Charity Begins With a Home: Blake Andrews Huge Leader in Social Change With Giveback Homes

GivebackHomes-1024x682

Recall when I told you about a brand new company promoting significant improvement in living conditions in the poorest parts of the world? The company, like the brains behind it, was conceived in Dallas, carried out in California, and launched as one of the most socially responsible give-back programs ever available for Realtors.

It’s called Giveback Homes. And the first local broker to sign on was our own Rogers Healy.

Giveback Homes is the dream of Blake Andrews, son of Lana and Barry, high school sweethearts from Corpus Christi who, at the ripe ages of 28, bought a Miller beer distributorship in Corpus Christi. They started with one supplier, two brands of beer, seven employees and a 12,000-square-foot warehouse. The company sold 350,000 cases of beer that first year, and Andrews Distributing was launched. Andrews is now partnered with 31 suppliers, more than 200 brands, has 9 warehouses and employs more than 1,100. Lana and Barry also have Natalie, who is married to Mike McGuire. The Andrews are are one of the closest knit, most loving and generous families in town.

A few years ago, Blake, who now lives in Manhattan Beach, ventured out to work for TOMS Shoes where he was Special Projects Manager. He worked with another Blake, Blake Mycoskie, as in the Founder and Chief Shoe Giver of TOMS.  The two actually met while playing tennis as kids right here in Dallas, then got together 19 years later on a fishing trip to Costa Rica. They were on the same boat, and instantly recognized each other’s twin names. Blake M. was the brains behind One for One, a simple giving idea which has turned into a global movement. TOMS has given over 12 million pairs of new shoes to children in need since it began the program in 2006, in more than 60 countries. Recently the company also expanded its business model to include TOMS Eyewear, now helping to save and restore sight for those in need.

TOMS One for One happened unintentionally. While traveling in Argentina in 2006, Blake M witnessed the hardships faced by children growing up without shoes. His solution to the problem was simple, yet revolutionary: create a for-profit business that was sustainable and not reliant on donations. Blake M’s vision soon turned into the simple business idea that provided the powerful foundation for TOMS.

It was a similar dawning for Blake A. On his first mission trip to Nicaragua in 2011, Blake was more than moved by how the people of Nicaragua lived and where they lived — in homes you could not even call shacks. Back home in Dallas, his friends were buying homes with Viking ranges while to these folks, even a rusted-out stove was a dream. Most were living under scraps of wood and metal, or tarps. Blake was transformed. In his work for TOMS, he got these people shoes for the feet.

Now, he is working to get roofs over their heads.

The good folks at Realtor.com must have seen our post, because today there is a wonderful Q and A on Giveback Homes with Blake, written by the famous Audie Chamberlain himself, that has gone viral, and explains the company is really a marketing service for Realtors that costs a mere $50 a month:

There’s a small fee of $50 a month to be a member of Giveback Homes. This fee covers public relations efforts for our members — where we pitch their story to their local media — access to our in-house design team for help with ads, listing pages, business cards, social media support, the rights to our logo, a profile on the Giveback Homes website, and the support from our team to brand yourself as a member of Giveback Homes. We’ve also been able to donate to over 10 charities this year, including relief for the Philippines after the typhoon. So the membership fee goes a long way.

For more info on GiveBack homes and how you can help put a solid roof over a needy family’s head for just $50 a month, click here. After all, it’s the holidays and I cannot think of a better present than the gift of love — make a contribution in a client or loved one’s name to GiveBack Homes!