As 2015 wound to a close, REALTOR® Ryan Kurtz knew he wanted to find a way to give to others as a result of his success in real estate. So he pledged to give $100 to the charity, Feed My Starving Children (FMSC), for every listing he accepted and closed during the calendar year.
In early December, not only did he donate $2,000 to the charity, he led a team of 20 volunteers – many of them clients – to one of FMSC’s food-packing facilities in the Chicago area for an evening of assembly line work, packing food in plastic baggies, sealing them, boxing the bags and preparing them for shipment. The Naperville/Aurora site is large enough for 140 volunteers to pack food at one time.
“I want my clients to know I’m giving back,” he said, explaining one of his reasons for choosing the charity. “We found out that for every $2,000 donated, 25 families can be fed for an entire year. That’s pretty cool. I think I’m going to make this a project every year.”
A former high school teacher, Kurtz joined John Greene Realtor® out of Naperville and Oswego in June 2013, and has been steadily building his business. The 45 transactions he was involved with in 2016 totaled more than $10 million in sales. Most of his sales have come from referrals given by previous clients or friends and acquaintances.
According to the Feed My Starving Children website, 90 percent of the funds raised by FMSC go to the people it serves in Africa, Asia, the Caribbean, Europe, the Middle East, North America and South America. Founded in 1987, the organization gets a five-star rating from Charity Navigator.
In addition to Feed My Starving Children, Kurtz and his wife give to several local charities during the year. He believes that sometimes his example helps other people realize that they can help others, too. When they discovered a local family didn’t have the financial means to celebrate Christmas, they worked with a charity to find out what the parents and children needed. As he purchased a bicycle at the store, the conversation with another shopper and the cashier seemed to inspire them to do something similar.
Kurtz is a member of the Mainstreet Organization for REALTORS®, the Illinois REALTORS® and the National Association of REALTORS®.
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