From Houses to Hope

Giving Back with The Abbey Collection

Article by Valerie Bianculli

Photography by The Abbey Collection

Originally published in Arvada Lifestyle

Lori Abbey is not only your local real estate expert but also a community builder and philanthropist. Twelve years ago, her desire for financial independence and a flexible schedule led her to seek a career in real estate. During this time the market was facing challenges, but Lori decided to take the plunge and dive head-first into the industry anyway. She embarked on her real estate journey with determination and today she has built a platform which, she says, enables her to make a significant impact in the community.

While The Abbey Collection is associated with luxury homes, the team sells across the economic spectrum with a diverse community connection that fuels Lori’s passion for giving back. There’s a connection between the pivotal role that her real estate career plays and her charitable endeavors.

Lori has a deep involvement in the Denver Metro area and surrounding communities such as Arvada. “I’m such a part of the community and I need to know what’s going on with business at all times. When you sell 50 to 100 houses a year, that is a lot of clients who then become friends” she says. It’s not just about buying and selling houses; it’s about creating a network of caring people who are committed to giving back. This network allows her to collaborate with clients who are equally passionate about making a difference and genuinely care for the people in their community. It has given her many opportunities to spread the love and more importantly, bring people together.

One of Lori’s most remarkable charitable efforts was her response to the Marshall fires in December 2021, a devastating wildfire that affected Boulder County. Lori sprang into action, mobilizing her extensive network to provide relief. In a matter of three weeks, Lori collected an impressive array of donations … enough to fill up an entire thousand-square-foot room that they had to rent from a church. “We had maybe $15,000 in financial donations, it was pretty darn amazing. We received everything from clothes to water to groceries to money to brand-new books and toys. It was really very special to see all of the things my clients and friends had brought in to try to lessen the impact the wildfires had on those people who lost everything,” explains Lori.

Another significant effort was Lori’s involvement in the Excel Academy during the first waves of COVID-19. Lori learned from a client/friend of hers that there were a hundred-plus families at the school that were food insecure. While school was closed due to the pandemic there were children that were going to have a hard time being fed since they rely on school for their daily meals. Lori decided to create an entire list of her clients and friends to tell them about the situation and asked them to bring a bag of groceries in exchange for a Village Inn pie that she would give to them for Thanksgiving, for a total of around 250 pies that were given away.

“There was not a single person that brought me a bag full of groceries … instead they brought cars and trucks FULL of groceries. There was so much that each family got not only one Thanksgiving meal but boxes and boxes of non-perishable food to bring home. It was so beautiful to see,” Lori says.

Her team includes her daughter, Alexandra, who also holds her real estate license, and a dedicated staff, all of whom participate in creating a sense of community beyond the houses that clients call home. An expression Lori lives by is “To those who much has been given, much is expected.”

She says this is something she has been telling Alexandra since she was very young and hopes this philosophy becomes ingrained throughout her work, too. “We have food, we have opportunity, we have so many things. It is up to us to share to the furthest extent possible. Whether it’s our gifts, our time, or whatever else we are able to give. I want to make sure that we are sharing that and impacting the world positively in order to make other people’s lives a little bit better too,” Lori explains.

Lori’s latest endeavor has been her partnership with Pepper’s Senior Dog Sanctuary in Littleton. Pepper’s is a safe haven for senior dogs who may have been otherwise euthanized or left to die alone in shelters. “It’s a heartbreaking situation,” she says, as many of these dogs were once part of loving families and as their elderly owners passed, they were left with no one to care for them. Pepper’s offers these dogs a chance at a peaceful and comfortable life. “It’s on 50 beautiful acres,” says Lori. “The rooms are big; they have couches and recliner chairs. They have comfy beds and for blind dogs, there is a sensory garden with different textures.”

Lori said she is proud to have contributed to this cause and meeting shelter dogs. A lot of her recent charitable work has been dog-related, she explained. She has flown in dogs from Los Angeles to prevent them from being euthanized, finding homes for them locally, and raised $13,000 for a two-year-old dog in need of expensive surgery, giving a second chance where there was first none.

The power to create positive change and display compassion and generosity is part of Lori’s journey; one that can be shared as an example along any inspired path.

It’s not just about buying and selling houses; it’s about creating a network of caring people who are committed to giving back.

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