Why Glendale Gratitude was Created.
The Glendale Gratitude initiative has been a humbling and defining experience for my life and company.
I started Homes with Barkley in 2019 in the San Fernando Valley. While my approach to Real Estate was relatively textbook for the industry, I started the company with a strong set of values; timeless values that I feel resonate with the greatest parts of humanity that we have been able to observe during this crisis.
I believe that as a Realtor®, it is my responsibility to connect, foster and, therefor, improve the community. After all, if we are receiving the gift of business from our neighbors, shouldn’t we offer something in return?
I feel a deep sense of duty to stay connected with the community and help where I can. Everything I do follows the question, “How can I be of service?”
At the onset of the COVID-19 pandemic, similarly to millions of people around the United States, I found myself at home with no idea of what the next few weeks, or even moths would look like. I was lucky enough to beat the buzzer and get two clients into their homes THE SAME WEEK that Los Angeles was put on lock down, but other than that, I was watching the groundwork I had laid, my social life and the world around me crumble to the ground. And in that moment - I found myself feeling paralyzed and uncertain of how to proceed.
For the past year, I have been a volunteer with a local program called School on Wheels, a Non-Profit whose goal is to bridge the education gap for children experiencing homelessness. They provides one-on-one tutoring, meaning I was no stranger to community imbalances here in the Valley and Greater-Los Angeles.
I knew that I was a lot luckier than many of the people here in Glendale, where I live.
As I watched grocery stores being pillaged while the elderly and immune-compromised were being advised to not leave their homes, I thought to myself “How can I help this neighborhood stay together during a crisis like this?”
I figured, if I was wondering how to help, there had to be thousands of other people curious how to do the same thing; all they needed was a platform.
At 3 o’clock in the morning, Glendale Gratitude was created. Our first step was the facebook group. I began wildly adding anyone I knew who lived in the Valley — friends, family and neighbors. Then I went outward. Anyone who had their location set to Glendale, CA received a long note explaining what I was trying to create and first and foremost asked if there was anything the needed help with. I’m sure only half of them read the full narrative, but that’s all we needed.
By the time I had woken up, Glendale Gratitude had over 25 members and I had received a very special message from a neighbor we will call Jen:
“Hi Barkley! I’m not even sure how it came about that you messaged me, but it was either an Angel or God who sent you to me.”
She continued to tell me about her life, a mother-of-two, on dialysis who for three weeks, was unable to find basic goods. Sure enough, I had planned to go to Costco that day, so I offered to help with what we could.
We were able to get milk, bread, eggs, etc and I pulled a package of 6 toilet papers from my own previously bought package — in trust that all will balance out soon. But still many items were scarce.
Next, I turned to YOU, the community for help. I posted on the Facebook group and immediately had two offerings of assistance for our neighbor in need.
Now, less than 60 days after inception, we have nearly 350 members, are helping support and promote local businesses, and have been able to assist multiple neighbors - including our Frontline Medical Workers at Glendale Adventist.
While we are unable to cure the virus, we are able to work together as a community to heal and help when we are asked and where we can. From the bottom of my heart, thank you for your support and for proving this mission statement to be true.
The feel good story isn’t over though, a few weeks into the lockdown, we posted about two toddlers experiencing homelessness. They were in need of activities to keep them occupied. By the end of the day I had received another message from Jen, the woman on dialysis. She was offering two Easter baskets filled with goodies for the two young boys, plus a little something for their mother.
A true sign that sometimes you are in need of help, and sometimes you can offer help.
At the end of the day, what I learned while building Glendale Gratitude is that communities care about each other, and when they are enabled, they help each other.
The mission is to help connect local communities to foster this organic good nature when we need it. Joining Glendale Gratitude is free, and all you have to do is live in the Valley. All we ask is that you help when you can and ask when you need help.
But we are only as strong as our platform. There are still thousands of people, here, in the Valley that we have been unable to help based on the simple fact that they do not know about us.
As we grow this free community together, the key is to spread awareness so people who need help know who to ask. Tag us in your Instagram stories, share our profile, invite people to the facebook group, forward our email campaigns to neighbors, and most of all, help when you can and ask when you are in need.
Deeply and truly, from the bottom of my heart and soul, thank you to everyone who has been involved with this movement in anyway. Together, we have made an immeasurable positive impact for our local community during a terrifying time for the human race.
We, at Homes With Barkley, are grateful to be a part of your life. I greatly appreciate your trust and love at this time, and I am looking forward to seeing the kindness we can spread in our own back yard.