Joseph and JoAnn wrote a book. Real Estate agents in Scottsdale since 1996, they wanted to share their unique reason for their success. This book, Clients First: The Two World Miracle, became a New York Times Best Seller in 22 days, catapulting Those Callaways into the National Spotlight.
Attracted to the book’s message of honesty, competence and care, The Salvation Army invited Joseph and JoAnn to join the Army’s Phoenix Advisory Board.
Marlene Klotz-Collins, the volunteer who had sponsored their board membership, told the Callaways that The Salvation Army often had to pay minimum wage workers to ring the bells at kettles on Wednesdays each December.
Joseph and JoAnn learned that getting volunteers on the weekends was relatively easy. Also, volunteer kettlers were much more successful than paid worker kettlers.
Wednesdays were a challenge.
JoAnn immediately volunteered Joseph and herself to ring the bells on Wednesdays and before lunch was over she had volunteered the entire Maricopa County Real Estate community to ring the bells every Wednesday in December.
At the car, she turned to Joseph and said, “Oh my gosh, what have I done?”.
This was in the Spring of 2013 and the Callaways began putting together a group of agents, brokers, lenders, title officers and affiliates dedicated to helping The Salvation Army.
They created Real Estate Wednesdays with the goals of helping The Army do good, elevating the image of our real estate industry, and reconnecting with clients in a positive setting.
Firms were allowed to captain a branded kettle, providing volunteer ringers while the army handled the logistics.
That first season more than 1,000 Real Estate professionals rang the bells for The Salvation Army.
Direct contributions for the kettles totaled over $114,000.
At the same time, The Army saved over $85,000 in expenses for the total impact of over $200,000.
The dollars stay in the zip code where raised and pay for The Army’s homeless, hunger and social programs.
Real Estate Wednesdays has grown each year with over 1500 participants in 2014, and more than 2000 ringers in 2015.
Expectations are high for 2016 when the program plans to exceed a million dollar impact since inception.
Pilot programs have begun in Tucson, Albuquerque, Orange County and other cities.
This program is expanding nationally to cities all across America.
The Home Ownership Industry and The Salvation Army’s shared interests in family values, food on the table and roof over everyone’s heads make for a powerful partnership.