Kristi Buckner’s Giving Journey
Kristi Buckner is a mother of three, an active real estate agent, a good friend to many, and one of the pioneers of our Agents Of Change Program. Kristi’s passion to give back started years before OAAT was even born. It started when Kristi’s mother was diagnosed with cancer at age 49; and was told she only had three more months to live. Kristi’s mother ended up passing away from cancer, but it wasn’t three months later, it was 12 years later.
Kristi believes that the reason her mom lived way past her three month prognosis is because she always had something to look forward to. After she was diagnosed, she told Kristi that she still had things to do and wanted to experience. She wanted to see her grandson be born, and went on to see the birth of all three of Kristi’s children. She rode motorcycles, flew airplanes, and got to see places she never had the chance to beforehand. Her mother would tell her that “it’s not about what you have, it’s who you have, and the experiences you have. Everything else is just stuff. Having something to look forward to keeps you going.” Her 12 year battle ended just after her long-awaited trip to Yosemite, where she shared with her family that she would be ok even if she passed away there. She ended up passing away right when she arrived home from the trip.
A few year’s later, Kristi met OAAT’s marketing director at the time, Andrew Peluso at a business networking event. She was drawn to Andrew’s passion for giving back and how he expressed the importance of it in every aspect of life. It was during this time that Kristi learned about OAAT. Shortly after, Kristi became a real estate agent, where she decided that with every transaction she produced, she wanted to donate to charity.
The question now, is which charity?
Kristi didn’t know who she wanted to give back to at the time, but she just knew it was very important to her that she did. She started to research a lot of nonprofits and nothing really struck her. She wanted to know where her money was going, and wanted it to go where she thought it should go. She decided to reach out to Andrew, which led her to a local OAAT event. Kristi attended the local bracelet making party and had no idea how much of an impact it was going to make on her. Not only did she get to experience the joy that was brought to the kids, but she also got to experience the joy OAAT brought to the parents of the diagnosed children as well, along with all of the volunteers and donors involved. “It was just happiness all the way around” Kristi says. Just like what kept her mom going for so long, OAAT events and experiences were always something to look forward to. It was then that Kristi chose OAAT as her charity of choice.
Ever since that day, Kristi has made a donation to OAAT with every single home she has sold. Although it was just a personal promise that she made to herself, other agents got word of it, and our Agents Of Change program was born. We now have other agents from different brokerages that also give back with every transaction, all thanks to Kristi’s simple idea to make a positive impact. Kristi shared with us that “it’s great to be able to say, every time I’m doing something and getting ahead, I’m also helping somebody else get ahead, which makes the transaction that much more exciting. It’s just something to look forward to; to close an escrow and help families and get others involved.”
We asked Kristi what’s next for her and OAAT, and she replied “Every single day since I’ve started in this, it’s an opportunity to do better; personally, business wise, relationship wise, as a parent, and as a friend. It has shown me what real friendships are. It has shown me faith in humanity restored. I just wanna take that and run with it with everything that I do. Everyday, I want to be able to give more, do more, and make a positive impact, because that’s what it’s really done for me from the beginning.”
We are so grateful for Kristi, and we look forward to seeing her continue to positively impact others, for many years to come. For more information on our Agents Of Change Program and how to get involved, click here.
Dedicated to Bon Bon