Realtors® Engaging and Creating Hope Through Project R.E.A.C.H.


Contact: Kim Walker, Public Relations and Media Specialist, 704-940-3149

CHARLOTTE, N.C. - Project REACH is an initiative offered through the Housing Opportunity Foundation, the charitable arm of the Charlotte Regional Realtor® Association. In 2017, the foundation started Project REACH (Realtors® Engaging And Creating Hope) as a vehicle to provide Realtors® with hands-on community service experiences at five local non-profits. 

On Thursday, October 18, more than 100 Realtors® volunteered at Friendship Trays, Matthews HELP Center, Refugee Support Services, Ronald McDonald House of Charlotte, and Veterans Bridge Homes. Each organization was also awarded $500 from the foundation. Below is a summary of the volunteer work completed:

Friendship Trays (Meals on Wheels of Charlotte-Mecklenburg)

Realtors® chopped, prepared and packaged foods for inclusion in the meals to be delivered, and split into teams to actually deliver meals to elderly residents of the city.  Realtors® also helped to organize the food in their pantry.

"Every weekday we deliver over 700 meals to people in our community who are not able to prepare meals on their own, but also are isolated from friends and family. The volunteers from Project REACH helped us accomplish this mission by not only working in our kitchen prepping veggies, packing food into the trays, sealing and labeling the meals, but also by delivering meals in the community. We could not accomplish our work without dedicated volunteers like this," said Lani Lawrence, assistant director of Friendship Trays.

Refugee Support Services

Realtors® sorted donated clothing items, particularly coats, along with children’s toys to organize items for selection by refugee clients.  Realtors® worked individually with families to pick out the necessary clothing for their needs. Realtors® provided individuals a great deal of attention due to specific needs and language barriers.

"The Project REACH volunteers showed up eager to learn about and interact with the Refugee Support Services Community.  The volunteers’ eagerness, can-do attitudes, and smiling faces helped connect over 85 families with coats and clothing that will keep them warm this fall, winter and beyond," said Theresa Matheny, program coordinator for Refugee Support Services.

Ronald McDonald House

Realtors® cooked and prepared food and arranged snacks for the families in residence, in addition to cleaning and organizing the food pantry. Because a sterile environment is required at all times, Realtors® helped to thoroughly clean the lower level play/family area.  A father whose 17-year-old son is currently receiving treatment in Charlotte and whose family is staying at the house shared his personal story with the Realtor® volunteers.

"At Ronald McDonald House of Charlotte, you’ll often hear our staff refer to volunteers as the 'Heartbeat of the House,' while the building and amenities we offer give families a place to stay. It’s the love and support of our volunteers that truly help make this house feel like home. We are so grateful to the Realtors® who shared their hearts with our families," said Emily Ransone, associate director of Advancement for Donor Relations. 

Matthews Help Center

Realtors® worked on many projects for the center, whose mission is to help neighbors and those in surrounding communities survive financial crisis by providing short-term assistance. Realtors® painted the exterior rails and porch area of the center, while inside they cleaned, sorted and organized items for the thrift store and catalogued items and input serial numbers into their computers.

"The Project REACH team helped to provide hope for others by sharing their hearts and hands. Our volunteer teams are the most important part of the Matthews HELP Center family and we cannot do the work we do without the work of others," said Executive Director Sandra Conway.

Veterans Bridge Home

Realtors® honored our military by cleaning monuments in honor of Veterans (all wars and service branches) at Thompson Park, Freedom Park, and Veterans Park.

Steven Cole, vice president of advancement, said, "At Veterans Bridge Home we encourage people to 'be the bridge' by helping a fellow veteran or member of the community when you see a need. What we saw today at your event and lunch was a community full of bridge builders who are giving their time and gifts to make our community stronger."

To learn more about the Housing Opportunity Foundation, and the various events, services and grant programs focused on meeting unmet housing needs, visit

The Housing Opportunity Foundation is the charitable arm of the Charlotte Regional Realtor® Association. As a 501(c)(3) nonprofit organization, the foundation is dedicated to creating housing opportunities through advocacy, education, funding and leadership.  The vision of the foundation is a community where all housing needs are met.

Original Publish Date: 10/19/2018