Some spend their spare time helping underprivileged youth or the elderly. Others lend a hand to military families or those with life-threatening medical conditions.

But the 10 finalists selected for Realtor Magazine’s 2013 Good Neighbor Awards have one thing in common: All are Realtors who volunteer their time to improve the lives of those in their communities.

“The Good Neighbor Awards signify the dedication and passion Realtors have for helping others in need,” said Gary Thomas, president of the National Association of Realtors, in a statement.

The 10 finalists also “remind us that Realtors build communities in myriad ways. I am proud to honor them and look forward to helping them grow their efforts,” Thomas said.

In October, the trade group will choose five winners from among the 10 finalists to receive a $10,000 grant for their community cause and paid travel expenses to the 2013 Realtors Conference & Expo in San Francisco in November, where they will be honored at an awards presentation. Realtor Magazine will also feature the winners in its November/December issue.

The five remaining finalists will receive a $2,500 grant, NAR said.

Award nominees were judged on their personal contribution of time, money and other material contributions to their cause, NAR said.

The 10 finalists and their charities are:

  • Brenda Breit, The Empowered Team, LLC, Scottsdale, Ariz.: Lost Our Home Pet Foundation (provides shelter for up to 80 animals at a time when they are abandoned as a result of evictions, foreclosures and financial hardship).
  • Brad Coleman, Metro Estates, Newport Beach, Calif.: Big Brothers Big Sisters of Orange County (Coleman, who recruits mentors and enrolls business sponsors, was instrumental in raising $150,000, and his personal donations and event sponsorships last year funded 13 mentorship matches for at-risk youth).
  • Susanne Crenshaw, Keller Williams of Central Oklahoma, Edmond, Okla.: Daily Living Centers Inc. (helps provide self-sufficiency, dignity and hope to 934 elderly and handicapped program participants. Crenshaw, a volunteer for 19 years, spearheaded fundraising efforts to build two new facilities and launched a daily transportation service).
  • Kenneth W. Davis, Welcome Home Realty, Boca Raton, Fla.: Tomorrow’s Promise Community School, Cat Island Orphanage in the Bahamas (During the last two years, Davis raised more than $100,000 for Tomorrow’s Promise Community School, a county charter school for at-risk students).
  • Bernice Helman, Coldwell Banker Troy Helman Realtors, Terre Haute, Ind.: the United Way of the Wabash Valley (when a large pharmaceutical company left town, taking jobs and hundreds of thousands of dollars in corporate donations with it, Helman helped the United Way overcame the challenge by reaching out to solicit donations from rural counties that typically had only received donations, helping the organization surpass its fundraising goal of $1.8 million last year).
  • Nick Manis, Manis Realtors, South Brunswick, N.J.: GI Go Fund (helps returning veterans transition back to civilian life. Manis frequently conducts midnight missions during which he and a team of volunteers visit bus stations, train stations and other places that the homeless gather to provide food, clothing and emergency assistance).
  • Tina McDonough, Re/Max Select, Renton, Wash.: Susan G. Komen for the Cure (as captain of the Valley Girls & Guys! 3-Day Team, McDonough has raised more than $1.4 million to raise awareness and fund research for breast cancer for Susan G. Komen for the Cure).
  • Rebecca Moniz, Weichert, Realtors Cress & Company, East Greenwich, R.I.: The Rhode Island Military Family Programs (Moniz co-founded the Realtors Troop Support Task Force at the Rhode Island Association of Realtors, which has educated more than 1,300 service members about homeownership, loan modifications, refinancing scams and tax assessments).
  • Joel Pratt, J.L. Pratt Realtors, Canton, Mass.: MatchingDonors.com (Pratt has raised more than $1 million for in the last nine years for MatchingDonors.com, a nonprofit website that connects patients who need organs with living donors).
  • Kristina Rhodes, F.C. Tucker Emge Realtors, Newburgh, Ind.: Make-A-Wish (Rhodes has engaged hundreds of local supporters and corporate sponsors who have raised more than $400,000 dollars for Make-A-Wish, an organization that grants wishes to children with life-threatening medical conditions).

How do you improve the livability of your community? Let us know in the comments below.

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