Photo by Beau Bearden.
From left, Becca Johnson, Charlotte Nawfel, Cherish Sammeli and Lindsay Lowry paint a lattice at the Harbor House.
Originally published Tuesday, May 15, 2018 at 06:00a.m.
On any other day, the Keller Williams Realty team is likely to be found in an office or out and about in the community conducting business. But that wasn’t the case last week as a large group of realtors were painting, drilling or doing other things to help improve life at Harbor House – a place for homeless boys in coordination with Arizona Youth Partnership.
“For us to be able to partner with the community and serve them on a higher level is really what our passion is and what we’re here to do,” said Lindsay Lowry, a local realtor. “We just want to be able to serve people, make their lives better and make a difference.”
The Keller Williams team proved that fact not only with their time, but by coordinating donations from other area businesses. Desert Property Inspection Services provided a flat screen television – which was what one of the youths, who can’t be named for privacy purposes, was most excited to put to good use.
He will also soon learn how to play cornhole for the first time in his life as Desert Sky Fitness donated cornhole boards for play.
That wasn’t all though.
Hope City Church donated new flooring, Home Depot provided garden supplies, and Dawn Pittman and Summerlin Financial filled totes with personal items.
Pioneer Title topped it off with a new barbecue grill.
“They bought us a gas grill, which we haven’t had and we’ve been open for seven years,” said Kelly Tanner, Harbor House director. “It’s super exciting to have that because it’s a great skill to learn how to grill and also be outside enjoying a meal together.”
That possibility is even more likely due to the large backyard and patio at Harbor House. Tanner couldn’t have been more happy to add the barbecue and other upgrades to make the house as welcoming as possible.
“I would guess about 30 or more people have been in and out of here helping and lending a hand,” Tanner said. “It has just been so overwhelming and I’m so grateful. I’ve been almost emotional over the outpouring of community service.”
While there are only three boys currently living at the Harbor House, Lowry knows the additions will provide a lasting impact for whoever steps foot inside. She is also looking for the donations to make a difference in another way.
“I’m just really hoping that by seeing all these different things that were provided for them that it helps to make an impact in their lives and really help them to go on the right path,” Lowry said. “So that they can maybe one day do it in the future for someone else – make a difference in the world going forward.”
Only time will tell if that happens, but the Keller Williams team ensured that the five-bed Harbor House can continue to thrive and become a safe haven for many youth.
“With upgrades like this, we will be able to serve not only the kids that are here now, but the kids for years to come,” Tanner said. “We aren’t going anywhere. In October we got funding for three more years. We’re also pretty sustainable through other contracts and community partnerships.
“The kids will be able to enjoy these things that the team is doing for a long time.”