“What is success? To laugh often and much; to win the respect of intelligent people and the affection of children; to earn the appreciation of honest critics and endure the betrayal of false friends; to appreciate beauty; to find the best in others; to leave the world a bit better, whether by a healthy child, a garden patch, or a redeemed social condition; to know even one life has breathed easier because you have lived. This is to have succeeded!” ―Ralph Waldo Emerson

Over the past four years, Nicole Canole has made her mark in the local real estate market. Yet, her reach into the community extends far beyond her work in real estate and into work with local schools and organizations. She is helping set the bar for what it means to be a community advocate.

Not only is Nicole the CEO of East + Ivy of Keller Williams Capital Properties, the 2020 Chair of the Northern Virginia Association of Realtors® Young Professionals Network, and an active board member of the KWYP Northern Virginia Chapter — she is deeply passionate about developing a team culture that is heavily rooted in giving back to their community.

“We volunteer together, as a unit,” Nicole explains. “The team consists of me, Will Lawrence, Jennifer Lynch, Angie Anderson, and Josh Mossman. I wouldn’t be able to do half of what we do without the servant’s heart of each individual.”

East + Ivy is actively involved with three local organizations: StreetLight Community Outreach Ministries, Wounded Paw Project, and Belmont Bay Elementary School. Their work with these three organizations is in support of the people that they go to work for every day, and an expression of their genuine desire to make the places that they live and work a bit better.

In Focus: StreetLight Community Outreach Ministries

“We had an idea of what type of charitable cause we were looking to support and we wanted to stay local, so we searched for an organization that met our criteria,” Nicole begins.

StreetLight Community Outreach Ministries is a nonprofit organization that was established in 2004 to alleviate suffering among the poor and homeless in Prince William County and the surrounding counties of Northern Virginia.

“We believe that everyone has intrinsic value, and we are committed to supporting where we can. We help acquire donations so the folks who are homeless and/or in tough financial situations live a little more comfortably and/or give them back a little dignity,” Nicole says. “We are grateful for our lives and recognize everything can change in an instant. This is why we give. Everyone deserves love and compassion.”

East + Ivy holds an annual Fill the Truck Drive to support Streetlight. Here, volunteers devote their time to serve, collecting gently used articles of clothing, financial donations, and food items.

In Focus: Wounded Paw Project

“Ernesto (the founder) actually found me on Zillow in 2016, and I became his real estate agent,” Nicole explains. “He is a Purple Heart recipient and I am prior service as well. After getting to know him and his family, I knew this was something I was going to support the rest of my life.”

Today, Nicole and her team are advocates and donors for the Wounded Paw Project.

The Wounded Paw Project (WPP) is focused on the rehabilitation and training of shelter (high kill) dogs. With proper therapy, training, and love, they have paired service members, veterans, civilians, and children with a service dog at a fraction of the cost of a “window store” dog. Wounded Paw Project provides service dogs to individuals and veterans to help them recover from the trauma (of war) and transition back into normal life.

The Wounded Paw Project could use assistance with monetary donations, as well as volunteers in the following fields: trainers/K9 handlers, law enforcement (active/retired), grant writing, dog walkers, writers/editors, social media/marketing/videographers, musicians/artists, and ambassadors for local shelters.

In Focus: Belmont Bay Elementary School

Nicole, Jennifer, and Will all live in the neighborhood where Belmont Bay Elementary is located. In 2019, they coordinated a school supply drive to benefit BBE, provided basic hygiene items for the fifth-grade class, and are active volunteers and donors.

“There are 448 kids registered at BBE, and 80 of these kids are in the ‘Blessings in a Backpack’ program, which is for families who are unable to financially provide food for their children over weekends (18%). 71.2% are on free or reduced lunch,” Nicole explains.

Belmont Bay Elementary School could use assistance in the form of donations, and items like lunch boxes, reusable water bottles, clothes, hygiene products, school supplies, and snacks.

Whether working in real estate or supporting these three incredible local organizations, Nicole’s objective remains the same: to support our community and the wonderful people that live and work in it.

“[What makes these charities different?] In all cases, it is the passion of the people who run them,” Nicole smiles.

For more information on StreetLight Community Outreach Ministries, please visit thestreetlight.org or contact Carol Brenner at cbenner@thestreetlight.org.

For more information on the Wounded Paw Project, please visit woundedpawproject.org or contact Ernesto Hernandez at ernesto.hernandez@woundedpawproject.com.

For more information on the Belmont Bay Elementary School, please contact Brenda Paniag at PaniagBL@pwcs.edu.