By Betty Boyd, Military Affairs Committee
It is our honor to highlight Tamra Coulter as our next MAC Champion. She is a realtor with Signature Real Estate Group. As a realtor, she is an advocate for homeownership rights, tenant rights, and property rights. Coulter is very involved with both her community and the real estate industry.
Coulter sits as the local Board Secretary for the Veterans of Real Estate Professionals (VAREP), and was recently promoted as the National House-A-Vet Coordinator. This organization advocates and educates for homeownership of veteran borrowers using their VA loan. Additionally, they educate real estate agents and lenders on the benefits of using the VA loan.
VAREP is 100% community-driven. They raise money throughout the year, to help with the renovation of homes to be donated to a deserving veteran mortgage-free. In 2019, VAREP Las Vegas Chapter donated three homes to well-deserving veteran families. Part of the process entails a mortgage enhancement class, learns how to pay bills, along with other education. To date, VAREP has donated 43+ homes across the country under the House-A- Vet Program.
VAREP partners with groups of volunteers that will completely remodel the home, redo landscaping, purchase furniture, appliances, food, and other amenities. The best part of all is the look of gratitude on the veteran and his/her family’s face. It is priceless. They get the color guard, police/fire departments, and other community leaders to honor the veteran and their families, such as Governor Sisolak.
VAREP Cares is another leg under VAREP that gives back to the veteran community. One of the biggest events it does is an annual large-scale Christmas event. This fundraiser helps veteran families who have fallen on hard times and don’t have money for Christmas or other items.
They help between six and 12 families. From going shopping to buying food to gift wrapping the presents for the parents and children, they assist in many ways. They provide a Christmas tree, then load up buses of volunteers to help deliver Christmas. VAREP Cares will even pay their rent if the fundraising went well for that month, doing this on Christmas Eve, which makes it even more special.
What is also really great about this event, and the home donation event, are the families that were helped at one time also get involved and are able to pay it forward. It is an emotional time for the kids, families, and volunteers who make it a wonderful event. “This is a beautiful thing,” relates Coulter.
This past April, Coulter joined to help grow another organization called The Stop-Drop-Push Campaign and quickly was promoted to co-chair in August. This organization brings awareness to and eliminates the 22 veteran suicides that happen each day. It is about finding alternative therapy options for the veterans and assist with integration back into civilian life. The families also receive support, as they can be affected just as much while trying to care for the veteran.
Coulter wants this to go beyond helping veterans to the civilian side of suicide prevention. It is a crisis that affects us all and one that a lot of people don’t want to talk about. The more awareness brought to both veterans and civilian families will make a big difference in getting the help that they need and deserve.
There are many services that need support, from raising money, education, recovery, and finding more alternative therapy options. The needs are endless; this is a growing area that will continue for years to come. So, with the continued help of major donors and grants, volunteers and various therapies they all will make a difference.
Tamra Coulter, we salute you in all your efforts in helping the veteran, and their families, which makes you the MAC Champion for Q3!
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