Kona Realtor Gretchen Osgood
Kindness, Compassion, and Generosity Define Her Career
For almost thirty years, Gretchen Osgood of Kona has set aside 10% of her gross earnings for charitable giving. She never really told anybody about it, because it didn’t seem like anything noteworthy to her. “It’s part of my job,” she says, “like getting up in the morning, calling my clients, getting in the car and driving to work.”
For Gretchen, The Salvation Army is a big piece of her giving puzzle. “They have such an amazing presence in Kona, taking care of a huge population of kids and young people who need childcare and food to eat,” she says. “They stand out like a beacon to me.” Whenever there’s an emergency or crisis in the islands, Gretchen can be counted on to step up, from the lava flows to the Marco Polo condominium fire on Oahu. And when it comes to Christmas, she’s all in, ringing bells at the Kona Red Kettle kick off and donating money and toys to the Angel Tree program.
“I donate when something jumps out at me, almost like a calling,” she says, “but my routine giving is set up monthly, on automated payments, so I don’t forget.” She recalls setting up a separate account years ago, one where she sets aside funds for charity, and then every month, those payments are made automatically so the recipients can count on them. “To date, the pot’s never run dry,” she says, “even during the down times when money was tight.”
A real estate agent, Gretchen loves working with people looking to make local dreams come true, whether retiring to Hawaii or buying their first home. “I love working with people when the outcome is really important,” she says, eschewing the luxury market to focus on the needs of people she believes she can truly help.
Faith guides her generosity. “I believe God gives to those who give,” she says. “if I fail to give, I’m dishonoring who I am.” Her beacon is generosity and kindness. “When we’re not grateful, our hearts harden, and I’m grateful every day for the life I’ve got.”
Asked how she settled on 10% of her gross income (versus her net, after taxes and expenses) she’s quick to point to the Books of Ruth and Leviticus, where God instructs that the field’s perimeters and the dropped harvest be left for those in need. “He instructed that crops be harvested with intent to leave something behind for others, not something behind after everything else is taken care of.”