On June 8th in Phoenix, Arizona, in a room filled with nearly 400 people, one of the nations largest real estate conferences occurred named All In Freedom. The 2-day immersive event taught aspiring real estate entrepreneurs how to create financial freedom for themselves.
However, it was an announcement within that event that changed the lives for far more people. As the event was winding down, the event hosts Carlos Reyes, Sal Shakir and Alex Saenz lowered the lights and played a short video for everyone in attendance. The video was powerful and told the story of those in the US and other countries fighting poverty and social injustice while trying to survive. When the video ended, the lights came back on and the trio of entrepreneurs unveiled the launch of the Help A Friend Foundation, committing $30,000 to help jumpstart the foundation.
The men shared the stories of their own tough upbringings and what makes this foundation so special. Carlos Reyes is a Mexican immigrant who moved to America illegally and sold his families bread door to door in order to help his family survive. Sal Shakirs family escaped the war in Iraq after nearly being killed multiple times, to come to America, with no grasp of the English language and parents who struggled to get by. Alex Saenz also grew up very poor, with humble beginnings and a dream for more.
The three men, who are best known for their success as real estate entrepreneurs, operate over 24 successful businesses together, but they admit that this one means the most to them.
“The help a friend foundation is about helping those who cannot help themselves. Those children and families that are struggling for survival every day and don’t have a voice or the power to fight back. We want to feed millions of families, fight for social justice and push world leaders to change policies…” said Sal Shakir.
At the event, an emotional Shakir closed by saying “out of everything we have done… I want my legacy to be this foundation and the people we will help.”
The Help A Friend Foundations mission statement reiterates that sentiment reading:
The Help A Friend Foundation is an international development organization with our head office based in US. We also have offices right across Phoenix. We believe the people whose lives our work affects should decide how we’re run. And that’s what makes us different. We help people use their own power to fight poverty and injustice. You can help us make a fairer, better world – wherever you are.”
At the event, Carlos Reyes acknowledged that they can’t do this by themselves.
“We want to help millions of families and children, but we can’t do it all on our own. Every day there are millions of people that are fighting for survival and freedom, who don’t have the strength or the voice to help themselves. If we all do our part, we can create change across the world and give those people safety, food, water and a chance to create a better life.”
Reyes, Shakir and Saenz all understand what it’s like to live impoverished and scared, because they lived that life as young children. Now that they have reached a level of success, they have set their sights on making sure that no child or family will ever have to go through that pain again.