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A Fresh Coat of Compassion
Some home owners in Scottsdale, Ariz., are facing an impossible situation: Because they don’t have the financial means to
maintain their homes, they’re in danger of violating city property
codes and facing stiff fines. Luckily, they have the Scottsdale
Area Association of REALTORS® as an ally.
Twice a year, the association hosts a Paint-a-Thon, where
members volunteer to fix up the home of an owner in need. The
Paint-a-Thon works through the city’s Operation Fix It program,
which joins local volunteers with businesses to provide labor
and materials to help home owners clean up their properties.
Nearly all Operation Fix It volunteers come from SAAR, says
Amanda Sue Eberson, the association’s director of communications and technology. Besides painting, Eberson recalls other
memorable projects: SAAR members helped repair an elderly
man’s deteriorating mobile-home roof;they pulled the weeds
overtaking the front yard of a disabled woman in a wheelchair;
they fixed broken windows for a man who was recovering from
open heart surgery.“These are people who just can’t do the work
[on their homes],” says Patty Carlson, 2014 chair of SAAR’s
Community Outreach & Awareness Committee. “When you’re
touching someone on a personal note, that’s huge. You get that
overwhelming feeling of ‘oh my gosh, look what we did.’ ”
Developing Street Smarts
Crossing the street in Memphis, Tenn., is not for the faint of
heart. Major arteries clogged with traffic run through the city,
while crosswalks are sparse. To improve life for pedestrians
and cyclists, the Memphis Area Association of REALTORS®
signed on as a member of the city’s policy development
team, tasked with implementing a new street design
program. So far, the initiative has slowed traffic and added
bike lanes and crosswalks.
Out of the Dumps
Just over a year ago, a third of the Main Street storefronts
in Seville, Ohio, were empty. The downtown strip was book-ended by shuttered gas stations and a vacant elementary
school. Rick Stallard, chairman of the Medina County Board
of REALTORS®’ Legislative Committee, made it his work to
revitalize the street. Using a $15,000 Smart Growth Action
Grant from the National Association of REALTORS®, Stallard,
who also serves as the town’s director of economic development, brought in historic preservation experts to help draw
up a blueprint for the strip. Right away, the resuscitation
began. Businesses, seeing investment returning to the area,
began flocking to the vacant spaces.
Power of R showcases the value of the REALTOR®
organization and the impact of REALTORS® in action.