Sunday, January 3, 2010

Paying It Forward - Realtor Kathy Pineo Barrett

Hi there. I am a Sales Associate with Re/Max Group Four Realty in Fredericton, New Brunswick and initiated a "Pay It Forward" program last spring. In lieu of closing gifts for my clients that purchase homes, I now give a grocery gift certificate to all buyer and seller clients that work with me as their Sales Associate.

On closing, I give my clients a grocery gift certificate for their personal use OR they can "Pay It Forward" to the local food banks, SPCA's or their favourite charity. I also provide them with the mailings addresses for these organizations! One of my clients used the gift certificate and donated it to her daughters school (they were putting on a supper for their parents) so the options of usage are endless.

2011 - I am changing my "Pay It Forward" program a bit. I was not aware that some charities cannot give income tax receipts for grocery gifts certificate and I wanted this to be a win/win for everyone. At the end of each month, I will be making the donation by cheque myself in accordance of how many sales I have. I have broken down areas to support both the Fredericton Food Bank and SPCA - and the Oromocto Food Bank and SPCA. I will alternate donations to each charity. Presently for March closings I am glad to say all 4 of the above will be receiving a cheque. And I am well on the way to have cheques to write for the end of April as well. Thanks so much to all of my clients for making my "Pay It Forward" program work!!!

I would like to start a "Pay It Forward" referral circuit for Realtors nationally and internationally to start their own "Pay It Forward" initiative in their cities.


  1. What a wonderful idea, Kathy! I have something I'd like to share, a "gift" from a dear friend of mine....

    One Christmas, I left my office tasks of month-end billing and year-end accounts, to visit my friend for lunch and to exchange gifts. As we parted, she hugged me and said, “Remember you have all the time in the world.”

    Driving away, I thought about her words. I had a long list of things to do that afternoon, and Christmas was almost upon us. I realized I could delay my stop at the hardware store until the new year, and continued directly to the mall with a gift for another friend. She was about to take a fifteen minute break from work, which seemed to be all the time we needed.

    Afterward I finished the last of my Christmas shopping, and was ready to brave the grocery store. Pushing my cart through the crowded aisles, I reminded myself that I had all the time in the world.

    The store where I shop is large, and includes a pharmacy, a children’s clothing section, a flower shop, even bedding. With all the time in the world, I strolled along, gathering last minute Christmas delicacies. I chatted with an acquaintance. I felt no hurry. In the checkout line, I enjoyed the music from the piano on the balcony above.

    Suddenly the woman in front of me turned and exclaimed with a sigh, “I’ve been here for two hours!” I looked at my watch and was surprised as I answered, “I’ve only been here thirty minutes!”

    I believe that taking the attitude of having all the time in the world can actually stretch time so more can be accomplished or enjoyed. I recommend this attitude to anyone who thinks they don't have enough time. Try it! Those who do are amazed.

  2. First of all I would like to say how proud I am of my mother Kathy for starting this program. I myself had my santa hat years ago and always hung it by myself on christmas eve because my husband didn't have one. Last year my mother and my step-father surprised me with 3 more santa hats, for my husband and 2 children. It felt a lot better to hang them as a family, then me doing it alone. This christmas doing it was extra special because my husband came home from afganistan for his 3 week leave and once again got to do it together. Being a military wife I know what it is like to not get to spend every holiday with our families and I think that if we can't all be together this is the next best thing! Again thanks mom!!! We are so pround of you!!!

  3. Message from RE/MAX Agent: Alicia Amundson
    Hello Kathy, Your idea to make closing gifts a "Pay it Forward" initiative is amazing!

  4. The Pay It Forward program initiated by Kathy Pineo Barrett is a wonderful gesture to help support local charities, including the Fredericton SPCA. We are pleased to be part of this effort .
    Stephanie Walsh
    Executive Director
    Fredericton SPCA

  5. Hi Kathy,
    I love this idea! What a fantastic thing you’ve started. Truly inspirational! - Karen Burnie

  6. This time of year is a particularly hard time of year for alot of people. It's encouraging to see the understanding and compassion from the people who do what they can to help others in need. Kathy Pineo Barrett has found a way to make this possible all year long. A simple gesture that will mean so much more in the end. Well done Kathy! – Karen McCumber

  7. Kathy I read the wonderful article about you on Mainstreet today. I am so impressed. What a wonderful thing to do.
    At RE/MAX the culture of helping and supporting the communities that provide us a wonderful place to live and work is front and centre. Thank you for your inspiration and for your true commitment to making this world a better place. Shirley

    Shirley Porter, Broker, CRB, ABR
    Executive Director Regional Development
    RE/MAX Ontario Atlantic Canada

  8. Kathy

    Good for you. This is a great initiative. If I hear of anyone buying or selling I will definitely give them your name.

    Take care

  9. I think that's a super idea, and having been on a food pantry board of directors for the past 19 years, I can tell you it would be much appreciated in our food pantry.
    – Michelle Moniz, RE/MAX Right Choice, Fall River, Mass.

  10. Maybe corporate can jump on board and create the RE/MAX Ripple Effect. It would be so cool to see what we as a network could do. I know we already support Children's Miracle Network (which my son used while getting his cancer treatments) and going pink for breast cancer, and all the other things. Thanks, and I am going to start looking for ways to incorporate this concept in what I do as a secretary.
    – Julie Bethel, RE/MAX First Choice, Park Rapids, Minn.

  11. Hi Kathy
    I like your letters and ideas, they are all great. Thanks for the great incentive, keep me posted how things are going.

    Elizabeth Crawford Thurber
    Executive Director
    Fredericton Community Services Inc.

  12. Hi Kathy
    Thank you again from all of us at the Oromocto SPCA for all that you are doing with your "Pay It Forward" program. We the staff, the Board of Directors, and most importantly, the animals appreciate it.

    Kari Poore
    Executive Director, Oromocto SPCA