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We reached out to members to see what they were doing to help out during the COVID-19 crisis and the response has been heartwarming. The acts of kindness run the gamut from raising money, donating food, to supporting local businesses and much more. It is not surprising REALTORS® are stepping up to help out, it is just who we are. And, in this time of despair, it feels really good to take a moment to shout out their compassion and generosity. Enjoy!

Joy Barney stepped up for her community, Upper Arlington, by calling senior citizens and making sure that they were adequately stocked with the necessary supplies. She helped get them whatever they needed and provided friendly conversation during a potentially lonely time for many.

Through their church, Cypress Wesleyan in Galloway, Tara and Tim Bebinger wrote letters to police stations, fire stations, grocery store workers and hospital staff which were delivered along with snacks. They also wrote notes of cheer to other elderly people. For their employees with small children, they made grocery runs and included surprises for their kids each week like sidewalk chalk and sweet/healthy treats.

Since neighborhood Easter Egg Hunts were canceled, Sue Berg did “drive through” visits to several northwest neighborhoods a few days before Easter. Brent Hinz with First Federal Lakewood drove the truck. We saw a lot of smiles.

Kelly Cantwell volunteered (along with Stacy McVey) at a food pantry to assist with those in need of groceries. She was also calling and sending notes to elderly members of her church. Kelly and a friend just started a Facebook Group called “UA Gives Back” which supports a different charitable organization each month.

Tommi Clark volunteered weekly at the Center of Hope in Whitehall, packing food in boxes for some of the hundreds of families they help. In addition to food, this facility offers counseling, prayer, medical services and more.

Katie Crocco and the Marysville Area Realty Association (MARA) raised money and donated items to Blessings in a Backpack, Marysville Food Pantry and the Personal Needs Pantry at the Hope Center. They also purchased meals from the Fifth Street Cafe for workers at Kroger, delivered dozens of donuts and Red Shed BBQ to families on lockdown and to other businesses, posted about local restaurants to help increase their sales, and volunteered at the Union County Humane Society doing work outside the facility.

Terri Dickey sewed masks (about 180) for friends, neighbors, and others in need.

The Rhiannon Ferrari team raised over $1,300 for first responder meals which they delivered to nurses, doctors, firefighters and police officers.

Beth Fisher has been donating money to different local restaurants that are feeding people ‘free’ and to food banks—those that are hit the hardest and need it the most! She’s also given money (anonymously) to a couple of families that were struggling. 

Alicia Garner, Stacie Janay Young and Missy Lewie helped Compel Christian Center and Mid-Ohio Food Bank serve over 400 families (20,000 pounds of fresh and boxed non perishable food) on 4/25/20 in the parking lot of Hollywood Casino!

Paula Gilmour set up a “UA Caravan Club” Facebook group to celebrate anyone in the community having a birthday or special event. The caravan drivers arrived wearing costumes or masks, waving signs and balloons, playing music and honking horns! In the group’s first 10 days, they gained 380 members and scheduled over 35 events to support those who are stuck at home and not able to celebrate their special days.

Nicole Harrison was buying $100 gift cards from restaurants and shop owners, giving them away on social media to not only help those businesses, but to also help families that were struggling with a reduction/lack of income. At press time, she was up to $2,500.

Jenn Iler delivered groceries to elderly members of her church. “It has not only provided them with groceries, but allowed the elderly to have someone to talk to so the feeling of isolation is hopefully lessened.”

Dawnette Johnson’s 8-year old daughter, Dalani, had the great idea to make some fairy gardens to pass out to neighbors and elderly shut-ins to brighten their days during this devastating time. They started with five and everyone loved them so much, Dalani decided to make another round of them! “I am enjoying this time gardening with her and helping show her personality in these sweet little gifts for others.”

Kimberly Kovacs made and donated masks to people who needed them.

Brad Marquis deliver meals on wheels two days per week. He likes getting to know the clients and just being a smiling face on often cloudy days.

Steve Micotto and his family donated food and toiletries to the Ohio Food Bank located in Grove City, the Reynoldsburg Helping Hands, and the Dublin Food Pantry.

Mike McCoy and his daughter helped a client who had moved into an assisted living facility vacate to take care of her daughter who has PTSD. As they were unable to make it to the grocery, Mike and his daughter delivered cleaning supplies, water and toilet paper and have stayed in contact to ensure they have what they need during this time.

Lynn Nadler volunteered and financially supported the Worthington Resource and Food Pantry.

Bethany Nartker organized placing hearts in the windows of the houses in her neighborhood (Scioto Woods) as support and a thank you to healthcare workers, first responders, those stocking grocery store shelves or anyone else doing their job to support us at home during this time. There was a massive response from the neighborhood and many said they enjoyed seeing the hearts while out on their walks. It really brought a sense of community to the neighbors.

Cheyenne Peck volunteered, donated food and promoted the Blessing Bay Food Co-Op, set up in one of the bays of the Bonecutter Plaza Car Wash. The whole community chipped in to donate funds, food and supplies that were given away free to Chesterville and Morrow County neighbors in need.

Trae Seymour was going to the store and cooking/preparing meals for individuals that couldn’t leave their homes and dropping off water, TP, and baked goods to those in need.

Amanda Shaffer and Gina Warner help every two weeks passing out produce for PICCA (Pickaway County Community Action) in Tarlton, Ohio. They also helped pack breakfast and lunch for Circleville City Schools. We are just trying to do our part to help out where we can!

