We are pleased to announce the winner of the Don Taylor Award 2017 is Tom Nunes of Help-U-Sell-Sunrise in Sacramento, California. Not only is Tom one of our long time Help-U-Sell family members, but he and his team has continuously represented the Help-U-Sell brand to the highest standards. He has also displayed exceptional commitment to his community and those in need, as we have seen during the weeks of the devastating California wildfires.
This past October, as fires raged through northern California burning vast acres of land and leaving thousands of homes burned to the ground, Tom organized a donation drive. Having lived in the Sacramento area for over 25 years, he could call on his extensive network of family, friends, colleagues and clients to donate to those families whose homes had been destroyed by the wildfires. The donations were in fact so generous that for five consecutive weekends, Tom and his family loaded up four cargo vans and made the two a half hour drive to Santa Rosa to aid these families who had essentially lost everything. He provided them with necessities such as food, water, clothing, toys and gift cards.
In fact, he did not just pass his donations on to charity but he and his family also visited those in need, taking his time talking to and comforting them. He said: “The tears, appreciation and stories we heard of the narrow escapes from the sudden fires were incredible.” He described the devastation as being far worse than what the media portrayed, also sadly mentioning that his former high school had been burned to the ground.
Maureen Grisso, broker and owner of Help-U Sell Santa Rosa spoke of how two of her employees were directly affected by the fires. She described their distress as only having “mere minutes to gather whatever they could and escape before the fires engulfed their houses”. She portrayed the scene on that night “as if the world was on fire.” Fortunately, both of her employees were some of the beneficiaries of Tom’s generosity. Having known Tom for many years, Maureen also said: “If everyone treated their fellow human beings the way Tom did, it would be a much better world.”
Several weeks after the flames have been extinguished, things are still far from usual in Santa Rosa. Unfortunately, rent prices have soared as these families are just beginning to rebuild their homes and lives. Nonetheless, Tom continues to assist them by collecting donations and selling customized caps to purchase Christmas Gift Cards. He has been a tremendous support to these families, a true beacon of light, giving hope out of the pure goodness of his heart and a real inspiration to us all. As Winston Churchill once said: “We make a living by what we get, we make a life by what we give.” Congratulations, Mr. Nunes!