It’s probably a safe bet that we at the Skjersaa Group choose to live in Bend for the same reasons many people do.

The beauty of the area, the outdoor activities available literally outside our doors and just outside town, and the dry, sunny high-mountain climate are all part of the draw.

There’s more than that, though. Bend has an undeniable personality, an almost tangible ambience that attracts visitors and transplants just as it entices established residents to plant roots.

And we want to make sure Bend remains a wonderful place. Part of our efforts – in addition to helping people achieve successful outcomes when buying or selling a home – is through giving to organizations that support what we see as a healthy vision for Bend.

We donate at least 1 percent of our gross revenue to charities and nonprofits. Our fundamental guideline is supporting the environment, children and housing. Those three areas, we believe, play significant roles in maintaining the qualities that make Bend so special.

Among the organizations we support are Family Access Network, CASA (Court Appointed Special Advocate), Grandma’s House, The Environmental Center, Western Environmental Law Center, Oregon Natural Desert Association, Deschutes Land Trust, Upper Deschutes Watershed Council, Deschutes River Conservancy, NeighborImpact, Oregon Adaptive Sports, Central Oregon Avalanche Association and Special Olympics.

Previously, we were members of 1% For The Planet, but we have found self-directing our donations makes more of an impact with the causes we particularly support.

In our line of work, we could live virtually anywhere; we aren’t tied to a location by a specific physical workplace. We call Bend our home by choice, and we strive to make sure that it remains as special to future generations as it does to our own.