Caroline Shroyer volunteers at the Holy Family Soup Kitchen and Pantry in Franklinton. On a typical weekday, they serve around 300 people a hot meal, 100 Homeless people get a “woods bag” with food for the day, 30-40 families get groceries, and the homeless get their mail there as well. Because of the pandemic, they are only able to give out “woods bags” at the door. “They are giving around 400-450 a day. People are saying they are hungry. It’s very sad. The homeless are being hit especially hard in these times. Anything we can do to help will make a difference.”

Shaun Simpson with friend Randy Wilcox started the Powell Restaurant and Bar Support Facebook group to promote local businesses by letting residents know where they can get a carryout or delivered meal while restaurants are closed for dine-in.

Kathy Smith’s office, which is located in the Granville Depot (old train station), was being used as a food distribution point for displaced workers, funded by the food pantry and Denision University. She was also making face masks per CDC guidelines at the request of her daughter who works in a hospital in NC.

Mary Staebler and her assistant put together spring bags with anti-bacterial soap, tissue packs with inspirational sayings, a little bit of chocolate and notes with spring greetings, their wishes for health and safety, and an offer to please reach out to her if they needed anything. She hand delivered to some clients as well as those who were widowed, elderly or living alone.

As a Community Advocate in Bexley, vice chair for the Bexley Community Foundation and chair for their Grants Committee, Sheila Straub reached out to the Urban Emporium in Bexley whose products are home made by many artists asking about making masks for the community. At press time they were approaching the 1000 mark. Sheila helped deliver masks. The Bexley Community Foundation provided a $20,000 grant for DARN which helps needy children who relied on school breakfast and lunch programs.

Jeff Tobin usually photographs houses, but decided to take photos of families on their front porch in exchange for a donation to Columbus Artists Relief Fund. The fund helps musicians and other independent artists (many who also work in the restaurant industry) buy food and pay bills. To see some of his photos, visit his Instragram page @covidfrontporchproject.

Sue Toth made masks for family members, neighbors and people in her church which she mailed to Los Angeles, Denver, South Carolina, and a friend in New Albany.

Becky Warnement and her husband have been handing out meals at First English Lutheran Church at 1015 E Main St, every Thursday and Sunday since this all began. We also bag up donated items for the kids in the area. When they come for a meal, they get a bag with food to take with them to last a few days. It is a place we have volunteered at for years. The need is great and getting worse. We have seen new faces in the past week. It is what is getting us through this, helping others.

Wanting to give back to her community, B.J. White threw a curbside cookout where she grilled burgers and brats and served them in gloves. Then she voluntarily delivered prepared meals to the curb for Cornerstone Deli in Clintonville.

Trina Wiater shopped for groceries for others unable to get out. She was up to 45 shopping trips at press time. In addition, she baked some goodies and dropped off to a couple of people who needed a little “pick me up.”

Someone who wished to remain anonymous made masks for some troops and police officers. All of the Marine corps and Navy were required to wear either black, olive drab or white masks. She bought all of the remaining black fabric at Joanne’s to get masks shipped to her grandson’s unit at the Cherry Point Marine Corps Air Station. Her neighbor (police officer) asked for masks and she made several for him to share.

On March 14th, Aaron Wright started hosting a Facebook live cast game of ‘Name That Tune’ where he raises money each week (Saturdays at 6p) to purchase restaurant gift cards for local musicians who are out of work. In addition to real estate, I have been a musician here in central Ohio for 25+ years and know a lot of musicians in Columbus who are full-time, meaning they rely on performing for the bulk of their income. When restaurants and bars were shut-down, all of these musicians lost their main sources of income. I thought this would be a good way to help musicians out during these difficult days, while also supporting local restaurants and bars who have supported local music over the years. As of 4/21/20, Aaron’s project had raised over $1,500 and sent out thirty $50 gift cards to area musicians. To contribute, visit www.gofundme.com/f/name-that-tune-restaurant-gift-cards-4-musicians

Coldwell Banker King Thompson partnered with the Mid Ohio Food Collective to host a Virtual Food Drive. Their Foundation matched donations up to $5,000. In addition, the Foodbank secured a match pool that allowed another match, so a $5 donation, after matches, was a $20 donation. 

Jerry Ziglar helped people from his church by delivering food and running errands. He also gave blood for the first time in several years and was 

Keller Williams Consultants Realty provided 150 meals weekly to Compassion Outreach Ministries of Ohio, one of the few food pantries that was open and serving hot meals to those trapped in opiate addiction, human trafficking, homelessness and generational poverty. They got the food from Smith’s Deli in Clintonville to support this family-owned business. They also hosted a blood drive in April.

After receiving a number of concerns from team members for those not as fortunate, the Talon Title team decided to contribute to the Mid-Ohio Foodbank. As of 4/20/20, they had contributed $5,000. They also decided that the funds they would normally contribute to support REALTORS® association golf outings that are canceled will be contributed in the name of Columbus REALTORS® to a charity selected by the Association.

CRT, Realtors® has appreciated this time to rebalance and reconnect with communities around central Ohio. We have been creative and forward thinking in our ability to help those in need while keeping our clients, agents, and communities safe. We have hosted virtual donut parties to help support a local donut shop in need and have encouraged neighborhood beautification by sponsoring yard contests. We have captured this unique Easter and senior year 2020 by offering free, drive-by photos for many homeowners and graduates using our CRT golf cart and a zoom lens to comply with social distancing. We are very proud to have created CRT, Realtors® Home Edition which encourages people, agents, and business affiliates to share with us what they are doing to stay connected, support local, and build community from their homes. CRT, Realtors® has been humbled by these unparalleled  times. As we strive to be a driving force of good in the real estate industry, we have grown as a company, changed our perspective on many things, and most importantly, this time has allowed our agents  to show leadership, ingenuity, and compassion. 

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