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TOP STORY: Local Realtor Vows to “Give Back” to Classrooms in Richmond County Schools

Crystal Long of RE/MAX Southern Realty in Rockingham will give percentage of sales to local classrooms.
Contributed photo.

ROCKINGHAM – It’s well known that a crystal is one of the most precious stones on earth. It gives power and protection to those that possess it, and it shines light into darkness. There is a crystal in every community, and Richmond County has its own “Crystal” sharing light and love.

Last week, Crystal Long, 32, of RE/MAX Southern Realty in downtown Rockingham, posted a video to Facebook when she finally mustered up the courage to share some big news. She is pledging to contribute a portion of her commission from property sales in 2018 to classrooms throughout Richmond County Schools.

Clients who buy or sell a house with Long will get the opportunity to designate a classroom of their choosing for the funds to be used. The teacher then gets to use the money at his or her discretion for the classroom.

“My vision is for the teacher to use that money however she (or he) sees fit,” Long explained. “It could be for supplies for the classroom. It could be to fund a class project or maybe even an educational program or class field trip related to their studies.”

As a former second grade teacher at Monroe Avenue in Hamlet, Long is all too familiar with the struggles and needs of the classroom teacher.

“I remember taking money out of my own pocket, not because I wasn’t getting enough, but because I wanted to always do more,” Long expressed.

“You can’t plan for the little things that kids need and you can’t plan for those moments when you’re teaching a lesson and the light bulb goes off and you say, ‘Oh, my god, we would really benefit from doing or having this,’” she continued. “Sometimes you just need that extra boost to actually make it happen.”


Long hopes others and other businesses will follow her lead.

“I would encourage anybody to give back,” Long said. “Anybody who is happy and passionate, should be able to give back. It doesn’t have to be huge, and it can be just to help your community. Especially if part of your business comes from the support of the community, you should want to give back.”

Giving directly to the classroom is a practice that is sweeping the nation. Donorschoose.org is a website that allows teachers to set up accounts and pages similar to GoFundMe in order to garner support and donations for various classroom projects and trips. It is a platform for individuals looking to give back to be able to choose a classroom or project they wish to support to teachers all over the nation.

Long plans to meet with Dr. Cindy Goodman, Superintendent for Richmond County Schools, next week to iron out the details and set everything in motion. Long already has the first donation in the works and will hopefully be reaching out to a classroom really soon.

“I spoke to Crystal late last week and am extremely excited and pleased she has decided to donate money from her sales to RCS,” Goodman confirmed in an email.  “As a former teacher, Crystal remembers how classroom teachers often need ‘incidentals’ that cannot be purchased  by with instructional supply money.  We really appreciate her generous offer.”

While her career is now focused on real estate, education will always have a special place in heart.  And with sales totaling roughly $3.7 million last year, one passion can fuel the other.

“I get really excited when I talk about it. It makes me smile,” Long concluded.

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