Canopy Housing Foundation awards $86,500 in community grants to area nonprofits and youth engaged in service

July 27, 2022

Contact: Kim Walker, 704-940-3149

Charlotte, N.C. – As rising cost of living, inflationary pressures and an economy on the brink of recession continue to effect North Carolinians, and particularly the most vulnerable communities, Realtors® remain firmly committed to outreach and service to the communities where they live, work and play. 
Through the work of Canopy Housing Foundation, Charlotte-area Realtors® continue in their mission, by awarding more than $86,500 in grants to support area nonprofit organizations who are addressing unmet housing needs across the Charlotte region.

More than a 120 area Realtors® and representatives from community organizations gathered for the Canopy Housing Foundation’s Opening Hearts, Opening Doors Celebration to recognize the dedication and work of 17 non-profit organizations with $50,000 in funding. The Foundation also awarded $21,000 to seven area Habitats for Humanity through the Habitat Support Program, which began in 2007 to help fund the good work Habitats do within the region.

The celebration also recognized this year’s Youth Excellence in Service (YES) Award recipient, 12-year-old Brandon Wilson, an honors student at Holy Trinity Catholic Middle School. The YES Award seeks to recognize and encourage youth ages 10 to 18 who are engaged in service.  Brandon and his family, like a number of families across the country, was personally affected by the pandemic, when on Mother’s Day of 2020, Brandon’s mother was hospitalized with COVID-19 and placed on a ventilator, ultimately spending nine weeks in the hospital without visitors.  After Child Life Specialist, Molly Whitt of Atrium Health realized Brandon was unable to communicate with his mom, as the family did not have an iPad, Molly had one delivered so that Brandon could face-time with his mother.  In the absence of visitors, Brandon asked for prayers for his mom, creating the motto #PRAYERSWORK, and taking the idea a step further and producing wristbands for his family with the motto. It was at that time that Brandon decided to create his own nonprofit business and decided he would donate the sales from the wristbands to Atrium Health’s Child Life Department so that Molly could continue to help other children whose parents were hospitalized.  From his fundraising efforts, Brandon quickly exceeded his goal of $500 in just five months and raised an additional $1,000. As of May, Brandon had raised more than $1,567 from selling wristbands and coffee mugs to well over 300 people in ten states, including 200 6th grade students at Brandon’s school.  Those funds were also donated to Atrium Health. As the 2022 recipient of the YES Award, Brandon Wilson received a commemorative plaque and a $500 donation for his nonprofit, Beemer Inc.

Canopy Housing Foundation serves as the charitable arm of Canopy Realtor® Association and is dedicated to creating a community where all housing needs are met. The Foundation and its core of Realtor® volunteers work toward this goal through funding, education, advocacy and leadership programs that are focused on fair and affordable housing and workforce-housing initiatives. 

The following organizations received Community Grants this year: 

