Canopy Housing Foundation secures $7,500 grant to revitalize Sorrells Street Park as part of Realtors® Care Day

April 17, 2024

Media invited April 19 to learn more about the project


CHARLOTTE, N.C. – Canopy Housing Foundation received a National Association of Realtors® (NAR) Placemaking Grant, which will be used to assist in the revitalization of Sorrells Street Park in Canton, N.C. NAR’s Placemaking Grants provide a way for Realtors® through their local association, to assist in making the community a better place to live by transforming public spaces into welcoming destinations accessible to everyone in a community.

Canopy Housing Foundation, which serves as the charitable arm of Canopy Realtor® Association, received local endorsements for the project from Canton Mayor Zeb Smathers, the Town of Canton and the Parks and Recreation Department to secure the $7,500 grant.

Mayor Smathers said, “The beautification of Sorrells Street Park aligns perfectly with Canton’s overarching revitalization efforts. As the only public green space located in downtown historic Canton, the park holds immense significance for our community. By enhancing the park with seating and landscaping, we aim to create a vibrant gathering place that fosters community engagement and pride.”

On Friday, April 19, Realtor® volunteers from Canopy Realtor® Association’s Western Region will work for a full day on a number of community-wide projects in the area to mark Realtors® Care Day (RCD). The Placemaking Grant will support Canopy Housing Foundation and Realtor® volunteers in purchasing and installing permanent bench seating, landscaping, beautification and clean-up of the park. Area Realtors® have also been challenged to once again, collect 6,000 pounds of food and pet food for the annual Realtors® Care Day Food Drive to benefit The Community Kitchen in Canton and Haywood County Animal Shelter. The community can support the food drive by dropping items off at the park on Realtors® Care Day.

“Keeping a community healthy, attractive, livable, and functioning is a complex task,” said Charisma Southerland, 2024 president of Canopy Realtor® Association/Canopy MLS and Realtor®/broker with Allen Tate Company. “As stewards of the community, Realtors® are keenly aware that transforming sites like Sorrells Street Park only serves to build a stronger community and create a place to bring families and neighbors together. We consider it a privilege to serve alongside our Haywood County community partners to create a welcoming space for gathering and recreation.”

MEDIA COVERAGE OPPORTUNITIES: Friday, April 19 (9:30 a.m.-noon)

Canopy Housing Foundation Western Region Committee members, local officials, nonprofit partners and Realtor® volunteers will be available for media interviews during the designated time period at the following media sites.

Chestnut Park Community – Haywood Habitat for Humanity
Realtor® volunteers will also be working to support Haywood Habitat for Humanity as well. Volunteers will assist in the Chestnut Hill neighborhood by working on a new home build. The Habitat organization has been invested in this community for several years and Canopy members in Haywood have been part of that process for a number of years. Haywood Habitat was formed in 1990 and is committed to building homes, communities and hope.

Sorrells Street Park revitalization and food drive, Canton, NC

Realtor® volunteers will be installing permanent seating/benches and working on various landscaping and beautification of the park. Realtor® volunteers have also planned a food drive to help restock The Community Kitchen in Canton, NC. Food, including pet food donations can be dropped off at the park between the hours of 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. Pet food donations will benefit Friends of the Haywood County Animal Shelter.  

About Realtors® Care Day
Since 2009, thousands of Realtor® volunteers equipped with hammers and nails, and armed with a passion to give back, have collaborated in the all-hands-on-deck event that brings together city/county leadership, housing nonprofit partners, contractors, home inspectors and touches the lives of homeowners across Mecklenburg, Iredell, and Haywood counties. Canopy Housing Foundation’s cumulative impact has assisted more than 315 families and individuals. The overall economic impact is more than $1.2 million.

Projects range from repairing gutters, repairing decks and ramps, painting home exteriors to debris clean-up and heavy yard work to improve access and safety. Realtors® Care Day also includes a number of community initiatives from Food Drives to community gardens, and park and playground beautification and improvement.

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About Canopy Housing Foundation

Canopy Housing Foundation is the charitable-arm of Canopy Realtor® Association. The foundation is dedicated to funding, education, advocacy and leadership programs that are focused on fair and affordable housing and workforce-housing initiatives.  The foundation serves to position and educate Realtors® as leaders, promote homeownership and provide funding to create housing opportunities.  For more information on Realtors® Care Day 2021, visit:

Original Publish Date: 4/17/2024