William Pitt Sotheby’s International Realty Participating in Connecticut Coalition to End Homelessness’ 6th Annual “be homeful for the holidays”

Firm team up with Connecticut REALTORS®, the Connecticut State Library, and six Connecticut town libraries on holiday season fundraisers to benefit at-risk families in the area

Litchfield County, Conn. (December 13, 2021)William Pitt Sotheby’s International Realty is proud again this year to support the “be homeful for the holidays” campaign from the Connecticut Coalition to End Homelessness.

The “be homeful” campaign helps kids, families and communities learn about how homelessness affects local children, and raises funds to help local families stay at home. Since the project launched in 2015, the Connecticut Coalition to End Homelessness and its members have helped more than 1,000 children and their families stay in their homes instead of going to shelters. The annual holiday season campaign for “be homeful” has provided holiday cheer to more than 5,000 children living in Connecticut shelters.

This year, William Pitt Sotheby’s International Realty is working with Connecticut REALTORS®, the Connecticut State Library and six Northwest Corner of Connecticut town libraries on various holiday season fundraisers to benefit the “be homeful for the holidays” campaign.

“Real estate firms and libraries are a natural fit to work together around supporting the homeless,” said Cynthia Hochswender, Licensed Real Estate Salesperson with the firm’s Salisbury Brokerage. Hochswender is organizing several fundraising efforts for this year’s campaign. “Realtors are all about having a home, and therefore this is an important cause for us to support. Libraries are involved because people living in shelters often spend the day in a public library, where it is safe, clean and warm with books to read for children.”

“This is such an important cause for our area. Homelessness is not as visible here as it might be in an urban area, so we are proud to help raise awareness that there are local families in need that we can help support,” added Julie King, Litchfield County Brokerage Manager for William Pitt Sotheby’s International Realty. King has spearheaded the company’s efforts for “be homeful for the holidays” for the past three years.

The “be homeful for the holidays” campaign is a fundraising endeavor, but “just as important is building education and awareness around the issue of family homelessness,” said Beth Mecteau, Director of Executive and Foundation Programs for Connecticut REALTORS®. “In our goal of helping to end family homelessness one family at a time, it is every event, every dollar raised and every opportunity to raise awareness and educate that helps us do that.”

The theme of the campaign centers around the iconic story of Paddington Bear—the beloved “homeless” British teddy bear who arrives at London’s Paddington Station with a sign reading, ‘Please look after this bear.’ The bear is quickly taken in by the Brown family. As part of the initiative, for every $25 raised, Connecticut REALTORS® will donate a Paddington stuffed bear to the Connecticut Coalition to End Homelessness, which will distribute the bears to local children in shelters.

William Pitt Sotheby’s International Realty’s efforts to support this year’s campaign include:

  • On Sunday, December 5, Hochswender organized a fundraiser read-aloud of the first Paddington book in the ballroom at Salisbury’s White Hart Inn. The story was read by Kendra Percy, children’s librarian for Salisbury’s Scoville Memorial Library, and Samantha Saliter, children’s librarian for The Hotchkiss Library of Sharon.Connecticut State Representative Maria Horn (D-64) attended, giving a speech about the growing problem of homelessness in Connecticut. Hochswender and William Pitt Sotheby’s International Realty agents Karen Grimaldi, Lori Cantele and Pat Thurman were on hand, distributing jars of Paddington-themed gummy bears, put together by company agents throughout Litchfield County and used to introduce people to the campaign. Connecticut REALTORS® announced during the event that they are donating 30 hardcover copies of the Paddington book, in Rep Horn’s name, to a shelter in Winchester.


  • On Sunday, November 28, agents participated in the Litchfield Holiday Stroll, where they introduced people to the campaign and handed out 200 gummy-bear jars. Here, the agents raised additional donations for the campaign.


  • On Friday, December 10, King and other agents from the Litchfield County brokerages will be on hand at the Holiday in the Depot celebration in Washington, Conn. They plan to hand out another 250 gummy-bear jars and accept donations from community members.


  • William Pitt Sotheby’s International Realty has also donated six wreaths, decorated with Paddington bear hang tags containing a flow code that people can use to quickly and easily make a donation to the “be homeful” project via their phone, benefiting six local libraries: Scoville Memorial in Salisbury, Hotchkiss Library of Sharon, DM Hunt in Falls Village, Cornwall Library, Norfolk Library and Kent Memorial Library. The libraries will also receive jars of the Paddington-theme gummy bears, a gift bag containing a Paddington plush toy and a hardcover copy of the book, plus extra hang tags so library patrons can take them home to make donations.

King expects William Pitt Sotheby’s International Realty’s combined efforts to raise $5,000 for the campaign this year. Community members who wish to support this cause can make donations online by clicking here. All proceeds go directly to the Connecticut Coalition to End Homelessness.

About William Pitt – Julia B. Fee Sotheby’s International Realty

Founded in 1949, William Pitt – Julia B. Fee Sotheby’s International Realty manages a $5.9 billion portfolio with more than 1,100 sales associates in 27 brokerages spanning Connecticut, Massachusetts, and Westchester County, New York. William Pitt – Julia B. Fee Sotheby’s International Realty is one of the largest Sotheby’s International Realty(R) affiliates globally and the 37th-largest real estate company by sales volume in the United States. For more information, visit the website at williampitt.com.

Sotheby’s International Realty’s worldwide network includes 1,000 offices throughout 75 countries and territories on six continents.

Press Contact:

Julie King

Brokerage Manager

[email protected]


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Dec 13