Francis Bacon once said, “In charity, there is no excess!” Seems like a pretty straightforward quote, right? Most of us can’t even count all the times that we’ve heard our family members, friends, colleagues and community leaders talk about the importance of lending a helping hand to those in need. But we’re still left with the same burning questions:Are we doing enough for our community and are we actually making a difference? Well, to answer these questions, let’s compare charity to sports. You might be wondering how charity is even remotely related to sports and I don’t blame you…But let me explain.

Take the San Francisco Giants for example; they may not have been the standout favored winner going into the 2014 World Series—and yet, tonight they could potentially clinch their third championship in five years. So how are they pulling it off? What does this team have that other teams don’t? On one hand, they have a solid core of players, excellent coaching and boundless determination—but so do the other teams. They also have one of the best World Series pitchers of all time, an exceptional manager and many secret weapons—but the MLB is full of talent.

What makes the Giants so special isn’t their record or the number of hours that they practice each day, because any team can accomplish such things. It’s their intangible assets like heart, dedication, will to win and their undeniable team chemistry. Even their postseason slogan speaks to camaraderie: “October Together.” The Giants rise to the occasion when it matters most and they set aside their excuses as soon as they step on that field. At the end of the game they’ve left their heart, sweat and tears on that field and even as they walk away, a glimmer of excitement remains for the next time they get to step up to the plate.

Like sports, charity work takes time and lots of it! Numerous agents, managers and staff, representing Coldwell Banker Residential Brokerage, committed themselves to Habitat for Humanity’s 2014 ”Homes and Hope” Challenge—an annual fundraising event where Coldwell Banker offices compete to increase their volunteer participation and raise funds for Habitat for Humanity in Northern California—and the results? We might be biased, but it’s pretty darn close to a home run in our book.

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Coldwell Banker volunteered 600 hours of service and raised an incredible $95,000 in gross proceeds benefiting Habitat for Humanity affiliates throughout Northern California and was named the winner of Habitat for Humanity’s 2014 Build It Challenge. Whether it was volunteer labor on new home construction or renovations of existing homes, or volunteering their time in Habitat retail stores—you name it and Coldwell Banker did it! Independent Agents, Managers and staff alike stepped up to the plate when it mattered most and set all excuses aside. These Coldwell Banker volunteers may not have been professional contractors or heavy weight lifters but they went above and beyond in the name of charity and left it all on the playing field.

Victory aside, there seems to be a common key lifeline for both charity and sports. Surely time and teamwork are important, but what is it that ultimately keeps us going? Well according to Mike James, president of Coldwell Banker Residential Brokerage it’s heart: “Coldwell Banker’s independent agents, managers and staff believe deeply in the mission of Habitat—that everyone deserves a chance at the American Dream of home ownership. Coldwell Banker’s work with Habitat and other community organizations allows it to make a real difference in the lives of those who need helpand truly give back to the communities Coldwell Banker serves.”

Whether it’s America’s favorite pastime or a charitable act, it’s important to celebrate the wins and look forward to future ones. But in order to make that World Series winning play or create a noticeable change in our community, it requires much more than just hard work—it takes heart, team hustle and a burning desire to do more.

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Congratulations again to our “teammates” for their victory in the 2014 Homes and Hope event benefiting Habitat for Humanity and good luck to the San Francisco Giants!