REwatch: Providing a Foundation for our Communities in More Ways than One

2013-10-13T09:15:00Z REwatch: Providing a Foundation for our Communities in More Ways than OneMichelle Krueger Times Columnist
October 13, 2013 9:15 am  • 

Lovelyn and Matt Palm’s personal journey is truly an inspiration, and I always enjoy the time I get to spend with them in their home so I can share their story with you.

While Lovelyn’s trips to Uganda focused on orphan care, adoption and the well dedication (Lovelyn has been out of the country a total of seven times, and her destination has always been Uganda), Matt has been on mission trips that provided construction services in Kenya, Guatemala and the Dominican Republic.

In all, they have only taken two trips to Uganda together. That means one parent usually stays behind to look after both their growing family and independent business. As Matt said, you just learn to juggle. In fact, when I arrived at their home/office this week, he was just finishing up his second call with a future homeowner. Seven of the nine children were off to school (I personally would need a nap after packing all those lunches), while twins Emmy and Evie were playing in the room where we met.

On the way home, I got to thinking about all the contributions the builders and real estate professionals I have met and worked with over the last decade make as a whole. Beyond the obvious, these people are usually parents of the next generation like the Palms and dedicated volunteers supporting our local communities with generous contributions of their time and money.

They serve on local boards and participate in a wide range of charitable endeavors, including the sponsorship of special events and community traditions such as annual festivals and parades, as well as champion academic, arts and athletic programs for our youth.

Since these local business owners and professionals invest a great deal of themselves as well as their life savings into their personal pursuits, they naturally have an interest in preserving the long-term health of the community as a whole.

Further demonstrating their impact, it has been estimated that non-profit organizations receive an average 350 percent greater support from local small business owners than they do from non-locally owned businesses, and, as the largest employer nationally, independent businesses often provide the most new jobs in a community.

While these statistics are often used to state the case for supporting independent retailers, service providers such as builders and real estate professionals fall into the that same category as well.

When we support independent small businesses, we invest in our communities, in our neighbors and in ourselves. Next time you’re at a community event, whether it’s at your child’s school, in a park or a business function, look around and take notice of the volunteers and coordinators. It’s highly likely that a few independent builders and local real estate professionals will be in the mix.

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