Charity begins at home in Lexington for Realtor Danielle Hurlburt.
While the 33-year-old Connecticut native delights in helping clients find homes, she also loves that her company, Keller Williams Greater Lexington, offers agents the chance to pool their money to help people in need in the community.
“It was one of the things that attracted me to Keller Williams,” said Danielle, who was an agent assistant at another company before obtaining her real estate license in 2007. “I have been very fortunate in my life and career, and I am grateful to work for a company that’s dedicated to giving back to our community.”
Agents recently bought Christmas gifts for children as part of “Hope for Haiti,” sponsored by Southland Christian Church, and spent a day in May doing community service.
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“It’s important to create the change we want. It’s easy to sit back and wish that things could be different — but getting involved is the first step toward making things better,” Danielle said.
Shortly after she and husband Rob moved to Lexington 10 years ago, Danielle began helping out at the Lexington Humane Society.
“I visited the shelter and walked dogs when I had free time,” Danielle said. “I also helped out from time to time with special events.”
One thing led to another, and soon Danielle was volunteering for the Kentucky Division of the Boston Terrier Rescue.
“I have a 10-year-old Boston Terrier named Lexi, and she was my inspiration for getting involved with rescue work,” she said. “I became a foster home for the rescue and have fostered about eight dogs over the past two years.”
As state foster coordinator, Danielle ensures the dogs are healthy prior to adoption.
“Kentucky has some of the worst animal protection laws in the country and one of the highest occurrences of back-yard breeders as well,” she said. “The dogs we rescue are usually the ones tossed aside after they are no longer needed for breeding purposes.”
Her reward? “Seeing a terrified, sick dog come into rescue and then finally get their ‘happily-ever-after’ on adoption day,” Danielle said.
In fact, a 13-year-old Boston Terrier named Jackson who was abandoned at a shelter in Eastern Kentucky about a year ago, found his forever home with Danielle and Rob, who is also a Connecticut native and a senior engineer at Link-Belt.
The couple took Jackson in to foster, knowing that finding a permanent home for him was a long shot.
“Most people want a puppy, and Jackson is old, blind and has some health problems,” Danielle explained. “But that’s okay. He’s part of the family now.”
A University of Connecticut graduate with a degree in sociology, Danielle also supports AIDS Volunteers of Lexington (AVOL), a non-profit that provides housing and supportive services for hundreds of low-income men and women living with HIV/AIDS in 70 counties in Central and Eastern Kentucky.
For the last three years, she has chaired “Dining Out For Life,” an annual AVOL fund-raiser that has brought in more than $200,000.
“I got involved with AVOL, first as a volunteer with “Dining Out For Life” when a friend recruited me to help,” said Danielle, who served two years on the board of directors and as
vice president in 2014.
“It was the people at AVOL who inspired me to become more involved,” she said. “They work so hard to empower those who are affected by this disease.”
Her advice for others who want get involved but are not sure how or where to begin?
“Find something that you are passionate about, and find out what you can do to turn that passion into action,” Danielle said.
It’s a great feeling that never gets old.