Most folks think that Realtors are strictly focused on helping people buy and sell houses. And, certainly, that’s the case for many agents. After all, for an active Realtor, that alone is a full-time job — and it’s one we find great fulfillment in. Even so, for many of us, our commitment to the community is also a priority (that’s one reason we were drawn to working in a service industry!).
I’m proud to say that, as an organization, the Central Oregon Association of Realtors (COAR) makes a concerted effort to contribute both our time and our money to Central Oregon. Last year, for example, COAR members donated more than $250,000 and volunteered more than 14,000 hours to non-profits in Central Oregon.
Specifically, COAR was able to donate directly to 10 area non-profits and organized its members to participate in several volunteer activities. COAR donated to Backpack Buddies (in Redmond and Madras), Circle of Friends, the Holiday Partnership in support of the Woodgrain Mill families, LaPine Community Kitchen, the Latino Community Foundation, OSU-Cascades, Project Connect, Redmond Golfers for Scholars and Tough Enough to Wear Pink.
COAR also organized two blood drives, coordinated volunteers for Project Connect, participated in a Habitat Build Day, distributed 50 Thanksgiving Turkeys for Salvation Army and provided volunteers for the Kid’s Zone at the Deschutes County Fair.
As COAR President Elect Dave Feagans explains: “Realtor members, offices, appraisers and affiliates of the association strive every day to provide donations to the community as well as participate directly with the many organizations that work to benefit the Central Oregon region.” 
And, yes, I have participated in a number of organized COAR community-outreach events over the years (including Project Connect, Habitat Build Day and the Fair’s Kid Zone). I’ve also lent my personal support to The Shepherd’s House, NeighborImpact, the Bend Area Habitat for Humanity ReStore, Crystal Peaks Youth Ranch and the Assistance League of Bend.
In short, I wouldn’t feel connected to my community unless I made the effort to actually connect to my community.

 About the Author
Lisa Broadwater, GRI, CDPE, is a Central Oregon-based real estate professional who specializes in listing and selling homes, especially in Sisters, Tumalo, Bend and Redmond.