Shelly Heimer is determined to give back to her community.
Having received some help herself, Heimer can’t help but be a little moved when she recalls parts of her childhood.
“Growing up in Ramona, my family sometimes didn’t have the money to buy food or clothes,” she said. “It wasn’t for lack of love or desire – it was just lack of money.”
But it was the people of Ramona who helped them when they needed it most.
“I care about service because we were there. It’s my way of giving back to those who gave us, ”she said.
Heimer’s supporters say her generosity to teachers, families and veterans is why they named her Community Hero Ramona.
Heimer started giving as soon as she started her career. In the mortgage industry for almost 20 years, she established her own branch of C2 Financial, H5 Financial, in March 2017. The Ramona company specializes in mortgage lending, including VA, FHA, conventional, reverse and USDA loans.
The H5 represents the five happy Heimers: Shelly, her husband Doug and their 3 daughters, Karlie Grace, 15, and twins Cadence Hope and Reagan Faith, 13.
“I help people with the American dream. For me it has been a very successful business, but more than that it is a platform that I use for the greater good of my community, ”she said.
One of the biggest beneficiaries of Heimer’s generosity is the Friends of the Ramona Unified Schools, or FORUS.
Perla Martinez, FORUS member and waiter at Nuevo Grill, witnessed Heimer’s generosity. The Martinez family includes three children – two at Mountain Valley Academy and one at Cal State University Channel Islands – and Martinez saw how the funds directly impact schools.
Heimer supports FORUS by donating $ 100 for every loan she concludes. Another way is to host and organize an annual golf tournament.
“They run everything, we just help out and then the money goes straight to us,” said Dave Patterson, FORUS member. “This last golf tournament, we got $ 20,000 – it’s not a big amount for us.”
Heimer estimates that she has donated approximately $ 100,000 to FORUS over the past five years.
“I’m very proud of it because it makes a huge difference and allows them to focus on their mission,” she said.
Heimer also hosts catered lunches for all teachers in Ramona schools as part of Teacher Appreciation Week, Martinez said.
“We coordinate with the school district in April or May and get to all of the campuses in about a week,” Heimer said. “I am able to do this because I have very generous real estate partners in the community who sponsor or co-organize a school. “
Providing 250 to 300 teachers and staff with one-on-one, catered lunches is “really fun,” she said. “And I know that a teacher can make a real difference in someone’s life.”
With every fundraiser, Heimer is the first and the last to go, Martinez said.
“If she can’t be there, she will find another way to help,” Martinez said. “She’s just amazing. She is definitely one of Ramona’s greatest heroes.
Heimer also awards around 10 scholarships per year, some for athletics and others for graduates.
But Heimer lends a helping hand to more than just local schools. Each year she appeals to churches and schools for families who need extra help while on vacation.
“Adopt-A-Family is one of the coolest things we do. We started with one or two; this year we have six,” she said.
Families make a wish list of their wants and needs. H5 then hosts a Customer Appreciation Night, and attendees are encouraged to bring gifts for families.
“When we give the gifts 99% of the time the wishes are all granted,” she said. “And on top of that, some people give away cash and gift cards; last year we distributed between $ 800 and $ 1,000 per family in gift cards alone. “
Not one to leave out groups in need of extra support, H5 also regularly drops off “snack packs” at local fire stations in Ramona.
“She’s really fantastic. When she says she’s in, she’s in. I don’t see any direct connection to helping herself, ”Patterson said. “Shelly is just a really great person with tremendous organizational skills and a big heart. “
But she does not take credit for it alone.
“I feel like I’m just the facilitator between some pretty amazing community members; everyone wants to serve in one way or another and I’m just giving them a platform, ”Heimer said.
Heimer also thanks his staff for their help.
“Lindsey McNerney, Transactions Coordinator, has been with me for five years; she is my right arm and a huge asset, ”she said. “Alexis Henshaw, Loan Assistant, has been with me for just over a year and manages all of our client services and events. Julie Crittenden is our junior loan officer and replaces me when we have an overflow or I’m out of town.
No matter how busy she is between work and social events, Heimer enjoys spending time with her own family.
“We all get together for dinner every night and talk about our day,” she said. “I have really good kids and my husband is pretty phenomenal too. We’re happiest when we’re outside; camping, hiking and just being in nature.
“At least I want to teach my daughters to stand up for others,” she said.