What started as a small donation drive to help homeless youth in Wyoming has expanded to Arizona, and from here into a national campaign assisting those in need of basic necessities.
When Flagstaff resident and Arizona Realtors 2017 President Paula Monthofer heard about the Wyoming Realtors Totes for Hope program, she knew it was an important cause.
Monthofer launched AZ Totes for Hope during the Arizona Realtors annual convention by making it easy for members to participate. Bags were handed out during registration and attendees were encouraged to donate their hotel toiletries; socks, water bottles and nonperishable food items were also accepted. The totes were then delivered to a local organization serving the homeless population.
Monthofer’s passion to get involved has helped spur a nationwide movement. The program evolved beyond mini bottles of shampoo and hotel soap as local members started donating items in bulk and volunteering. In addition to the homeless, the totes have been donated to those impacted by hurricanes and wildfires.
“The overwhelming nationwide response has proven to us that most people want to help others. If you can make it easy for them to give, they will,” Monthofer said. “More than just providing for physical needs, Totes for Hope allows us to offer encouragement and compassion to those who are facing homelessness.”
Recently, Monthofer was asked to join Wyoming Realtors 2017 President Shelly Duncan to promote the program during the National Association of Realtors legislative meetings in Washington D.C. and at national conventions.