Maybe you have already heard of VORP, but I pride myself on knowing about all local nonprofits and I had not yet heard of this one, although they have been providing services to Denver youth for over 20 years. I was incredibly inspired by my visit and am grateful that my clients chose to donate to this wonderful organization, so that I could learn about this organization and contribute to their cause.

VORP stands for Victim Offender Reconciliation Program and they keep young people out of jail by restoring the relationships between oneself, one’s family, and one’s community. This is an alternative justice practice, which acknowledges individual experiences and identities. Have you ever heard of transformative justice?

Angell Perez, Executive Director of VORP, almost brought me to tears with the story of Julia…

Julia was a 12-year-old when she was referred to VORP from the Denver Juvenile Diversion Program after receiving a ticket for Assault and Interference with School Staff. She had been handcuffed, arrested, and expelled from her middle school, after spending 5 days in a local “juvenile jail.” Why? Because she got into a fight with another student and when a teacher tried to break it up, she was punched in the mouth by someone who she thought was Julia. Completely unacceptable, right? Sure… but there’s a lot more to the story.

For many months, Julia had been consistently bullied at school by several girls because she plays a lot of sports and dresses like a tomboy. Julia had sought help from several staff members at school and their advice was to “just ignore it.” One day, she finally lost it and got in a fight with one of the bullies. She had been having a terrible time at home. Six months prior, her father had passed away from cancer unexpectedly. Julia had been separated from her siblings, as they were all living with different relatives. She was worried about her little sister, who had been threatening suicide, and since they were separated, Julia could not be there for her. And so the events of Julia’s fight unfolded as they did.

VORP facilitated a Face2Face healing circle with Julia, her grandfather, and the teacher from school who pressed the charges, Ms. Audrey. Ms. Audrey was able to share how much hurt she experienced, both physically and emotionally. She shared that her daughters were students at the school, who saw her get assaulted and were afraid for their mother’s wellbeing. The incident caused so much harm to Ms. Audrey that she had considered leaving her career as a teacher, although she had become a teacher because she wanted to support youth in their education to lead them to better lives.

In this circle, Julia was able to face the harm that she had caused and was able to share her story with Ms. Audrey, so Ms. Audrey could understand the root of Julia’s anger and help her learn how to better deal with it. With the staff and volunteers of VORP, everyone was able to create empathy and understanding with one another.

Ms. Audrey praised VORP’s Transformative Justice Programs and vowed to advocate for calling VORP, instead of the police with school administrational issues. Ms. Audrey also committed to helping Julia get back into school after she had been expelled. Julia completed her community contract to make amends to Ms. Audrey, herself, and her family. She got back into school and finished the school year with all A’s and B’s.

The focus of Transformative Justice is to begin a journey of transformational healing for youth, families, and community by focusing on the root causes of harm (crime.) This is done by addressing generational wounds and trauma caused by societal oppression (racism, poverty, etc.) to inspire youth to empathize with survivors of crime and heal the harm they’ve caused them.

Transformative Justice also actively works to transform systems that cause harm to particular communities, especially communities of color, such as the school to prison pipeline, mass incarceration, and the prison industrial complex. VORP provided programs to 230 youth and their families in 2015. Over 90% were youth of color and 87% qualified for free or reduced lunch.


Pictured are Conscious Real Estate clients: Zoe, Patrick, Aster, and Oriole with myself

I am incredibly grateful to Zoe, Patrick, Aster, and Oriole for choosing VORP for their Conscious Real Estate donation, so I was able to meet Angell and learn about all of the wonderful work that VORP is doing in our community to help young people. We met with them on December 31, 2015 and I couldn’t ask for a more inspiring end to my year. As we were walking out, Zoe mentioned that one of her friends had recently purchased a home from another realtor and was bragging that her realtor had given them a new security system as a closing gift. Zoe responded to her friend, “Our donation to VORP is our security system.”

