I grew up here in Holyoke, and it’s where I’m raising my children. I may be blunt, but I’m also sentimental.
I love Western Mass, from the Book Mill in Montague to the Academy of Music in Northampton. I enjoy walking around the canals in Holyoke and the parks in Westfield. We have something unique here. There’s a real passion for supporting local business and our neighbors. The students bring fresh ideas and the people who call the Valley home continue to invest in making it even better.
I want to do my part.
I believe in systemic structural support and long term commitments to financial sustainability.
With Holyoke’s former mayor, Alex Morse, I co-launched Buy Holyoke Now, an organization that gives people a pathway to homeownership. Buy Holyoke Now is a collaborative effort by an extensive network of lenders, nonprofit groups, real estate professionals, attorneys, insurance agents, and home inspectors, who have come together to provide discounts and other incentives to help encourage homeownership in the City of Holyoke.
“Just from the goal of economic development, to have tax dollars coming into the city is always a good thing,” Brunelle said, citing research suggesting that every two homes sold equals one job and $30,000 pumped into the local economy each year. The retail incentives of Buy Holyoke Now are intended to increase that figure further, by encouraging residents to direct their spending money toward locally owned businesses.
Every year for Pie Day in November, I run a food drive. For every client who bought or sold a home through me that year, I bring them a locally-made pie and a bottle of wine and encourage them to donate nonperishables to a local pantry. 2020 was a record-breaking year. By the end of the day, I filled my truck with over 600lbs. of food for Margaret’s Pantry.
Charity is my passion. I donate money to boys and girls after school programs and sports team. I highlight local businesses to stimulate the economy in video series like Hampshire Happenings and Paper City Eats.
Pie Day Food Drive
Whether you buy or sell a home with me, I donate $100 to a charity or community organization of your choice. I’ve donated to countless organizations, most hyper-local. A few of the most common ones are:
Holyoke Boys and Girls Club
One of my favorite parts of Holyoke, the Holyoke Boys and Girls Club has a tremendous impact on the community. 93% of kids involved expect to graduate on-time and 92% report feeling safer at the Club. They offer after school child care, summer programs, teen education and empowerment programs, and more.
Kate’s Kitchen is part of a larger network of services offered to economically disenfranchised groups in Holyoke. Foodworks at Kate’s Kitchen is a culinary training program that offers unemployed and under-employed individuals job training in the culinary field.
Dakin Humane Society
As a proud dog mom of two bulldogs, animal welfare is near and dear to my heart. Dakin Humane Society is a 501(c)(3) community-supported animal welfare organization that provides shelter, medical care, spay/neuter services, and behavioral rehabilitation for more than 20,000 animals each year. Since its inception in 1969, Dakin has become one of the most recognized nonprofit organizations in the Pioneer Valley and a national leader in animal welfare.