by Melissa Friermood, Chair
Columbus REALTORS® Foundation Board of Trustees
The National Association of REALTORS® has listed Columbus as a top 10 market since 2017 (including the top spot in March of 2019) and the market remains hot for sellers and buyers as we finish out the year.
According to One Columbus (formerly Columbus 2020) and the Mid-Ohio Regional Planning Commission (MORPC), it is anticipated that the central Ohio region will grow by one million persons by 2050.
Additionally, MORPC research has found a full 65 percent of the 25 to 34-year old’s look for a job after they choose the city where they want to live. Thus, both housing affordability and the attractiveness of a community become increasingly important.
While stats like this are great for home values and clients looking to sell or buy their homes, we must be attentive not to destroy what has made Columbus so special in the first place - the community.
With a focus on collaboration and support, Columbus REALTORS® members understand that we are not just selling homes; we are selling the community and know that, ultimately, our future is only as strong as the weakest among us.
Not passive residents, each REALTOR® advocates for the central Ohio community with every transaction. And to ensure this bright future for everyone (including ourselves), we must commit to ‘paying it forward’ every day.
It is because of this that I am very proud to serve as your chair of this year’s Columbus REALTORS® Foundation Board of Trustees.
The Columbus REALTORS® Foundation is the charitable arm of the Columbus REALTORS® and thanks to the generosity of the REALTOR® community, has provided over $1.7 million (yes million!) to the community since 1991, including $187,000 so far this year.
Columbus REALTORS® Foundation C.A.R.E.S.:
C is for Community Grants
$140,000 in grant funding was provided to local nonprofit housing organizations including, the YWCA Family Shelter, Homeless Families Foundation, Habitat for Humanity, Move to Prosper, and the Community Shelter Board. 2019 was also the final year of the program’s three-year commitment to the South Side Renaissance partnership, where we provided a $300,000 investment in affordable housing on the city’s South Side.
A is for Emergency Aid
AKA the Benevolence Fund or REALTORS® Helping REALTORS®, the program has provided over $62,000 to 32 fellow-REALTOR® families facing extreme circumstances since its inception in 2012.
R is for REALTOR® Care Day
This dynamic day of service has re-invested over $500,000 to the community since 2005, with over 640 volunteers completing 41 projects across central Ohio this year.
E is for Educational Scholarships
Committed to helping raise the bar in the real estate industry, the Foundation Scholarship Committee has awarded seven scholarships to future REALTOR® leaders this year and is in the process of awarding even more as part of the fall award cycle.
S is for Service
The Foundation is only successful because of Columbus REALTORS® members who dedicate countless hours to serving on Foundation committees and events. Over 140 members have given their time to the program in 2019, and we can’t thank them enough.
The Foundation is also proud to have joined the Ohio Opioid Education Alliance this year, alongside both Columbus REALTORS® and Ohio REALTORS®. As Ohio continues to struggle with the opioid crisis that affects nearly every Ohioan in some way, the Foundation is proud to be a part of the public ‘Denial, OH’ campaign. REALTORS® can help by educating your clients on how to dispose of unused medications when moving and encouraging proper storage of medications when hosting an open house (DontLiveinDenial.org). Check out the Opioid article in the November/December 2019 In Contract magazine, page 8.
A sincere thank you goes to my fellow Board of Trustee members and this year’s Foundation committee chairs, Jill Fergus (Scholarship), Kathy Shiflet (Benevolence), Nikki Johnsen, Mary Sguerra and Cassandra Welch (RCD), Marie Smith and Cindy Shay (Fundraising), as well as Columbus REALTORS® staff for all of their hard work.
The easiest way for the Foundation to maintain viability is through tax deductible planned giving, and we humbly ask that you consider the Foundation in your estate planning. Contact Ida Seitter at the Columbus REALTORS® to discuss the many options available.
We also ask that you ‘pay it forward’ by attending one of our upcoming events or consider serving as a member of one of the Foundation committees next year. It can be as simple as volunteering for one day of service with REALTOR® Care Day, or by sharing your education background, nonprofit experience, or event planning/fundraising skills with the other committees.
Your unique voice will help us ensure the Columbus REALTORS® Foundation burns bright for many years to come — Together!