Medina County REALTORS® Have Become A Community Service Resource
Though the Medina County Board of REALTORS® (MCBOR) has large Housing Opportunity and Legislative Committees set up, they don’t believe in taking a bureaucratic approach when asked to contribute to community service projects. The association’s goal is to learn what would improve local a homeowner’s quality of life and to make it a reality with as little delay as possible.
Because the 800 REALTORS® that serve MCBOR work closely with homeowners and property managers, they are often the first ones to discover a need within the community. Once a local REALTOR® has discovered a community initiative they contact Sherry Stell, MCBOR’s Association Executive. Stell then reaches out to see if there is a National Association of REALTORS® (NAR) grant that would be a good fit for the project.
This organic approach to discovery has worked well for Medina. With the help of REALTOR® recommendations and NAR grants MCBOR has been able to help to upgrade the Newbridge Veteran’s Place, build a new bike repair and cleaning station create raised garden beds for the community and place trail map signs at a new public park.
The Newbridge Veteran’s Place project came to be after a REALTOR® handled the sale of some area property. The buyers shared with their REALTOR® that they planned to convert the space into housing for disabled veterans who required round-the-clock care. MCBOR then made Newbridge Veteran’s Place the beneficiary of their Annual Charity Bowl-a-Thon, an event that raised more than $3,000 for the project. MCBOR also contributed an additional $5,000 after successfully obtaining a NAR Housing Opportunity Grant.
In addition to raising funds, local REALTORS® also contributed their time and labor by holding 3 REALTOR Care Days. “So much was needed in this seven-bedroom home to get it ready to house low income/homeless and disabled veterans,” notes Stell. “Our members helped with painting, hanging blinds and setting up the kitchen, in addition to purchasing and moving furniture into the home.” Another REALTOR Care Day was held to do a yard clean up at the home.
The new bike station came to be after a MCBOR committee member learned that a former golf course in his township was being converted to a public park. MCBOR succeeded in securing a $1,300 NAR grant that was used to build a park map and information display case along with a Saddle Buddy mountain bike repair and cleaning station.
The need for raised garden beds was brought to MCBOR’s attention via a relationship they had with Medina Creating Housing, an organization that promotes the development and management of permanent affordable housing for people with disabilities. MCBOR was able to secure an NAR grant in order to purchase the materials needed to build raised garden beds. The beds would be used by low-income residents to grow their own produce and then sell the excess at the farmer’s’ market for income.
Once again, REALTORS® pitched in as a team of MCBOR members met at the site to construct the garden beds. They also provided coffee, donuts and pizza to the other volunteers who contributed their time and elbow grease. “Our members are very supportive of each other in these efforts,” Stell shares.