Investments don't always involve dollars | Tricia Ackerman

I want to sidetrack in regards to real estate per se, although I think this article will go hand in hand with real estate.

Real estate is not just investing in "property." It's also investing in our community.

I attended a meeting at the City of Federal Way called "Coffee and Conversation." Among the attendees were a number of non-profit organizations, owners of businesses and concerned residents. The topic addressed how we can, as a community, help each other get through the turmoil we are all experiencing right now. We as a community are hurting just like everyone else. We are hurt by loss of jobs, loss of homes, loss of hope.

I think one way to regain what we have lost is to be able to unite with non-profit organizations, neighbors and our peers in general. We are finding families combining households, as they individually cannot be on their own right now. On a positive note, I think the experience although in some cases tight, gives families an opportunity to reunite. Families that are out of work are helping with children. They are cooking, they are mentoring, they are spending quality time with each other and supporting each other like our society has not seen in decades.

We as a community need to support each other, whether it's monetary or voluntary. Our non-profit organizations are a wonderful resource for both the young and old. We need to support our "local" businesses, who in return support us locally. As one of the non-profits suggested: When you go to the store and buy one and get one free, for those who can, donate it to the food bank. When you have extra clothes, shoes or furniture, donate these items to organizations that are trying to feed, clothe and furnish the underprivileged. There are mobile medical and dental vans that go to local low-income families to help our children.

I remember volunteering on 9/11 and finding that people were lost, but with a road map, individuals re-educated themselves and found a new side of themselves that they didn't know existed before. One step at a time, and we will all get back on track. It starts with you. The City of Federal Way is a wonderful resource of information — all you have to do is make the call.

Tricia Ackerman is an agent with Prudential Northwest Realty in Federal Way: or (253) 335-8729.

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