Over 640 local REALTORS®, family and friends cleaned, painted, pruned and planted this past Wednesday as part of the Columbus REALTORS®’ 14th annual REALTOR® Care Day, to impact 52 homes and organizations all over central Ohio!
Started in 2005, REALTOR® Care Day is an annual day of service to the communities in which REALTORS® live, work and raise families. In the last 14 years, REALTOR® Care Day has contributed almost $500,000 in improvements and repairs and hundreds of hours of service to residents and communities around central Ohio.
“Watching REALTORS® and neighborhood residents work together, arm in arm, to improve a community is somewhat overwhelming. The transformations are more than just improving the physical structures or grounds but improving the morale and hope for the communities and residents,” said Sara Walsh, 2018 President of Columbus REALTORS®. “REALTORS® are extraordinarily caring people and these projects highlight our commitment to our communities.”
For the main project this year, co-chairs Mandy Harless, Ben Hemmert and Chris Hamilton worked with the Milo-Grogan Area Commission and the Milo-Grogan Civic Association to determine some needs and wants of the community.
As a result, roughly 184 volunteers worked on improvements to 17 homes, one business, and a community garden in the Milo-Grogan neighborhood. Supplies were also donated to the Boys & Girls Club and a Kids Zone was hosted for the area youth.
“It was truly a day of celebration to be with everyone and to see everyone smiling and helping each other,” said Charles Thompkins, Chair of the Milo-Grogan Area Commission. “We saw old trees go down and new ones go up. We saw old paint come off with new paint put back in its place. We saw kids playing and making fresh flower pots, so they could deliver them to some of the home owners in Milo-Grogan. We saw a small community garden turn into a beautiful community garden and park. And right across the street, we saw a long-time business location revitalized. This was a historical day for us!”
“We wanted this year’s main project to be truly epic,” said Mandy Harless, 2018 Co-Chair. “Having the opportunity to make an impact in the Milo-Grogan community was a real blessing.”
In addition to the main project, 22 area realty and trade associations participated in REALTOR® Care Day attacking service projects all over central Ohio.
“The power of hard work and determination coupled with a few additional resources and a lot of passion proves REALTOR® Care Day builds bridges of hope with community revitalization and creates friendships that will last a lifetime,” added Walsh.
Over $55,000 was invested to accomplish the 52 projects which included:
- Milo-Grogan (main project) – Made improvements to 17 homes, one business, and a community garden. Supplies were also donated to the Boys & Girls Club and a Kids Zone was hosted for the area youth.
- Bexley – Helped a Bexley resident with exterior yardwork, trimming, mulching, planting.
- Canal Winchester - Litter abatement for a 1-2 mile stretch of Rt. 33 near Gender Road and donated to the Canal Winchester food bank and the Brockstrong Foundation.
- Circleville - Worked on a park beautification project at Ted Lewis Park.
- Clintonville - Spruced up the planted areas on High Street from Torrence to Olentangy Streets
- Columbus – Worked at the Heinzerling Foundation and St. Vincent Family Center.
- Delaware – Worked at Common Grounds Free Store - serving/stocking shelves and then doing a deep clean on the facility after it closes.
- Dublin – Volunteered with the Dublin Food Pantry and the Welcome Warehouse, stocking shelves, painting and improvement
- Franklinton – Worked in the Franklinton Gardens.
- Gahanna – Helped a Gahanna resident in need with outside repairs, fencing and HVAC.
- Grove City - Lawn cleanup and mulching/planting flowers for two elderly residents who are shut-ins in the community.
- Hilliard – Landscaping and interior painting for a single mother who lost her husband to Huntington's disease. Her adult son also has the disease.
- Lancaster - 1) Fairfield County Community Action - landscaping, painting, cleanup; 2) YMCA - major cleanup behind the building; 3) Downtown- sanded/repainted downtown benches.
- Lewis Center - Exterior/interior improvements for a Lewis Center family who have fallen on hard times due to medical bills of one of their twin girls.
- Marysville - Redid a porch and provided extensive exterior grounds cleanup for a senior widow's farm house.
- Pickerington - visited with the residents of Echo Manor Nursing and Rehabilitation Center.
- Plain City – Repairs and maintenance on a mobile home for a single mother with two school age children who, due to a terrible disease and the recent loss of her husband, was temporarily homeless.
- Powell - Bed Brigade (built and dressed beds) at the Liberty Township Fire Department for People In Need of Delaware County.
- Reynoldsburg - Fixed up VFW Post 9473 by fixing a front sign and flag areas, fixed damaged eaves, and donated a bench for seating during ceremonies.
- Upper Arlington - Grounds cleanup at Northwest Park for the City of Upper Arlington's centennial celebration this year.
- Westerville - Helped a human trafficking survivor and founder of 2nd Chance Ministries with interior and exterior improvements to her mobile home; and distributed free lunches and milk to children in the community and assisted with the daily enrichment activity through WARM.
- Worthington – Yardwork and exterior cleanup for a longtime resident who was with the police reserves.
For photos, detailed project descriptions, volunteers, video and pictures, visit www.ColumbusRealtors.com/RCD
Project Map for all projects
Main Project locations