everyone begins to lose eye contact with the speaker.

"Maybe they won’t pick me if I don’t look at them."

Silence.

Beat. Beat. Beat.

"I can’t take it anymore. I have to do something."

My arm frantically shoots up over my head waving like a crazy person hailing a taxi cab in New York.

"I'll do it!"

While raising my daughters I spent countless hours volunteering. Some people thought I was on the payroll at their school. Everyone knew my name. I’m not talking about Monika. I’m talking about my volunteer names during the years when my kids were younger:
Kayla’s mom, Alyssa’s mom, Mrs. Strand, Momika - the name my daughter’s friends call me still, because I’m everyone’s “Mom”.

I found all sorts of ways to volunteer my time. It’s funny. The more I volunteered, the more fulfilled my life became.

There are many versions of volunteering when you have kids.

I categorize volunteering in a “Hokey Pokey Fashion”:

You put your right foot in: Chaperoning a field trip, baking cookies for the bake sale, organizing a craft project for a classroom.

You put your left foot in: Attending a Parent Club meeting, volunteering at Science Night, handing out prizes at the Turkey Trot.

You put your right hand in: Becoming a PTA Board Member, choreographing talent show dances, building balloon arches for graduation ceremonies.

You put your left hand in: Organizing walk-a-thons/dances/carnivals, being Parent Liaison to the Superintendent-and contributing your ideas to make things better (rather than just complain), keeping music alive in the classroom (when the music program was cut).

You put your WHOLE SELF in: Getting the Mayor to attend events to hand out awards, going beyond the school and volunteering as Meet Director for a swim team of 150+ swimmers, humbly receiving “Volunteer of the Year” from your kid’s school.

Let’s just say I’ve mastered the “Hokey Pokey Dance” and I’m better for it!

Now, as a budding fresh face to Real Estate, I am leaping into the “You put your WHOLE SELF in” level, because I’ve had experience at the “Hokey Pokey”, and I full well know the best place to be is in the final verse of the song!

By working my way up to that level of volunteer work, I have met so many incredible people, shared moments with my kids that I wouldn’t trade for anything, and most importantly have felt an overwhelming joy of making a difference in my community.

My Real Estate career started in July of 2017. Beyond setting myself up with education to succeed, I knew I wanted to get involved where I could “Move it and Shake it”, “Hokey Pokey Style”.

My first big move was attending our local Tri Cities Marketing meetings, where a guest speaker presented education, and we discussed the new listings before touring homes. Within a few weeks of attending, I found myself serving on the Board as Public Relations Chair. I was handed a mic, and instantly I was helping run the meetings. By raising my hand to volunteer, everyone attending the meetings began to know who I was. All I can say is networking in this fashion increases my opportunities to close deals with other agents. It also adds fun to my week to hang out with the best in my area.

When I heard about Women’s Council of REALTORS® Tri Cities, I instantly joined. As a new agent, I already had my mind set on the big picture ahead of me. I wanted to surround myself with other strong individuals who have a passion to help women succeed in their careers. Women’s Council sounded like the perfect place to make that happen. The incoming President for our Board invited me to meetings to organize our final fundraiser of the year. What an incredible bunch of people that know the Hokey Pokey’s final verse!
Movers.
Shakers.
Doers.
Get it done kinda people.

I love that drive and energy! They are people that have regard for others. They want to help others and impact the lives of others. By volunteering, I find that the dance to my next deal is sweet, rewarding and deserved.

I have built strong connections with other agents and vendor affiliates within my short six months as an agent, strongly due to raising my hand. Immersing myself in volunteer work is just as fun as handing keys to my buyers when I get them into their first home! Raising money with others who hold volunteering high on their list is, simply put, some of the best time I spend. Over the last six months I have helped Adopt an Angel, One Warm Coat, Life Elder Care, St. Jude’s Hospital, Bay East Scholarship Foundation, KW Cares-relief for disasters and Canine Companions! Holding and playing with puppies is probably the most unique volunteer work I’ve ever done! Knowing that they will grow up to help others in need is incredible.

Embrace 2018 and give the “Hokey Pokey” a try! Set goals for yourself and put your right foot in. I intend to help grow my Women’s Council of REALTORS® Tri Cities Council to 100 members strong. We are at about 30 members currently. Setting lofty goals to help others build their business is satisfying and drives me to new heights with my own career.

What have you got to lose? Trust me on this one. Where will you put your right foot in? Shake it all about people!!!

Before you know it, you will be putting your whole self in, turning yourself about, and you will quickly see that’s what it’s all about!


About the Contributor

Strandcircle

Monika Strand is known as the PowerHouse REALTOR® in her community. As a Yoga practitioner, she brings a calming focus to her client's Real Estate Journey. She is a proud Co-Chair of the Programs and Events Project Team for the Women's Council of REALTORS® Tri-Cities.

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