Keller Williams (KW) Southwest REDDAY Team Focuses on Fort Bend’s Fur Babies

COVER STORY | By Patti Parish-Kaminski –

KW Southwest’s RED DAY Team: Yuyi Lin, Dale Branch, Ken Farley, Chad St Jean, Ross McEathron, Todd Baker, Brandon Hood, Kevin Talbot, Tenzesta Smith, Sam Khalaf, Mary Walker, Andi St Jean, Terri Canal, Barbara Herrera, Brenda Brady, Betty Goon, Myrtice Turner, Zoe Reyes, Stacy Escobedo, Emeli Mondragon, Teresa Mock, Roscoe Ford, Ashley Shegog, Norman Lew, Roya Salbi, Brandi Owens, Sanja Poje, Baljinder “Viva” Mann and Liz Guevara-Backman.

Keller Williams (KW) Southwest in Sugar Land doesn’t just want to sell homes; they are dedicated to improving their community.  Their goal?  To improve their community and make it a place where people want to buy homes, put down roots and raise their families. And this year as in years past, on their annual day of service or RED Day – Renew, Energize and Donate – they did just that.

Each year on the second Thursday in May, tens of thousands of Keller Williams associates from across the United States and Canada don red t-shirts to devote their time to volunteering in the communities they serve.  It’s part of the KW philosophy of creating a legacy worth leaving.  And the team of dedicated Realtors at KW Southwest in Sugar Land is no exception.

KW Southwest’s RED DAY Team

Seventy-five KW Southwest agents participated in this year’s RED Day on May 10th making a huge difference for two Fort Bend non-profits:  Fort Bend County Animal Services and the Rosenberg Animal Shelter.  “The biggest difference this year is that we focused on making a bigger impact on one organization,” said Liz Guevara- Backman, KW Southwest’s RED Day Chair. “Our goal was to focus on one organization that we felt needed our attention the most and could benefit from so many of our associates lending a hand throughout the day.”

Their singular focus turned into a dual mission as Fort Bend County Animal Services and the Rosenberg Animal Shelter are directly across the street from one another.  “The Rosenberg Animal Shelter has no sign in front of their building,” shared Guevara-Backman.  “Most people don’t know there are two shelters – one right across the street from the other.”

While the KW Southwest Team couldn’t tackle creating a sign for the shelter on RED Day, Guevara-Backman has taken that future project on for the organization.  “I am taking that cause on after the fact – getting them a sign.  They have great pets for adoption, too.  We need to simply let people know they are there.”

The KW Southwest RED DAY Team rolled up their sleeves and got busy helping the Rosenberg Animal Shelter in a big way.  With so many associates, the team was able to build a large 10’ x 20’ shade structure for the much-needed new dog run behind the shelter.  Additionally, they cleared the land for the runs, which was overrun with grass and weeds.  They were also able to repair an existing drainage issue on the current dog runs insuring that the dogs were not standing in water when it rained.

Spreading the Love

Lisa Brinks, Shana Crane, PJ Jayaprakash, Toni Williams and Filip Da Silva.

For neighbor Fort Bend County Animal Services, the KW Southwest RED Day Team built what Guevara-Backman referred to as “Catopia.”

“Animal Services needed an outdoor cat room that connected to the indoor cat room so the cats could go out for fresh air,” explained Guevara-Backman. “We built a permanent addition attached to the building where all the staff has to do is open a window for the cats to go in and out.  We called it ‘Catopia.’”

Team KW Southwest also cleaned out and organized storage containers behind the Fort Bend County Animal Services’ building.  They assembled heavy duty shelves for containers and organized dry goods to assist with keeping the food supply safe.

At both locations, the team got to do what Guevara Backman described as the best part of the day – providing love, care and attention to the fur babies.  “We walked every dog in both shelters multiple times, bathed all of the dogs and cats and loved on the fur babies.”

This much-needed attention to the animals was something for which the shelter staff was extremely grateful.  “A staff member at the Rosenberg Animal Shelter said to me that we just didn’t understand just how awesome it was for the pets to get this much attention,” shared Guevara-Backman.  According to shelter staff, the dogs are never quiet; they are anxious as staff simply cannot devote the amount of attention that each of the animals require.  When the KW Southwest Team finished their day of service, the dogs were quiet.  “That’s how we know that these guys have been loved on – cared for is what Barbara said.  They were exhausted and quiet – very content.  I just couldn’t express how wonderful that made us feel to know we had made a difference.”

The KW Southwest RED Day Team’s work didn’t stop there.  On RED Day, they coordinated with ABC Channel 13’s Kevin Quinn, who came out to the shelters and hosted a live Facebook session.  The effort assisted the shelters with bringing special attention to their longest residents and collecting food, treats, cat litter, bedding and donations for both shelters.

“Having Channel 13 helped make the community aware of what we were doing for the shelters.  It made our efforts even more successful,” said Guevara-Backman.  “The fur babies don’t have a voice of their own, but on RED Day, they got our undivided attention.  It was a success. We made a difference for the shelters and the animals.”

The shelter animals weren’t the only ones who felt the love that day from KW Southwest.  Four animals, three puppies that were actually dropped off that day, along with a shelter dog, found their new homes with KW Southwest associates.

“RED Day embodies one of the main reasons I am with KW Southwest,” shared Guevara-Backman.  “Our goal every year is to give where we live – it’s our motto.  For me, I give where I live because I love where I live.  I truly love our expanding, growing community.  I believe we should give where we live by bringing a smile to a face.  There are very few things more fulfilling than bringing a smile to someone’s face.  I try to achieve that every day in Real Estate, and together, as a team, we were able to take that extra step and get lots of smiles on RED Day – both human and fur baby.”

For more information about KW Southwest, call 281-265-0000 or visit www.kwsw.com.


It’s All About the Sign


Kate Gajdosik.

In the world of Real Estate, signs are an important marketing tool.  When the KW Southwest Team arrived at the Rosenberg Animal Shelter on RED Day, they made an unusual discovery:  the shelter had no sign to direct and inform people they were a shelter.  While the team could not address that issue on their day of service, they have made a commitment to the shelter to address this issue.  RED Day Chair Liz Guevara- Backman said, “I am taking that cause on after the fact – getting them a sign.  They have great pets for adoption, too.  We need to simply let people know they are there.”

According to Guevar-Backman, the need to complete this project is basic:  carpentry skills.  If you would like to assist helping put the Rosenberg Animal Shelter on the map with a new sign, contact RED DAY Chair Liz Guevara-Backman at 281-630-5956.