Some local real estate agents shut down their offices Thursday to help a Rock Hill nonprofit keep its doors open.
Dozens of agents with Keller Williams Realty, clad in red T-shirts, spent the day at Renew Our Community in downtown Rock Hill, refurbishing bicycles, putting together hygiene bags and interacting with the homeless services agency’s clients.
It was all part of RED Day, an international initiative in which Keller Williams agencies close and spend the day volunteering at a local organization. RED stands for Renew, Energize and Donate.
“It is an opportunity for us to not only work with the community but give back to the community that we live and work in,” said Shelby Ryburn, team leader for Keller Williams.
Renew Our Community opened in 2011 and serves the area’s homeless and what director Iris Hubbard calls under-served residents.
“We are what we call a social emergency room,” she said. “We do anything from helping with utilities and bills to providing a safe haven for our homeless population.”
The agency’s services include a retail store, food pantry, work program and transportation resources.
ROC clients who work a certain number of hours are given a bicycle. Some volunteers Thursday worked in a shop repairing and refurbishing old bicycles.
“Sometimes it’s their only mode of transportation to and from work,” Ryburn said.
Inside, volunteers assembled hygiene bags of shampoo, soap, toothbrushes and other toiletries donated by local hotels. ROC partners with the Salvation Army so clients can use their shower facilities, Ryburn said, and volunteers put together about 120 bags Thursday.
There was also lunch, games, music and even some dancing with clients who visit ROC Central. Keller Williams presented a check for $10,000 to ROC Central, which Hubbard says serves between 50 and 90 people each day. It served more than 12,000 people last year.
“It gives our population, the people we serve, an opportunity to have a day of freedom to do things and get some supplies,” Hubbard said. “We were really in a position where our donations have been down, as they are, I think, in all non-profits this time of year. We’re able to continue to keep our doors open.”
The local Keller Williams offices select a different agency to partner with each year for RED Day, Ryburn said, but sometimes partners again with past organizations.
Teddy Kulmala • 803-329-4082
Want to help?
To find out how you or your business or organization can help Renew Our Community, call 803-328-0003 or go to renewoc.org. You also can make a financial donation through the website.