HSF Affiliates Home Connections is partnering with the Moving Families Initiative® (MFI), founded by former All-Pro football player Johnnie Johnson to help ease the transition of moving for children.

As a director of relocation services for Berkshire Hathaway HomeServices Texas Realty in Austin, Christine McCambridge understands how difficult a move can be for children. “Kids want to replace what they had or come close to it,” she says. Many times, however, parents are so overwhelmed with the move that they have a hard time thinking beyond the school district when looking for a house.

That’s where (MFI) comes in.

Launched in 2009, MFI connects moving families with certified real estate professionals to “take a proactive approach to the physical and emotional strain kids face when changing neighborhoods and schools,” said Johnnie Johnson, founder of MFI, former All-Pro football player, and President and CEO of World Class Coaches.

Johnson became sensitive to the rigors of moving during his NFL career with the Los Angeles Rams and the Seattle Seahawks. Open to all real estate professionals, no matter the brand, MFI offers a certification process to help sales associates understand the program. “We want the parents to go to one stop and get every real estate need met through a connectivity platform,” says Johnson. “That platform connects parents of children ages 19 and under with coaches and teachers who help them get involved in their new area,” he says. “The better we can meet the kids’ needs, the better we are at serving the parents and the less stressed they are.”

“A new community to learn, new friends to make, new schools to navigate … all of this can deeply impact a child’s well-being, and as real estate professionals, we have not only a unique positioning to help but also perhaps a duty to do so,” says Gino Blefari, CEO of HSF Affiliates LLC in Orange County, Calif. Johnson agrees and says it’s vital that kids choose an extracurricular activity in their new neighborhood. “We’re not concerned about which one as long as they participate in one of their choosing,” he explains. “It could be Boy Scouts, Girl Scouts, playing in the band, singing, dancing or youth sports. Extracurricular activities teach young people certain values, life skills and character traits that may be difficult to learn elsewhere. Even the world’s greatest parents can use the help that these activities provide.”

While World Class Coaches facilitates the Moving Families Initiative, HSF Affiliates, through its Home ConnectionsSM real estate services platform, provides parents a one-stop access point for the plan’s legion of service providers, programs and services. In addition, agents from HSF Affiliates’ brokerage networks will join more than 3,100 other real estate professionals already serving transitioning families coast to coast in conjunction with MFI.

Bobbi Burke, owner and broker of Envoy Real Estate Services LLC in Phoenix, Ariz., has been a certified MFI agent for the past seven years. “As a [former] secondary teacher, I have a special affinity for the welfare of children,” she says. “This initiative allows me to continue that urge to help children in a different way. The most helpful thing to families, I feel, is the assurance that their real estate professional is focused not only on housing needs but also on the family’s new life. As part of the program, sales associates are given a DVD called ‘The Great Moving Adventure.’ I’ve shared 18 of these DVDs while helping family members [find children extracurricular activities] in their new city. This whole experience has taught me that putting your heart out there to touch the heart of another is the best possible return on investment on the planet!”

For Debbie Hester, an MFI-certified sales associate with ERA Sellers & Buyers in El Paso, Texas, the program allows her to offer a strategic approach to help each member of the family during a move. “The knowledge I share is based on raising my own four children plus my experience as a community expert,” she says. “The stress involved [in a move] can be tremendous. MFI allows me to offer resources beyond real estate to give them a great moving experience. I help them secure tennis lessons, doctors, estate planners, caterers, contractors, printers, party venues, math tutors, babysitters, cleaners, painters, book clubs and more through my contacts with MFI.”

“Annually, more than 10 million children age 19 and younger move throughout the U.S., according to U.S. Census Mobility Report data,” Johnson says. “Within five years, it’s part of our aim with the Moving Families Initiative to serve and provide protection for 10 million children throughout the country who annually change schools, neighborhoods and friends as a result of moving. Our goal is to assist 20 million children worldwide in 10 years.”

“I adore making a difference and helping families find and make a new home,” says Hester. “It’s hard to say goodbye to my friends who are leaving for a new adventure, but I appreciate giving them the closure they need to complete a move.”

Want to get involved? Go to movingfamiiesinitiative.com.