In February, 2017, Doug Love found himself at the Silver Dollar Fairground in Chico. Nearly 200,000 Oroville residents in the path of the Oroville Dam spillway had just been ordered to evacuate.
“That strange event sent a town full of people into Chico and I was just trying to figure out what we can do to help, so I just parked on a side street and walked into the shelter,” said Love, an agent with Century 21 Select Real Estate in Chico.
“I walked in and asked someone in a red vest staffing a card table with information. I didn’t know this shelter was facilitated by the Red Cross at the time. I said, ‘Hey, I’m here from Century 21, what do you guys need?’”
Love was directed to Amanda Ree, then-Executive Director of the the Northeast California Chapter. Ree is now the Executive Director of California Wildlife Recovery.
“I went up to Amanda and just said, ‘Hey, I’ve got an office with a bunch of people and we live in this town. Is there anything we can do?’”
Love recalled Ree having at yellow, lined piece of notebook paper and said that she was trying to secure things on her list: baby formula, food, toiletries, blankets, etc.
“Amanda was just this wonderful person in charge of everything and she took that minute with me,” Love said.
He went back to the Century 21 Select Chico office and quickly mobilized the team, sending group texts, emails and posting notes on the door. Century 21 staff immediately began donating money and items on the list.
Later that same day, Love returned to the Silver Dollar Fairground, this time with the Century 21 team and trucks full of needed items.
Thanks to their incredible support, Century 21 Select Chico was recognized at the American Red Cross Centennial event that year. “That awards night was really inspiring because we saw the awards given to the real heroes – the people who jump into the middle of a wreck or fire and save individuals,” said Love.
“The stories that were shared were incredibly touching and inspirational. We just witnessed what the Red Cross is really all about. It’s the on the ground volunteers giving their time and talents to just help others.”
That is where the partnership between Century 21 and the Red Cross began.
In 2018, the Camp Fire came as close as Love’s back fence. Sixty percent of the houses in his neighborhood were destroyed. Unfortunately, the Century 21 Select office in Paradise perished as well, along with the homes of all the agents.
Amidst their personal crises, the team again asked, “Hey, what can we do to help?”
The Century 21 Select Real Estate Group came together to donate funds and goods to support relief efforts in their community.
“Realtors are really a group of people who really are in it for their communities. Whenever we as an office just say hey, this happened and there is a need, our agents are there writing checks, bringing items, asking what we can do,” said Love.
When the Berry Creek Fire hit this year, Love reached out to the Red Cross to see how the Century 21 Select Real Estate Group could help. Century 21 Select partnered with the Red Cross by creating a microsite to raise funds. Their marketing team leveraged their extensive email distribution lists and social media channels to promote fundraising efforts. Along with committing to company donation, Century 21 Select will match the first $10,000 donated by Nov. 2, 2020.
“Disaster after disaster, we’ve all become accustomed to being prepared for the next disaster. We’re just there to do whatever we can,” Love said.
“The fact of the matter is it just started from one person to another, no corporate solicitation or marketing campaign, just one person to another in the middle of a crazy disaster.”
“That’s the way I think of the Red Cross. It’s just one person to another. I am just so impressed with who the Red Cross is and what they do.”