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REALTORS Making a Difference in Their Neighborhood

April 05 2020

I recently wrote an article, "Are you a REALTOR? Time to Step Up," and the response has been great. I discussed that, during these times with so many fear and needs, the real estate community should step up in our local community and find ways to make a difference. I believe now is the time to put being a giving, caring resource in your community before being a REALTOR. I'm sure this will help you when we return to business as normal.

dick betts melody bottingI wanted to share a story from a REALTOR® that is making a difference in her community, and thought about my Facebook friend, Melody Botting. Melody lives in San Antonio, and is a broker associate with BHHS PenFed Realty. She has been in real estate for the past 18 years. I see her posting regularly about volunteering at the San Antonio Food Bank and decided to reach out to her as an excellent example of a REALTOR® giving back to the community.

TOur phone conversation started with her telling me, "it's not about me; it's about the movement." I knew then I was talking to the right person. Melody has been volunteering at the San Antonio Food Bank for the past three years. She has held different volunteer positions, but it sounds like her current position is giving her the most rewarding feeling of helping others. Melody delivers monthly food and pet supplies to homebound senior citizens.

As Melody explained to me, the food bank sends out a nutritionist to meet with the resident and designs what is needed for a month as far as food and proper nutrition. The food bank prepares the needed supplies, and this is where Melody comes in. She didn't just show up to volunteer—she needed to have a background check and training on what she needed to do beyond just delivering groceries. Because her deliveries are many times heavy, she enters the home and helps store the food. But there is so much more!

Part of Melody's job is to also check on the welfare of the people while delivering the food. She shared a few stories with me and had a hard time describing what happened—as I had a hard time seeing my notes, fighting tears as she described her story. Her first delivery was to a lady she describes as barely 5-feet tall. It took a long time for her to answer the door. When she finally opened the door, the lady had been attempting to put makeup on, hair in curlers, and a tea towel pinned around her neck. Melody noticed her makeup looked like she had been crying, so she asked if everything was okay. The lady explained her daughter had died, and she was getting ready to go to the funeral. Melody asked if she could hug her, and, as she left, she called the food bank to have somebody check on her.

Another time Melody was delivering the monthly supplies, a lady answer the door and explained she was in bed thinking about needing to take a bus to get dialysis and had no food in her house. She told Melody she was an angel!

Melody explained the San Antonio Food bank's motto is "Fighting Hunger, Feeding Hope." I asked why she volunteered. She explained her grandmother, who lived close to her growing up, always told her to do what you can to help people. One of her first memories of volunteering was at seven years-old, calling bingo at a senior center. Melody also volunteers at the Alamo as a teacher and serves as a volunteer at the Tobin Center for the Preforming Arts.

There are about 1.3 million REALTORS® across the country. In the past, I have described them as local community ambassadors. With COVID-19 ravishing our country, YOU ARE NEEDED! Step up, find a food pantry, find an organization that needs help, and get in there and help. I promise you if you give of yourself and be unselfish, when life returns to normal, your rewards will come. Plus, hopefully, you find yourself wanting to continue to help!

Dick Betts is a national speaker, trainer and consultant. Learn more at