OCAR: “It’s about giving back.”
The Orange County Association of Realtors, a Goshen-based, professional organization of local realtors and real estate agents, is sponsoring a new construction project in partnership with Habitat for Humanity of Greater Newburgh. This July, members of “OCAR”, along with its sister organization, The Greater Hudson Valley Multiple Listing Service, wasted no time in committing an initial $20,000, as well as a day of hot, humid, summer “sweat equity” clearing overgrown brush and debris from Liberty St. OCAR’s purpose and mission includes fostering and protecting an individual’s right and ability to own a home and setting a high standard for the ethical practices and attitudes among realtors and agents which fits right in with Habitat Newburgh’s goal to bring positive energy to some of Newburgh’s most blighted, inner city neighborhoods.
“It’s about giving something back,” says Linda Jones, president of OCAR. “Our members not only work in Orange County, but many of us grew up here, we live here, and we love our communities. This is just one of the ways we are participating and investing in our own ‘habitat’, and with our neighbors.”
Linda Jones, president of OCAR, stated that after an initial donation of $5000 dollars from OCAR, and a matching donation of $5,000 from the MLS, the balance of the money came from the membership themselves. Some made direct donations; others participated in fund raising activities such as a candy sale and the Annual Walk for Housing. A River Rose cruise on (?) and fishing tournament (?) are also planned and the public is welcome to join the fun. For more information on these events, please call.
Maureen Mushlitt, co-chairperson of the project along with Linda Jones, attended an open meeting last year for the Women’s Build (now the proud home of the Thomas family) on a whim, and quickly found that learning new skills while positively effecting change in a neighborhood could be “habit” forming. She is encouraging all OCAR members to get involved hands on and reports that many unlikely construction volunteers have already reported they couldn’t believe how much fun they were having. The OCAR worksite is full of laughter and enthusiasm reminiscent of the American spirit of neighbors helping neighbors. We will continue to track the progress of the “House that OCAR Built”