The Profound Essence of Giving: A Thanksgiving Reflection

The Profound Essence of Giving: A Thanksgiving Reflection

  • Riezl Baker
  • 11/22/23
The Profound Essence of Giving: A Thanksgiving Reflection
Written by Riezl Baker
As we gather around the table, the aroma of roasted turkey and the sight of a cornucopia of dishes remind us of the bountiful feast before us. Thanksgiving is more than just a meal; it's a time for reflection and gratitude.

I am grateful for the simple yet profound gift of life itself. Each day, each breath, and each moment are reminders of the preciousness of existence.

I am grateful for my family.  My husband of 26 years who isn’t just my life partner but also my biggest advocate. My two remarkable children who bring me immeasurable pride and joy.

Living here in the picturesque Lake Oconee community is a privilege I cherish daily. The tranquil beauty of the lake, the close-knit community, and the warm friendships are all ingredients that create a life I often pinch myself to believe. I am grateful to have the opportunity to give my time and resources to many causes I am passionate about that impact the lives of others.

Growing up in a developing country where social disparity is prevalent, I was fortunate to attend a Catholic school that instilled in me a profound lesson – the essence of giving. In my formative years, visiting orphanages and homes for the elderly became a part of our curriculum. It was an experience that left an indelible mark on my heart.

On those visits, we would sing songs, share stories, and extend a helping hand by providing nourishing meals. For the residents of these homes, our presence was more than just a fleeting moment of joy; it was a reminder that they were not forgotten. These visits were a testament to the teachings of our faith, emphasizing the importance of compassion and kindness.

As I look back on those formative years, I realize that these experiences were not just about providing material support but nurturing the spirit of giving within us. It was about recognizing our blessings and using it to make a positive impact on the lives of others. This early education in empathy and generosity has shaped the way I view the world.

Taking a moment to reflect on what we're grateful for can be a transformative experience and a reminder that amidst life's complexities, it's the simple joys and deep connections that truly matter. May this Thanksgiving be a reminder of the abundant blessings we have and that the act of giving, no matter how small, has the power to bring forth joy.

Happy Thanksgiving to all! --- Riezl

Riezl Baker

Riezl Baker

Realtor® | Founding Principal

About The Author

Riezl Baker is an award-winning real estate agent with 22 years of real estate experience at Lake Oconee, Georgia. A resident since 1997, she is well-known for her business accomplishments and extensive community involvement. In 2020, she and her husband Ted co-founded Luxury Lake Oconee Real Estate Group to combine their over 40 years of experience in the Lake Oconee market and with a mission to provide the highest level of service to clients.
In 2022, Riezl closed over $131 million in sales and was recognized as “Top Luxury Real Estate Leader'' by The Atlantan magazine and “Real Estate Newsmaker & Achiever'' by RIS Media. She was recognized as a 2021 Top Producer after closing over 70 transactions totaling $115 million and was awarded the Crystal Phoenix Award by the Lake Country Board of REALTORS®. 
She is passionate about her community and has been involved on a leadership level for many different organizations. She is the Past Chairman of the St. Mary's Good Samaritan Hospital Board and was part of the original founding Board that steered the opening of the hospital in 2013. She co-chaired the successful 2023 Heart & Soul Gala at The Ritz-Carlton, Reynolds Lake Oconee which raised over $450,000 for the local hospital. In 2010, she and her husband co-founded the Lake Oconee Food & Wine Festival to benefit local education, which has evolved into a three-day destination event at The Ritz-Carlton. An advocate for the arts, Riezl is a Board Director for the Oconee Performing Arts Society (OPAS). She was the President of the Lake Country Board of Realtors® in 2016. The Atlantan magazine awarded her "Expert in Second and Vacation Homes" for 2020 and 2021. She was recognized as a "2021 Top Luxury Real Estate Industry Leader" and was also nominated as "Best Bilingual" and "Best Community Impact" in Georgia.
Riezl holds a Bachelor's degree in Hotel and Restaurant Administration and joined the Hyatt Hotels as a Corporate Management Trainee. She worked for the company for seven years in Operations Management and Hospitality Sales in Houston and Atlanta. She served as a Board Director for Meeting Professionals International (MPI), the largest meeting and event industry association, and was the Editor-in-Chief of Breakout, Georgia MPI's monthly publication that is distributed to thousands of members.
As the Director of Athens (Ga.) Convention and Visitors Bureau, Riezl developed strategic plans to attract conventions to the city. In 2000, she obtained her real estate license and worked for Reynolds Lake Oconee Properties where she was a top producer for 20 years. 
Riezl is a public speaker and has spoken at several national real estate conferences and webinars. She was an invited speaker at a National Empowerment Conference in Las Vegas in 2022 where she spoke about “Successful Entrepreneurship in America.” She was also featured in a 2022 episode of Fox Business Network’s prime-time real estate show Mansion Global. 
She and her husband have been married for 26 years and have two children, Stuart, who is a junior at Yale University, and Remi, who attends Interlochen Performing Arts Academy.

Community Footprints

  • Co-Founder, LEAD Lake Oconee
  • Board Member, Oconee Performing Arts Society.
  • Board Member, St. Mary’s Good Samaritan Hospital Foundation Board.
  • Past Chairman, St. Mary Good Samaritan Hospital Foundation Board, 2017-2019.
  • Past President, Lake Country Board of REALTORS®, 2016.
  • Co-Founder, Lake Oconee Food and Wine Festival.
  • Three-Year Chair, Heart and Soul Gala Benefit, Ritz Carlton Lake Oconee.
  • Co-Chair, Heart and Soul Benefit Gala, 2022

Work With Riezl

A consistent top producer in the Lake Oconee area, Riezl has been recognized with numerous awards for her business accomplishments and community involvement. Contact Riezl today if you are thinking of selling or buying, or both.

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