Giving Back to Those Who Serve


Anthony Keller was at his home recently when there was a knock on the door. He answered and the man standing on his porch said he was with a real estate firm.  

Keller said he rented his home and began explaining how he did not think the home was for sale. Realtor Christopher A. Shahinian stopped him.

“He handed me a flyer,” Keller said.

That flyer was for the Thank*A*Soldier program sponsored by Keller Williams Realty.

“He said [his company] was doing this donation, that he was collecting items for soldiers and if I could donate to call him and he would pick the [items] up,” Keller said. “I told him, ‘I can do you a step better.’”

Keller explained that he was a minister and could ask his congregation to help. Shahinian was very happy he had chosen this door to knock on.

But Keller’s was not the only door Shahinian had gone to; he was going door-to-door meeting people and asking them to donate to the Thank*A*Soldier program.

“I have been doing it everyday,” Shahinian said of his outreach efforts.

Spend just a few minutes with Shahinian and the enthusiasm for this project is obvious.

“I love giving back to the community. I want to make a difference,” he said.

Thank*A*Soldier is a program that involves the entire community and is hosted by the Burbank, Glendale and La Cañada Flintridge Keller Williams Realty offices. The items requested in August include lip balm, lotions, deodorant and foot powder. The collection continues through Oct. 27 and will end with a free community barbecue when all the items gathered will be packed up to ship.

According to the Keller Williams website, other items needed include the essentials like toothpaste, baby wipes and shaving cream, and snacks, including hard candy and beef jerky, and entertainment, including paperback books, DVDs and local newspapers.

This month though Keller and the congregation of St. George’s Episcopal Church invite everyone to donate lip balm, deodorant and foot powder.

“We are only collecting until Sept. 3,” Keller added.

The items can be dropped off at the church where Shahinian will pick them up.

“I made the first announcement last Sunday and I now have a shopping bag and basket full of items,” Keller said.

Shahinian said he would gladly pick up items from others who would like to donate through Oct. 21. He can be reached at (818) 445-0247.

“I will come by and pick up the donations. Then in October we are going to send the care packages to the service men and women who are serving overseas,” Shahinian said.

This is the first time he has been involved directly with this type of philanthropic work and he said he has enjoyed the people he has met during the donation drive. He never knows whom he is going to meet – like a minister with an open heart and a congregation, and community that are willing to help.

For Shahinian, his philanthropic days are just beginning. He has already started looking for his next project.

“I choose to give back to my community, I am blessed with the power to make a change, and I wake every morning ready to pursue that change, and make the difference,” Shahinian said.

For more information on the Thank*A*Soldier care box collection, visit