For 24 years JB Goodwin REALTORS has been a big part of the volunteer crew serving Thanksgiving lunch at the Salvation Army. I was so happy to have been involved again this year after having missed last year.
The Salvation Army’s Downtown Austin shelter feeds and houses hundreds of folks in need every day, including women and young children. Additionally, at Thanksgiving they offer a sit-down holiday meal to their residents and to the homeless community at large, serving up some delicious homestyle cooking and turning no one away.
For Thanksgiving, guests are greeted at the door to the dining room and escorted to an open spot at any of the round tables. There is a place for them to put down their bedrolls and backpacks if the wish to, and then they are served by a host of volunteers rather than queuing a the counter to grab a tray for themselves as would be the case on other days of the year. The S.A. staff and volunteers try to make the experience as warm and “normal” (if you will) as possible, shaking hands, chatting with the guests, and refilling glasses. The tables are dressed up with fall centerpieces and place mats hand drawn by some of the children. That’s not a huge thing, but it’s a lovely little touch. I overheard one woman asking if she could take her place mat with her so she could show it to her son.
Meeting and serving the guests was a real honor for me, and I don’t mean to come across as overly pious by saying that. It’s just that I imagine that for people who are experiencing homelessness, their day to day life is probably not overfilled with opportunities to sit down, relax, and enjoy a little conversation while being properly waited on. In addition to the obvious benefit of a nice hot meal, I have to believe that even a short respite from the indignities of being a street person — either ignored or looked upon with suspicion or disdain — and instead being shown respect and treated with decency and caring has got to be affecting for them. And I’m truly honored to be a part of that.
As I’ve mentioned previously, if you’re looking for a place where your charitable donations will have the greatest impact — during the holiday season or at any other time of year — I’d like to make a plea for the Salvation Army. You can donate your time, money or supply stuff from their list of items they are in need of. Approximately 83% of the money they take in goes directly to benefit the individuals and families they serve in Travis and Williamson counties, plus 100% of every dollar donated for disaster relief goes to help survivors and first responders.
The 2019 Susan G. Komen More Than Pink Walk took place on Sunday, September 29th at the Palmer Events Center and brought together more than 5,000 participants! Early morning rain showers cooled the temps off a wee bit (and added just enough to the humidity to ensure I’d be wearing a hat all day). The event was a great success and a whole lot of fun, raising money and awareness for a worthy cause that affects so many lives every year.
Folks shared their stories and remembrances. The mood was sometimes somber but mostly celebratory — and all colored in varying hues of pink!
The Goodwin Gangbusters team was smaller this year but just as enthusiastic — we are already looking forward to next year’s walk!
To all who donated and showed their support, thank you, thank you, thank you! Together we are MORE THAN PINK and what we’re doing is saving lives every day!
As I write this, interest rates are close to the lowest they’ve been in 3 years, making this a GREAT TIME to buy (or possibly to refinance your existing mortgage).
As an example, I created a little side-by-side comparison of a 30-year fixed conventional loan, using a $300,000 purchase price, 20% down payment, and a buyer with a 740 credit score – your interest rate could be as low as 3.625% in today’s market!
Comparing that to the exact same loan with a 4.875% interest rate (which is where rates were at 3 years ago and is still a great rate in itself, especially when you look at the big picture of mortgage interest rates over the last 30 years ** for details on this keep scrolling down **) and notice the difference in monthly payment:
Now obviously, your individual credit score and down payment amount, as well as the loan type you’re using will impact your interest rate, but you get the picture — using the example above that’s a monthly difference in payment of $176!
Next, of course, we need to talk about how that same difference in interest rate effects the amount of money you’d be paying in interest over the life of the loan: it would cost you over $63,000 MORE with a 4.875% interest rate versus a 3.625% rate on that same $240,000 loan — and that’s not nothing!
For a quick trip down memory lane you can click on this interactive chart (provided by one of my favorite lenders, Cheryl Bullard at Premier Nationwide Lending) to see what interest rates have been doing over the last 30 years, and you’ll see what I mean when I say that that 4.875 rate is still nothing to sneeze at. (Seriously: look at where we were at in 1989!)
If you’d like more information on this topic or are ready take advantage of near historically low interest rates I’d love to chat with you about it. You know where to find me! 😉