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Suzanne Barnett (left), host of "The Better Part" gets ready to interview RSVP co-founder David Barca and RSVP Chair Eileen Giorgi. Watch the feature on RSVP on cablecast and on the Internet next week.

Suzanne Barnett (left), host of “The Better Part” gets ready to interview RSVP co-founder David Barca and RSVP Chair Eileen Giorgi. Watch the feature on RSVP on cablecast and on the Internet next week.

SILVAR’s REALTOR® Service Volunteer Program (RSVP) will be featured on public television and on the Internet next week, with interviews with RSVP co-founder David Barca, RSVP chair Eileen Giorgi, RSVP District Chairs, volunteers and senior homeowners from local communities.

The program about Silicon Valley REALTORS® helping seniors and the homebound with household tasks will telecast September 1 – 7 throughout Silicon Valley on “The Better Part,” a public access television program produced by seniors from the Cupertino Senior Center. In the show, both Barca and Giorgi are interviewed by host Suzanne Barnett.

Each year during a designated week in May, teams of REALTOR® and affiliate volunteers provide senior citizens who are physically or financially challenged free assistance with household tasks they can no longer perform on their own. Such tasks include replacing light bulbs, changing furnace filters, cleaning windows, flipping mattresses, or installing new smoke detector batteries.

“For homeowners or renters who are advanced in years and are physically and financially challenged, some household tasks can pose a major challenge,” said Barca.

Barca, together with members of SILVAR’s Palo Alto and Menlo Park/Atherton districts, started the program in 2001. RSVP was adopted as an official association community outreach project the following year, with REALTORS® and affiliates helping seniors living in SILVAR’s five districts. RSVP has since spread throughout the Peninsula and South Bay, involving members of SILVAR, the San Mateo County Association of REALTORS®, Santa Clara County Association of REALTORS®, and Santa Cruz County Association of REALTORS®. Since its inception, RSVP has served over 4,000 seniors. This year 447 RSVP volunteers from these associations helped 297 senior households in their communities; 241 volunteers from SILVAR assisted 118 seniors.

“As REALTORS®, we sell the benefits and aspirations of our communities,” said Giorgi. “We are also neighbors and know about local needs. We share the desire for our communities to be great places to live and are committed to give back to those who have built our communities. This program enables us to help seniors and the homebound enjoy their homes in the community for a longer time.”

Producing the show was an eye-opening experience for Diane Sparks, executive producer of “The Better Part.” “When I learned of the program, I thought it was worthwhile to show our communities that REALTORS® don’t just sell houses; they also do a lot of good work for our communities,” said Sparks. “Filming the volunteers helping the seniors and witnessing the appreciation among the seniors, showed me what a difference the program has made in their lives.”

See the schedule for days, times, cities and channels where the REALTOR® Service Volunteer Program will be televised. The program can also be accessed on YouTube under the topic “Cupertino City Productions” or go to REALTOR® Service Volunteer Program.

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The Silicon Valley Association of REALTORS® (SILVAR) has been appointed the National Association of REALTORS® (NAR) Ambassador Association to the Philippines. NAR’s Ambassador Association program gives members of the Ambassador Association the opportunity to expand their global business networks and get involved in international real estate activities at the local or state level.

“We are pleased to learn that the National Association of REALTORS® has approved SILVAR’s request to be the Ambassador Association to the Philippines. The program will give our members the opportunity to learn more about real estate in that country and develop ties and business opportunities with real estate professionals in this part of the world,” said SILVAR Executive Officer Paul Cardus.

The Ambassador Association program is part of NAR’s International Ambassador Program, which was developed to accommodate international visitors and to expose them to the range of opportunities available to them throughout NAR. Each year NAR hosts more than 2,000 real estate professionals from around the world. Majority of these international real estate professionals attend the REALTORS® Annual Conference and Expo. There are also a number of delegations and individuals that request meetings with REALTORS® throughout the year for guidance on the industry, to network, and to exchange information about the U.S. and global real estate markets. The Ambassador Association program also presents opportunities for REALTORS® interested in developing international business ties, as a result of the growing CIPS Network and globalization within local real estate markets.

As the Ambassador Association to the Philippines, SILVAR will help facilitate contact between the Chamber of Real Estate and Builders Association in the Philippines and any state or local REALTOR® association in the United States that requests assistance. The Ambassador Association works closely with the President’s Liaison assigned to that country and NAR’s Regional Coordinator for that part of the world.

A formal introduction with the Chamber of Real Estate and Builders Association will take place at the NAR REALTORS® Conference & Expo, which will be held November 8-11 in San Francisco.

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