Realtor volunteers prepare for fourth-annual Realtors Care Day April 20

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Hundreds of Charlotte area Realtors® are nailing down the final details in preparation for the fourth-annual Realtors® Care Day Friday, April 20. The all-day, home-repair initiative, which helps struggling homeowners across Mecklenburg and Iredell counties, is a project of the Housing Opportunity Foundation, the charitable arm of the Charlotte Regional Realtor® Association.

Realtors® Care Day is an industry-wide volunteer effort to help area homeowners with necessary but often unaffordable exterior home repairs and/or adaptive safety modifications. Fortified by a collective altruistic spirit and armed with hammers, paintbrushes and assorted tools, some 500 Realtors® will take the day off to answer the needs of 23 homeowners, including veterans, the elderly and disabled.

“As Realtors®, we are keenly aware that many in our community lack the physical ability or financial resources to maintain their homes,” said Stephanie Gossett, co-chair of Realtors® Care Day. “The shelter that is supposed to be a comfort instead becomes a burden, and in many cases, is unsafe.” Gossett also noted that the committee sought to identify veteran homeowners in need of assistance. “We are honored to be working with a few veterans and hope to expand this focus in years to come.”

Over the past three years, Realtors® Care Day has helped improve the lives of 87 families with a community-wide impact of more than $500,000. The 2012 event promises to build upon this success, with almost 100 local businesses and organizations pitching in with financial sponsorships and support as well as in-kind donations.

The project’s successful track record has also spurred national attention, serving as a model for the New Jersey Association of Realtors®, which will launch its first statewide Realtors® Care Day later this year. “This follows recognition from the National Association of Realtors (NAR) two years ago for the effective partnership between Realtors®, community leaders and our elected officials,” said Terri Marshall, Housing Opportunity Foundation executive director.

Realtors® Care Day welcomes back the dedication of eight regional partners that have supported the project for the past four years. Through the joint efforts of the following organizations, Realtors® Care Day leaders have identified and helped secure homeowners and sites eligible for assistance with critical home-repair needs:

· City of Charlotte’s Neighborhood & Business Services Dept.
· Habitat for Humanity of Charlotte
· Habitat for Humanity of Matthews
· Habitat for Humanity of Iredell County
· Our Town Habitat for Humanity
· Love INC
· Davidson Housing Coalition -HAMMERS Program
· Builders of Hope

“Realtors® Care Day continues to gain momentum, illustrating the positive, widespread impact of a collaborative philanthropic effort,” said Nobie Thrasher, Realtors® Care Day co-chair. “From our housing partners that help identify homeowners and hundreds of local business sponsors that provide financial backing, to the general contractors and inspectors that contribute their construction expertise, this project is driven by a united goal to serve our community.”

Realtors® Care Day also kicks off Green Week

The project will also launch “Green Week,” April 20-27, a new association enterprise to promote sustainability. Realtors® Care Day volunteers will provide energy-efficiency kits to the 23 homeowners as well as help plant trees and shrubbery at many of the home sites.

Green Week activities continue April 25 with “Don’t Dump, Donate,” a collection drive hosted by the Charlotte Regional Realtor® Association in partnership with Goodwill Industries. The public is invited to bring donations to the Goodwill donation truck in the association parking lot at 1201 Greenwood Cliff.

MEDIA OPPORTUNITIES
Friday, April 20 in Mecklenburg County (10:30 a.m.-noon) and in Iredell County (1:30-3 p.m.)
Charlotte Regional Realtor® Association and Housing Opportunity Foundation leaders, nonprofit partners and Realtor® volunteers will be available for media interviews during the designated time periods.

· Mecklenburg County (10:30 a.m.-noon)
2332 Heywood Avenue, Charlotte 28208 (From I-277 S/US-74 W, turn right onto Ashley Road; turn left onto Dublin Road; take the first right onto Heywood Avenue.)

· Iredell County (1:30-3 p.m.)
157 Sebastian Lane Statesville, NC 28677 (From 1-77 North, take Exit 42 for NC-115 N/US-21 N/Charlotte Hwy. Continue to follow NC-115 N/US-21 N. Turn left on Old Mountain Rd. Turn left on E. Lewis Ferry Rd., and left on Pinedell Acres Rd. Turn right on to Sebastian Lane)

About the Housing Opportunity Foundation

The Housing Opportunity Foundation is the charitable arm of the Charlotte Regional Realtor® Association. The foundation is dedicated to funding, education, advocacy and leadership programs that are focused on fair and affordable housing and workforce-housing initiatives. The foundation serves to position and educate Realtors® as leaders, promote homeownership and provide funding to create housing opportunities.

For more information on Realtors® Care Day 2012, visit www.RealtorsCareDay.com.

The Charlotte Regional Realtor® Association is a trade association that leads, educates and equips members to be productive. It provides more than 6,500 Realtor® members with the resources and services needed to conduct ethical, professional, successful and profitable businesses. The association is dedicated to being the region’s primary resource for residential real estate information. The association operates the Carolina Multiple Listing Services, Inc. (CMLS), which has approximately 8,500 Subscribers and is the private cooperative Realtors® use for access to tens of thousands of residential listings in a 10-county service area, including the high-growth Charlotte area, as well as listings outside this service area.

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