A few common feelings go around during the final weeks of every year. People tend to be more grateful for what they have, they celebrate what they’ve already accomplished and what they hope to in the following year, and many feel a strong desire to give.

At EXIT Realty, giving back has always been an integral part of our mission; it’s the teal tie that binds us together so-to-speak, and to-date, EXIT Realty Corp. International has pledged over $5.5 million to various charities across North America.

Some of the many rewards of giving back include a longer life, less depression, lower blood pressure and stress levels, as well as increased self-esteem. How does helping people translate into less stress or higher self-esteem, you may ask? For all you cynics out there, think about this: when you help, no matter who you help, you’re putting the needs of someone else in the forefront. This provides that wonderful feeling we call perspective. Sometimes seeing the struggles of others, you not only realize all that you have to be grateful for, but you also feel the impact of the work you’re doing.

The holidays aren’t the only time we think of giving though. When disaster strikes like it did in August of this year when Hurricane Dorian hit the Bahamas causing catastrophic damage, people from all over were shocked by the devastation and looked for ways to offer aid. On September 5th, 2019, South Carolina Franchisees, Brandon Liles of EXIT Midlands Realty and Craig Summerall of EXIT Real Estate Consultants, also felt the need to help.

Brandon flew his single-engine airplane loaded with supplies donated by Craig to a small town located on the Abaco Islands of the Bahamas called Marsh Harbour. The plan started as a way to get supplies to some friends stranded in the area, but once he landed, Brandon quickly realized supplies weren’t the only necessity. People needed to be evacuated from the island.

Over the course of that week, Brandon and Craig’s efforts were augmented by local business owner Wes Covington and medical aesthetician Morgan Brooks. Together they make up a team, SC Abaco Relief, that continues to raise money and provide supplies put directly in the hands of the Bahamian people. To date they’ve raised over $150,000 and have delivered over $250,000 worth of supplies. The direct money contributions have purchased generators, clothing, food, lumber, fuel, transportation and logistical costs, as well as vehicles. As time passes though, they’re seeing a decline in donations.

“I didn’t really feel anything other than the need to do more,” Brandon said. “The level of devastation to lives and property lost is so extensive you just move onto the next need.” If you’d like to donate to this group or learn more about their story, visit sc-abaco-relief.org.

Maybe you’ve always wondered what it would be like to volunteer at a soup kitchen over the holidays, or you love animals and live close to a Humane Society in need of help. You may even have a friend or relative that seems like they could use a little extra company every now and again. No matter what interests you may have, there are countless opportunities for you to give back. Consider helping others during this season of giving and beyond. You may just find that you’re the one truly receiving a gift.


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