Jodi Avery, left, accepts her 2018 Humanitarian of the Year Award from Florida Realtors President Christine Hansen during the awards luncheon at the recent convention and trade expo.
ORLANDO, Fla., Aug. 16, 2018 – Florida Realtors® has named Jodi M. Avery, a member of the Pinellas Suncoast Association of Realtors ®, as its 2018 Humanitarian of the Year, proving that Realtors make a difference in their communities.
In 2017, Avery founded the “Giving Matters Initiative,” which pairs common household goods with local charities in need. What was her inspiration for the initiative? After 20 years of working in the real estate profession, Avery often encountered buyers and sellers with a surplus of stuff – things they no longer needed, but they didn’t know what to do with all the items. Often her clients would prefer to give away belongings they formerly cherished rather than dispose of them. Thus, the Giving Matters Initiative was born as a way to help Avery’s clients purge their unwanted belongings as well as give back to the community.
The Giving Matters Initiative recycles common household goods, clothing and furniture, turning them into impactful donations to charities in need in the Tampa Bay area. Avery met with more than 50 local nonprofit organizations, narrowing her focus to 22 charities that could benefit the most from the program.
For example, she recently organized and delivered significant donations to the Mattie Williams Neighborhood Center, which helps families meet a variety of needs from food to clothing to family support services, and to Dress for Success Tampa Bay, which provides professional clothing, support and career development tools to help women thrive in work and life.
Other organizations helped by the Giving Matters Initiative include: GFWC North Pinellas Women’s Club, seeking books for newborns to teens; the Answered Prayers Project, in need of art supplies, canvas or fabric; the Centre for Women, in need of women’s clothing, computers and learning games for children; the Adonai Foundation, seeking yard equipment, tools, washers and dryers; and the Humane Society of Pinellas County, in need of crates, bowls, toys or treats. And that’s only a sampling of the community causes that have benefitted from Avery’s program. Through the Giving Matters Initiative, the saying “One man’s trash is another man’s treasure,” has taken on new meaning in the Tampa Bay area.
The awards were presented during the state association’s recent 102nd annual Convention & Trade Expo at Rosen Shingle Creek in Orlando, Fla.