The Who and the Why

This is always difficult.  I don't mind writing, just not about me! But, I've been told that readers want to know more about the people involved in a company, especially one that's looking to raise money.  They want to know more about the motivations behind projects like this.  They want to know more about the aspirations and intentions of the people involved.  I understand and agree.  So here goes. 

Let's start at the beginning.  I was born on a beautiful May, --- OK, let's skip a few years (decades) in the interest of brevity.  Use the contact form if you want to know about me as a little kid.  I expect that none of you will, however.

Skipping the formative years, it eventually turned out that I would spend nearly a quarter of a century as a Real Estate Broker.  This was (is) a rewarding career but was also a bit frustrating since it frequently required being on-call 24 hours a day.  At the same time, it allowed for a relatively flexible schedule during my single-parent days which began when my daughter was less than 2 years old.  A real estate agent's schedule allowed me to be there while she watied for the school bus in the morning and again when she returned home in the afternoon.  And, of course,  there were all of those lunch time concerts and school plays!  Believe me when I say that there were very few (read: no) dads at the noon recitals.  Sad though. They'll never know what they missed.

Well, daughters grow up - and mine did as well.  Becoming a NICU nurse at the University of Iowa Hospitals, she is one of the few people I know who, while still in grade school, was able to set her sites on on a career of helping the smallest of babies and then succeeded in achieving her goal.  She is now married to a great guy (Mike is his name - how cool is that!) and has two beautiful childen (A girl, 3 year old Taylor and 1 year old boy named Gabriel). It also appears that she is now teaching me as it was her idea that I write this little bio.  Had it been anyone else making that suggestion, I believe this post would have never seen print. Thank you Michaela! 

The rewarding part of the real estate business is seeing the excitement in the eyes of new buyers who have finally reached their goals of owning a home.  This is where they will raise their family, set down roots in the community and create unforgettable memories.  Especially for the newly married, this is where life begins!  (They haven't thought about dripping faucets, grass cutting, snow plowing, painting, remodeling and wet basements yet, of course.)

Being part of the home-buying excitement was (and is) an amazing experience.  But one day while watching a television news broadcast featuring an organization called StreetWorks, I was given pause to reflect. Outreach volunteers carry signature green bags filled with street-living necessities as they connect with the homeless youth living on the streets of Minneapolis.  Here, there is no chance for that home-ownership excitement.  There's little chance for finding a flea-infested couch to sleep on!  Since I'd made a living helping people put a roof over their heads, I decided that it was time to help homeless kids do the same thing.  It wouldn't be ownership, of course, but there has to be something better than sleeping next to a dumpster. I just can't get my head around the idea that a 14 year old girl (one not so different than my own daughter) has to find respite from rain and snow under a bridge!  It's wrong!  So, I did a little research and began donating to this organization.

Over the years, I've remained friends with a couple of people met at StreetWorks; Trudee Able-Peterson  who is now working with Breaking Free and Richard Hooks Wayman who spent a few years at the National Alliance to End Homelessness in Washington, DC and is now back in Minnesota as Executive Director with Hearth Connection. I'm sure as time goes by, you'll hear more about both of them.  They are my heros.

Seeing their dedication, I continued to develop my own.  Originally, the idea was to raise funds for homeless youth by holding a raffle for a brand new invention - the two-wheeled, self balancing Segway.  Even though it was common to raffle cars and motorcycles, I guess this machine was just TOO unique for 2004 and  was considered somewhat hazardous in the eyes of the nonprofits that I approached.  I was told that their legal departments had refused participation.  Grrr.

Kickoff Event SOS 2009, Rochester, MN
In 2009, at the suggestion of one of my California friends, I tried to do something even more unusual in order to raise awareness and funding for homeless youth.  Called Segway Off the Streets, it was an attempt to ride a Segway nearly 2,500 miles from Rochester, MN to New York through to it's intended destination, the StandUp For Kids national headquarters in Atlanta.  What's that saying?  The "best laid plans of mice and men ..."

Alright, well let's not get into another novel here.  If you'd like to know more about this project, the Segway Off the Streets blog is still live where you can find the start to finish postings. I promise it won't take you long either.  Because disaster intervened, there's only 18 of them.

It's now 2011.  My desire to raise funding for homeless kids hasn't subsided.  My unusual methods seem not to have faltered either!  But I AM a little smarter.  I'm taking the danger out of the project while trying to marry fundraising with a commercial enterprise.  Sticking with familiarity, Responsible Referrals has its base in Real Estate related activities.
Mission Statement - Responsible Referral program through Meridian Concepts, Inc. Real Estate
Meridian Concepts, Inc. is a real estate brokerage firm desiring to promote awareness for and work towards alleviating the complications of homelessness especially as it relates to youth and families. By providing excellent service to our customers, we will generate funding to be used for specific projects being promoted by existing non-profit entities located in the United States and beyond.
Responsible Referrals by Meridian Concepts, Inc. is a Referral Service that connects you with a great Real Estate Agent while contributing 50% of its revenue to non-profits working to help homeless youth and families.
I hope that you'll further explore our website and blog.  I hope that you'll subscribe to the blog postings and register to vote.  I hope you'll spread the word and tell your family and friends about us.  I hope you and your network of family and friends can find ways to use the services provided by Responsible Referrals in order to continue providing this much needed funding. I hope you'll get involved in any way you can! With your help, we promise to create a tremendous amount of funding in order to help homeless youth and families through the nonprofits who seek to serve them. 

During a recent edit, I read that last paragraph again.  I say "hope" in one sentence after another for a total of FIVE times!  I think for a second, "this is excessive and it sounds a lot like begging.  Maybe I should strike this paragraph and start again."

But then I remember:  It's not about MY hopes, but it's representative of an absolute constant in the lives of homeless kids.  It's about THEIR hope which begs for an answer. 

Call me!  We can help make a brighter future for some of these children and I'm convinced that yours will be brighter too.

Mike Taylor

Personal Facebook
Responsible Referrals Facebook