ORLANDO, Fla., Sept. 11, 2020 — Proving that Realtors make a difference, Jennifer Bowman, a member of the Central Panhandle Association of Realtors®, was named 2020 Humanitarian of the Year by Florida Realtors®. The award was announced in a special recognition video that launched the state association’s first Virtual Convention held Aug. 24-27, 2020.
In December of this year, Bowman saw a Facebook post and made a life-changing decision to help someone in great need.
Bowman only knew Melanie Taylor through social media. However, when she read about Melanie’s struggle with dialysis, the risk to her life and the need for a donor, Bowman was ready to help. She signed up for the Mayo Clinic Living Donor transplant program and began the testing process. This was before the coronavirus pandemic, but Bowman continued even when COVID-19 made the process much more complicated and riskier.
At the beginning of April, Bowman was able to give Melanie the life-changing news that her kidney was a perfect match. Despite the pandemic, the surgery took place on May 1. Melanie was released from the hospital in early June and is making a healthy recovery. And, through Bowman’s efforts along with others in the community, a Go Fund Me campaign for Melanie was able to raise all the money needed to completely pay for the kidney transplant surgery.
She gives back to her community in many other ways, including serving as this year’s chair for the Central Panhandle Association of Realtors’ Benevolence Committee, leading the committee to raise funds and provide assistance to Realtors hurt by the recent wildfires in Santa Rosa County and the tornadoes in Nashville, Tenn. She also volunteers and organizes events to benefit Food 4 Kidz, a nonprofit group that provides groceries and supplies, free of charge, to struggling families with children.
In honor of the 2020 Humanitarian of the Year, Florida Realtors will send a check for $5,000 to the charity of Bowman’s choice: the Mayo Clinic Living Donor Program.