Colorado Realtor Magazine Feature

Western District Finalist
Mutual Aid Partners
Neighbors Helping Neighbors
REALTOR® Brenda Case organized grassroots community efforts to ensure everyone had what they needed during the pandemic.


A Community Together REALTOR® Brenda Case kept grassroots community efforts to feed and support the community thriving throughout the pandemic and beyond.

The Grand Junction community, in the heart of Colorado’s Grand Valley, is knit together like a colorful tapestry. Sweeping vistas punctuated by steep red mesas give way to carpets of green farmland bordered by a lively city. Avid adventure seekers, farmers, and winemakers all call Grand Junction home, as do a thriving senior and veteran community. While residents of this vibrant community may be very different, the Covid-19 pandemic brought them together to support each other.

At the beginning of 2020’s pandemic shutdown, it became clear that the Grand Junction community was hit hard. A mutual aid Facebook group was formed by community members, where neighbors shared food, supplies, and support.

The movement quickly grew and soon the group had thousands of members. REALTOR® Brenda Case volunteered to organize them, working with Mutual Aid Partners, a nonprofit founded to provide structure to the group’s efforts and enable fundraising.

“Brenda got the community organized to help,” said Stephania Vasconez, Executive Director of Mutual Aid Partners. “It’s incredible how much of our community she has touched.” Case, who has spent much of her life on the Western Slope where she operates her business, Back To Basics Realty,
jumped in, assuming project leadership roles and coordination efforts. She picked up and dropped off donations and recruited others to do the same for the group’s weekly distribution day held at a local church.

Community members walk through to donate or pick up food and supplies. The distribution event has fed more than 18,000 families to date, distributing over 290,000 pounds of food. “She is definitely not afraid to get her hands dirty and do the ‘boots on the ground’ work that needs to be done,” said Anita Adams of Back to Basics Realty.

Case also oversaw a mask-making and distribution project, enlisting and organizing more than 150 volunteers to produce and deliver over 50,000 masks during the pandemic. “Seeing the panic and fear in our community when the realization of the pandemic [hit] along with the lack of supplies
and services was the biggest driving factor,” Case said. “My mother was very active in the community and she is my inspiration in so many things I do.”

The movement that Mutual Aid Partners started took off in a big way in Grand Junction, feeding more than 10,000 families in its first year. It wasn’t easy, but it was worth it. “In the last
year. I have learned to never give up. Even when I thought there was just no way to have the funds or manpower to continue the many services we offer or the projects we pioneer, the community always comes through,” Case said.

Among the most meaningful parts of her volunteer work has been engaging with older adults, and her passion for brightening their lives shows. Case has coordinated 28 teams of senior engagement volunteers who provide holiday gift baskets, children’s artwork and theatre presentations, food, and
clothing to more than 1,600 older adults. Case said it was especially rewarding to see this project become a multi-generational effort, drawing in support from children and other older adults in the community.

Case continues to honor the memory of her mother through her community service. “Due to my late mother’s influence, I have tried to be active in my community for most of my adult life, but with Mutual Aid Partners, and specifically the senior engagement group, I feel like I’ve really found my niche,” she shared.

Working as a REALTOR® has helped her efforts to have greater reach. “(Enlisting) a number of my fellow REALTORS® in…projects has been a huge bonus in that, between us all, we have a huge (sphere of influence), enabling our projects to reach more of our community and enlist more volunteers,” said Case. “Of course, it doesn’t hurt that I have amazing clients and friends who contribute to many of our projects, either through in-kind or cash donations.”

Contact Case at and learn more about Mutual Aid Partners at