Realtors Give Thanks to American Troops and Their Families This Holiday Season

by Houston Agent

As the holiday season approaches, the National Association of Realtors is giving thanks to American troops. NAR will provide care packages and housing assistance to support soldiers and their families here in the U.S. and abroad. Two national charities will receive support from NAR – Operation American Soldier and USA Cares.

“During this Thanksgiving and holiday seasons the Realtor family would like to recognize the tremendous sacrifice by our service men and women, as well as their families,” says NAR President Ron Phipps, broker-president of Phipps Realty in Warwick, R.I. “Realtors work every day to ensure the American Dream is a reality for all Americans, while at the same time our troops defend and protect that same dream. We strongly believe these two causes are worthy of NAR’s attention and will directly impact the soldier and their loved ones during the holiday season.”

Operation American Soldier, one of the causes that will receive assistance from NAR, is run by Wendy and John Rocca, Realtors from Watertown, Mass. Operation American Soldier was founded in 2003 by the Roccas when they learned from their daughter stationed overseas that some soldiers were not receiving mail. With the help of hundreds of volunteers, the charity assembles and ships care packages and hand written letters to soldiers overseas who wouldn’t otherwise receive mail. Since 2003 Operation American Soldier has shipped more than 30,000 pounds of packages filled with snacks, beverages, books, magazines and other items. Care packages can be sponsored for $10, $15, or $25.

This month the Roccas were announced at NAR’s annual conference in New Orleans as a Good Neighbor Award winner and received a $10,000 grant. The Good Neighbor Awards are conferred annually since 2000 and nominees are judged on their personal contribution of time, as well as financial and material contributions to their cause. NAR’s help will send an additional 4,000 deluxe care packages to soldiers.

The second charity that NAR will assist is USA Cares, through NAR’s successful Facebook Causes campaign, Operation Home Relief, sponsored by HouseLogic. NAR launched Operation Home Relief in October through its consumer website, HouseLogic.com, a free comprehensive website about homeownership. Consumers can “join” the Cause or donate to it and HouseLogic will donate one dollar for every “join” as well as match donations dollar for dollar up to a specified amount, which was initially $20,000. The Cause quickly became one of the fastest growing causes Facebook has experienced, reaching the initial goal in 20 days.

Operation Home Relief aims to increase awareness, rally support and raise funding for USA Cares, a nonprofit that provides foreclosure assistance in the form of financial counseling and grants to post-9/11 active duty U.S. military service personnel, veterans and their families. Due to rapid success, HouseLogic increased its match grant to USA Cares by $11,000 on Veterans Day. HouseLogic will sponsor the charity through the holidays.

To contribute donations to Operation American Soldier, visit the Rocca’s website at www.OperationAmericanSoldier.com. Visit www.HouseLogic.com to find a link to the Operation Home Relief Facebook Cause campaign.

HouseLogic is a free source of information and tools for homeowners from the National Association of Realtors that helps homeowners make smart decisions about all aspects of their home. HouseLogic helps homeowners plan and organize their home projects and provides timely articles and news; home improvement advice and how-to’s; and information about taxes, home finances and insurance.

USA Cares is a nonprofit 501(c)3 organization that helps post-9/11 military and their families with basic needs, assists veterans suffering from post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) and traumatic brain injury (TBI) and their families and works to prevent private military home foreclosures and evictions. In seven years, USA Cares has received over 24,000 requests and responded with more than $7 million in grants. Military families anywhere in America can apply for assistance through the USA Cares web site, www.USACares.org or by calling 800-773-0387. For more information on USA Cares contact John Revell, JRevell@USACares.org or call 270-352-5451.

The National Association of Realtors, “The Voice for Real Estate,” is America’s largest trade association, representing 1.1 million members involved in all aspects of the residential and commercial real estate industries.

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