“We chose to give to VORP because we have seen an increasing pattern of people of color being sent to courts and jails at early ages. VORP sees the factors that schools and courts miss, like trauma, economic, and social factors that make youth more likely to end up in the correctional system. We believe in VORP’s holistic and transformative approach to justice as well as their leadership opportunities that support young people in changing our future.”

If you would like to learn more about VORP and their programs, click here. You can volunteer or donate to VORP or “like” them on Facebook. And as always, when you purchase or sell a home with Conscious Real Estate, 10% of our commission goes to the nonprofit of your choice and we are always more than happy to donate to such wonderful causes. I hope everyone’s new year is going well. – Allison

Well, friends, did you happen to notice that Allison failed to speak in this video?  That’s exactly what happened!  If you have met Allison, you know she is rarely at a loss for words, but she got camera-shy and failed to speak.  Curt had to do all the talking (which we didn’t mind, because he has a great message) and Kim had to jump in and save the day for Conscious Real Estate.  They both did a great job, though they may not let Allison live this one down…

We encourage you to learn more about the Art of War Project founded by Curt Bean.  This organization is spearheading some truly innovative work promoting well-being for veterans dealing with PTSD, including weekly yoga and meditation classes, as well as a variety of art classes.  The Art of War project has a monthly art show for the First Friday Art Walk and puts on a great party at the VFW Post 1 at 841 Sante Fe Drive in Denver Colorado, just a few doors down from 8th Avenue, so we encourage you to stop by and see the great work they are doing.

To learn more about Art of War and their upcoming events, you can follow them on Facebook or Instagram.

Remember, each time you buy or sell a home with Conscious Real Estate, 10% of agent commissions go to the nonprofit of your choice, so you can donate to the Art of War Project with your next real estate transaction and help them continue their great work in our community. If you would like to learn more about buying or selling a home with Conscious Real Estate, please contact Allison at 303-908-9873 or

How much do YOU want to change the world?

Here at Conscious Real Estate, we want to change the world a lot. Let’s talk about what we do… We help people buy and sell houses and we love that!  But we took it one step further and created a philanthropic real estate business model.

We are Colorado’s only real estate social enterprise.  Each time one of our clients buys or sells a home with us, we contribute 10% of our own commission to the nonprofit of our clients’ choice.


Here is some sad news… On the day of this writing, August 21, 2015, Conscious Real Estate did NOT close on any homes.  Yet a quick look at the MLS states that 299 homes sold on this day in Colorado.  Our owner, Allison Parks, decided to tally up the total sales prices of 100 of these homes.  Taking the total of these 100 sales into consideration and considering that commission is negotiable, our estimate is that if those buyers and sellers would have used Conscious Real Estate on just one side of the deal, that would have generated around $75,000 to $100,000 for nonprofits.  That’s right… we could donate that in just one day of real estate sales.

Imagine what a DIFFERENCE that $75,000 to $100,000 could make in our local and global community from JUST… ONE… DAY of people buying and selling houses with Conscious Real Estate.  And that’s if we only represent 1/3 of Colorado’s home sales from that one day…

Now imagine if those buyers and sellers used Conscious Real Estate for those 100 home sales each day next week, just Monday through Friday.  That would create $375,000 to $500,000 for nonprofits in just one week.  What difference do you think that could make?

In one month, it would create $1,500,000 to $2,000,000 for nonprofits.  What difference would THAT make?

In a year, that would create $18,000,000 to $24,000,000. That is an enormous amount of money to give away and quite frankly, nothing would make us happier.


Every day at Conscious Real Estate is Colorado Gives Day.

We’re here, folks.  We are willing to do the work.  We are willing to grow as big as we need to, we are willing to hire more people and create jobs, and we will always keep our commitment to customer service our top priority.  We know that, without our clients, we are nothing. We will keep our communities close to our heart every step of the way and implement innovative business practices that increase the greater social good.

