By Staci Caplan
Santa Barbara Association of REALTORS®
The National Association of Realtors® has announced its five 2020 Good Neighbor Awards winners. For 21 consecutive years, NAR has honored Realtors® who make an extraordinary impact on the world through volunteering. The efforts of this year’s Good Neighbor Awards recipients are even more outstanding given the challenges that COVID-19 brought to their respective humanitarian efforts, including canceled fundraisers, obstacles to in-person volunteering and increased need.
“Our Good Neighbor Awards winners leave a remarkable impact on their communities every year, but everything these Realtors® have done in 2020 is even more impressive and more commendable,” said NAR President Vince Malta, broker at Malta & Co., Inc., in San Francisco, Calif. “This year has brought unprecedented challenges, but the 2020 Good Neighbor Awards winners have been a force for good during the most difficult and unique times, and they continue to inspire all of us by showing how one person can make a difference in the world.”
Each of the five winners – selected by a multi-stage, criteria-based judging process – will receive a $10,000 grant for their charity. The 2020 Good Neighbor Winners:
Linda K. Brown
Cofounder of Eden Village, Linda Brown transforms abandoned mobile home properties into villages of tiny homes that provide permanent housing to the chronically disabled homeless. To date, Brown and her husband have raised $4.75 million to place 36 tiny homes, with the goal of making their hometown a city “where no one sleeps outside.” magazine.realtor/LindaBrown
After losing several friends to suicide, Jeff Fields, past board president of Teen Lifeline, is committed to saving teens from what he calls “the most preventable death.” Under Fields’s leadership, the organization serves more than 28,000 youth through a peer-to-peer teen crisis hotline while providing community education on suicide prevention. magazine.realtor/JeffFields
To honor her son’s memory, Tamara House raised $3.6 million to cofound Grant’s House, an after-school and summer program for children with special needs. House used her real estate experience and relationships with contractors to renovate a 50,000-square-foot building, which now features 20 rooms with various activities and recreation opportunities for children with disabilities. magazine.realtor/TamaraHouse
Cancer survivor Vickie Lobo founded Knock Knock Angels to help people start over after they’ve faced and overcome difficult situations like domestic violence, homelessness and drug addiction. Lobo partners with local philanthropic and community organization to furnish new apartments with donated furniture, dishes, towels and anything else these individuals would need to begin their new life. magazine.realtor/VickieLobo
Greg Masucci and his wife founded A Farm Less Ordinary, a nonprofit that employs young adults with intellectual and developmental disabilities. These young men and women learn to grow produce from seed to harvest, attend farmer’s markets as ambassadors for people with disabilities and enjoy an environment that builds their skills and confidence. magazine.realtor/GregMasucci
Nominees were judged on their personal investment of time, as well as their financial and material contributions to benefit their cause. Good Neighbor Awards have been granted annually since 2000. Nearly $1.4 million in grants have been awarded to more than 200 Realtor®-led charities.
The National Association of Realtors® is America’s largest trade association, representing more than 1.4 million members involved in all aspects of the residential and commercial real estate industries.
Staci Caplan is a California Real Estate Broker and the owner of Pacific Crest Realty. She was born and raised in Santa Barbara and her passion for this special region translates into successful real estate transactions and thrilled clients. At our local Santa Barbara Associations of REALTORS ® , Staci has served on the Board of Directors, the Government Relations Committee, the Budget and Finance Committee, the Multiple Listing Committee, and the REALTOR ® Action Fund Committee. She can be reached at (805) 886-3970 or email@example.com.