Keller Williams Lakeside Holds Volunteer Day at Avalon Village

It takes a village to build a village.
– Mama Shu

The sounds of progress – hammers, chainsaws, lawnmowers and more – filled the air at Avalon Village May 10 during an annual day of volunteering known as Red Day. More than 100 team members from Keller Williams Lakeside in Shelby Township made the trip to Highland Park and rolled up their sleeves for a major spring-cleaning that lasted all day long. Red Day stands for Renew, Energize and Donate. This was the second year the volunteers chose Avalon Village.

“We are honored and proud to help Mama Shu with her vision,” said Kathleen Garden, a real estate consultant with Keller Williams Lakeside. “Our associates are so excited to help because we feel a connection with Mama Shu.”

While a Keller Williams mantra is to “give where you live,” Garden said many of the real estate agents and staff are so inspired by Mama Shu’s long-term vision, they’re eager to assist in the neighboring community 26 miles away. This year’s project included mowing lawns and sprucing up the 34 properties the village owns on Avalon Street between Woodward and Second, painting wooden boards that will be used to complete construction of The Homework House, installing insulation, prepping flower beds, weeding and more.

A special project this year and one close to Mama Shu’s heart was the construction of wooden flower boxes for the front of Jakobi RA Park, named after Shu’s two-year-old son who was killed by a hit-and-run driver in 2007.

“I feel so good about [having you here]. I’ve been bragging about you all for a couple of months telling people my Red Day family is coming,” Shu told the volunteers. “I’m just really pleased that you’re here. This is just so cool. I appreciate you so much.”

The special partnership between Keller Williams and Avalon Village began in 2017 when Mama Shu was invited to participate in the agency’s all-company meeting known as Family Reunion. Shu was the group’s inspirational speaker during the meeting that year in Las Vegas. Following her talk, the company surprised her by presenting a check for $65,000 for a geothermal heating and cooling system in the Homework House.

“We were blown away. That donation helped move construction of the Homework House forward,” Shu said of the generosity of Keller Williams Realty. “Red Day is just one more example – the work these volunteers do makes such a huge impact. It is truly amazing. I love this company’s passion for making a difference and giving back. They are family to me.”

– By: Ann Burch

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