  • Angels and Sparrows Soup Kitchen, Inc.   
    $3,000 to assist three families with unpaid property taxes in amounts not exceeding $1,450. All funds will be paid directly to the tax office and all three families will be required to undergo financial literacy training in order to better manage their finances to prevent potential homelessness. Realtor® referral: Amy Sterner, Southern Homes of the Carolinas
  • Beds for Kids 
    $3,000 to assist with the purchase of 20 bed sets (at a cost of $150 each) for moving on from homelessness; each set includes a mattress, box spring, metal bed frame, pillow, sheets set and blanket. Realtor® referral: Cullen McNulty, McNulty Realty
  • Bright Blessings LKN 
    $3,000 to help purchase hygiene kits, sleeping bags, pillows, snack bags and comfort items for homeless and impoverished children in the Mooresville and Iredell Statesville School Systems as well as Northern Mecklenburg County; in addition, the funds will help create a fully stocked ‘Care Cupboard” in each participating school. Realtor® referral: Stephanie Richart, Allen Tate Realtors®
  • Carolinas CARE Partnership  
    $3,000 to provide rental assistance for six (6) trans or non-binary individuals at a cost of $500 per each individual. Realtor® referral: Janice Maynard, Keller Williams Realty
  • Changed Choices  
    $3,000 to assist in providing five one-month residencies in the Ruth Snyder Home which provides stable re-entry housing to women completing their prison sentences. Realtor® referral: Caroline Grossman, Allen Tate Realtors®
  • Charlotte Family Housing 
    $3,000 to support the Charlotte Family Housing Mental Health Scholarship Fund, which funds individual therapy sessions. The Fund was created to provide concise therapeutic assistance to families who have experienced the trauma of poverty and homelessness. Realtor® referral: Dan Cottingham, Sr., Cottingham Chalk
  • Connecting the Gap 
    $3,000 to assist families in housing emergencies after a loss of a parent, including college student housing. Realtor® referral:  Tiffany Johannes, RE/MAX Executive
  • Families Forward Charlotte 
    $3,000 to assist in hotel costs for two families who are currently homeless as well as rent assistance for two families within the Family Success Program. Realtor® referral: Jennifer Vick, Jennifer Vick & Co. (affiliated with Compass) 
  • Furnish For Good  
    $3,000 to assist 30 housing insecure individuals / families with needed furniture items at the cost of $100 each.  Realtor® referral: Jill Miller, Helen Adams Realty
  • Greater Steps Scholars 
    $3,000 to assist 100 students with mentor training, mentor and mentee activities and career prep workshops for two months at the cost of $30 per scholar. Realtor® referral:  Brenda Hayden, Keller Williams Realty
  • Home4Me 
    $3,000 to provide the following unmet needs: 1) rental assistance to three young adult college students living off campus; 2) help with basic needs for eight youth aging out of foster care; 3) ten bed-in-bags for bedding; and 4) assistance with healthy food options. Realtor® referral: Antonio Worsham, Equity Real Estate
  • Pineville Neighbors Place 
    $3,000 to provide rental assistance for six families at $500 each. Realtor® referral: Frank Schofield, Schofield Consulting
  • Project Outpour 
    $2,000 to purchase under garments and t-shirts for the shower outreach program serving individuals moving through homelessness.  Realtor® referral: Jeff Lynch, RE/Max Executive
  • Purple Heart Homes, Inc. 
    $3,000 to assist the Veterans Aging in Place program with these funds specifically designated for WWII veteran Robert Cochrane; funds will be directed to his identified home repairs. Realtor(R) referral: Antonio Worsham, Equity Real Estate
  • Refugee Support Services of the Carolinas, Inc. 
    $3,000 to create and distribute 12 new “Neighbor Household Essential Kits” which will be distributed to newly arrived refugee families containing essential small appliances (ex:  rice cooker, fire extinguisher, vacuum cleaner, and tea kettle).  The kits will also include “How to” instructions translated into the family’s language of origin.  Realtor® referral: Lisa Blanton, Cottingham Chalk
  • Safe Alliance 
    $3,000 provide one household with provisions for basic needs and supportive services at the domestic violence shelter; the program is designed to transition victims of domestic violence from homelessness to affordable and violence-free housing within 90 days.  Realtor® referral: Vicky Mitchener, Dickens Mitchener Real Estate
  • The Relatives 
    $3,000 to purchase new mattresses for 10-12 young adults who leave homelessness. Realtor® referral: Carolyn Taylor, Dickens Mitchener Real Estate

Canopy Housing Foundation’s Community Grants Program was launched in 2009 and awards funds to nonprofits in Mecklenburg, Iredell and Haywood Counties that work to address housing issues. Organizations with missions that closely align with the Foundation, are able to apply annually for grants, however each grantee must be supported by a letter of recommendation from an active Realtor®. Canopy Housing Foundation’s Habitat Support Program was formalized in 2007 and provides monetary support to area Habitat for Humanity organizations, including Habitat for Humanity Haywood County.

To date, Canopy Housing Foundation has distributed over $740,000 through the Community Grants Program and the Habitat Support Program to community organizations and Habitats in the region, over the past 15 years. 

Applications for the annual Community Grants Program and Habitat Grants Program are rated according to community impact, project feasibility, fiscal strength and Realtor® support.  Funds are restricted and must be used by December 31, 2021.  Funds cannot be used for capital costs, staff/administrative expenses or debt reduction. 

For more information about Canopy Housing Foundation, visit

Canopy MLS is a wholly-owned subsidiary corporation of Canopy Realtor® Association and is the private broker cooperative used by Realtors® to bring buyers and sellers together with access to thousands of residential listings in a multicounty service area, including Charlotte, the mountains area of North Carolina, South Carolina, and beyond. Canopy MLS, which has 21,000 subscribers, provides the most trustworthy, timely, accurate and complete property data along with proprietary tools for showings, market stats, predictive analytics, and more. Canopy MLS is used by its members to support consumers in their residential real estate transactions, whether selling, buying, investing or renting.

Original Publish Date: 7/27/2022