In 2004, during the Keller Williams Realty Family Reunion (national convention), Vice Chairman Mo Anderson challenged each office, broker and agent to leave a legacy in the communities in which they serve and live. The associates of Keller Williams Premier Realty in Katy, Texas accepted the challenge and what followed resulted in one of the fastest growing non-profits in the city's history. And since our business is real estate, it was only natural that we focused on housing.
Cinco Charities, Inc. was born in 2005 with the vision of building a community of care and support. Our mission is to provide temporary housing in our community with a warm, safe environment for individuals and their families who are hospitalized or receiving treatment for a serious medical condition.
We started raising money in a number of ways - golf tournaments, wine events, raffles and line item cash donations direct from our associates real estate closings. At the same time, we started making contacts within the community through local churches, community groups, hospitals, physicians and other non-profits. Eventually we had the funds to start providing free housing to patients and their families in local extended stay hotels. Always with the end goal in mind of buying or building our own facility.
In 2011, a single family home in Memorial Parkway was donated by Erin Ballard after learning about Cinco Charities from her oncologist, Dr. Sunil Patel at MD Anderson Regional Care Center where she was undergoing radiation and chemotherapy.
Erin, along with her friends from the Willow Fork Women's Auxiliary, redecorated and re-furnished the home with all new furniture, including tempurpedic beds to make it ready for our guests.
On September 1st, 2011, Erin and her husband Monty Ballard held a grand opening at Erin's House, inviting guests, board members, local dignitaries and press to learn about the charity. It was only then that an emotional Monty Ballard stunned the gathering with his announcement of a major additional gift, a pledge to fund the construction of a 24 room, permanent facility that would become known as The Ballard House.
The Ballard House
In December 2013, a huge crowd of supporters celebrated the grand opening of The Ballard House which boasts 20,000 square feet of livable space and is located on three acres in the heart of Katy. A few days later, the first five families were moved in.
The house provides living space, but also boasts common areas like a massive kitchen with private storage, a dining room, living room, gameroom, library, and chapel, and we're told that the support that guests get from the other guests makes all the difference in the world.
And the Katy community has really stepped up and supported the House as well. MW Cleaners provides free dry cleaning, the YMCA provides our guests we free access to the gym, Whole Foods provides free food, and countless community groups provide meals, game nights, movie nights, and other entertainment to families that can use the distraction.
Avenue Property Group proudly supports The Ballard House and makes a donation from each real estate closing. We encourage you to learn more about The Ballard House, get involved, and support it if you are so moved.