Realtors scale up good deeds in disaster-torn communities this holiday season

From handing out blankets to shrinking the costs of homebuilding, real estate community finds creative ways to give back

Future-Proof: Navigate Threats, Seize Opportunities at ICNY 2018 | Jan 22-26 at the Marriott Marquis, Times Square, New York

In an effort to cheer herself up on one solitary Christmas Eve when her kids were with their father, Houston Association of Realtors' chair Cindy Hamann, who then was newly divorced, went shopping for stocking stuffers at Walmart. Instantly inspired by a pile of blankets and some screw top bottles of wine, she knew exactly what would lift her spirits. Since then, Hamann drops off a blanket and a bottle of wine to a number of random and very thankful homeless people in downtown Houston every Christmas Eve. She's being doing this for 12 years now, and the number of blankets and bottles of wine has gone up over time, settling currently at 50 of each. "People will say, 'I remember you from last year,'" Hamann said. They often ask for a bottle and blanket for their friend too; they look after each other, she says, and it will be no different this year. It's been "a really rough year" for the city, says Hamann. Press reports have estimated that over 100,000 homes were aff...