If you would like to change the world with us and you have a friend who is planning to buy or sell a home, let them know that they can make a difference with their next real estate transaction if they work with Conscious Real Estate.  For more information, please contact Allison Parks at 303-908-9873 or


With Memorial Day coming up (and just because we love dogs), we decided that Freedom Service Dogs should most definitely be this month’s featured nonprofit. Last week, we got an exclusive tour at their facility in Englewood. It was dog-tastic and we learned a ton!

Freedom Service Dogs began with Mike Roche, a paramedic injured in the line of duty. Together, with his wife PJ, the couple trained what would be the very first Freedom Service Dog, “Oreo”, to help Mike with daily tasks.

Freedom Service Dogs is a nonprofit organization that enhances the lives of people with disabilities by rescuing dogs from shelters and custom training them for individual client needs.

Michael, a lucky boy who received a custom-trained dog put it this way when talking about his new best friend Fender on the Freedom Service Dogs website, “He has become my best friend and given me self confidence. He is also helping my walking. People no longer stare at me because I walk differently.  They now look at me and my dog and smile.”

Allison Parks of Conscious Real Estate started her firm in order to fulfill her two obsessions:

1) Real estate (she can’t get enough of learning about trends, eco-friendly building materials, and the rich history of Denver neighborhoods)

2) Making a difference to nonprofits like Freedom Service Dogs by donating 10% of her commissions to nonprofits of her clients’ choice after every completed home sale.

Allison says, “I like Freedom Service Dogs because it’s one of the few nonprofits that helps people and dogs.”

Allison Parks, Conscious Real Estate Owner/Broker, with Lindsay Ganassa, FSD Development Manager and “Cargo”

The dogs are rescued from shelters and trained to become service dogs for people who otherwise would not be able to afford one. Getting a service dog trained is very costly and can cost over $25,000, and these dogs demonstrate how amazing dogs rescued from shelters can be! Also, if you have ever seen a dog work, you know how happy they are to have that opportunity. It’s truly amazing to see these dogs have a second chance at life, happily working to help the people who need them.”

Freedom Service Dogs is thriving. They have expanded by helping veterans with PTSD and traumatic brain injuries by custom training dogs to help children as young as 12 live more comfortable lives – despite such daunting conditions as autism, cerebral palsy, Down syndrome and more.

Noticing the extreme PTSD that military personnel were coming back with after fighting in Iraq and Afghanistan, Freedom Service Dogs started Operation Freedom to help wounded warriors returning from traumatic conditions abroad.

Freedom Service Dogs Development Manager, Lindsay Ganassa filled us in on some of the details of the program. “Operation Freedom provides custom train service dogs to help mitigate multiple issues. Our clients might be facing PTSD, traumatic brain injury, or mobility impairment.  We can teach the dogs to perform room sweeps where they go into each room, turn on the light, scan for intruders, and signal “all clear,” which is important for flashbacks and anxiety.”

Allison Parks, Conscious Real Estate Owner/Broker and “Cargo”

Ganassa told us that their custom-trained service dogs “can find phones in case of emergency, open and close doors, and can learn more than 50 custom commands.”

On average, Freedom Service Dogs rescues between 105-110 dogs per year. Out of that bunch, about 35 dogs are chosen to be trained as highly specialized service dogs. Those who do not make it as service dogs are adopted into forever loving homes.

There are many ways to support Freedom Service Dogs! Our favorite is buying a home with us and choosing to donate to Freedom Service Dogs through our Conscious Real Estate philanthropy program.  To date, we have had two clients select FSD after purchasing their homes and we look forward to the opportunity to multiply this number and increase our impact on this fantastic organization!

You can also attend the Ryno & Tracy’s Rally for Freedom on June 13th. Or, you can donate directly, volunteer to walk dogs, foster a service dog, or start your own fundraiser. (Think: dog wash for charity!).

For more information and to learn about all the different ways to give to Freedom Service Dogs, check out their website here.

And, if you’re thinking about purchasing a home the socially conscious way, contact Allison at Conscious Real Estate today to set up a complimentary Q&A session.

Finally, please share! The more you share, the more you care.

Check out more from our tour of the Freedom Service Dogs facility in Englewood, Colorado right here.