(Story updated 6:45 p.m. Aug. 2)
North Carolina REALTOR® Leigh Brown used social media to find help and to express her gratitude to the “REALTOR® community” that helped ease the stress of a long train delay last Friday in south central Illinois.
Brown posted on her Facebook account that the Chicago-to-St. Louis train she’d taken with her son Timmy had unexpectedly stopped in Carlinville. After a 90-minute delay, she learned that the delay would extend another three hours more because of a train derailment on the tracks ahead. Out of concern for her son, she asked her Facebook friends for advice regarding Uber or another method of transportation in the area.
Within 45 minutes she’d received multiple offers of assistance, but Edwardsville REALTOR® Sarah Seniker was the closest person, and she offered Brown and her son a ride to St. Louis.
“And this, y’all, is the #PowerOfR! Saved by Sarah!” Brown later wrote on her Facebook page.
“I was fixing dinner when I checked my Facebook page and saw Leigh’s message,” said Seniker. “We live in the same county as Carlinville, and I told Leigh I could get there in 25 minutes. I let my husband (REALTOR® Chris Seniker) take over the cooking and I left.”
Sarah Seniker’s awareness of local road construction helped her avoid one route to the Carlinville train station that was closed. When she arrived, passengers were off the train with their luggage, waiting for a resolution. “It really was no big deal (on my part),” said Seniker. “It was an hour out of my day. She would’ve done the same for me. That’s just the kind of person she is.”
As it turned out, Seniker did not have to drive all the way to St. Louis because Missouri REALTORS® President-Elect Nate Johnson met them near Alton and delivered the Browns to their St. Louis hotel. Along the way, they saw the derailed freight train but repair crews hadn’t started yet. That fact made their acts of kindness more valuable to Brown.
While recounting her traveling experience on Facebook video (see below), Brown encouraged other real estate professionals to become REALTORS®.
SIDEBAR: Read about Brown’s May appearance at the Illinois REALTORS® Conference and Expo in Collinsville.
On the following video, Brown reflects on the travel situation and embraces the bigger picture she says she sees as a REALTOR®: “I am a REALTOR® today because I CAN be one and because it allows me to be something bigger than myself. And this summer, with everything that my family and I have been through . . . we have learned nothing less than how amazing it is to be part of a community that not only wants to help but enjoys being asked to help. And I’ve learned to ask and I’m better for it.
“If you’re a REALTOR® who really gets stuck in your own head, like I used to do, like I still do, you’ve got to get out there and get to know other people,” Brown says. “Because it’s bigger than you. It’s bigger than me. But together, we really do change communities, and we do change the world. I would not be anything else but a REALTOR®.”