REALTOR® Tsunami Relief Project

REALTORS®’ generosity will help rebuild homes—and lives—for tsunami survivors.

April 1, 2005

More than $1.5 million raised

REALTORS® and friends have contributed more than $1.5 million for the REALTOR® Tsunami Relief Project, a drive that will help more than 1,000 of the 25,000 families displaced by the Dec. 26 tsunami move from temporary camps to more permanent housing. By the end of February, nearly 6,500 individuals, associations, MLSs, and companies had contributed to the fund, helping best a $1 million goal NATIONAL ASSOCIATION OF REALTORS® President Al Mansell had set Jan. 18. NAR kicked off the drive Jan. 4 with a $50,000 contribution.

Mansell says contributions are still coming in, even though the association formally ended the effort Feb. 28. Based on calls and e-mails to NAR, he says, he expects donations even through April. “Our members have responded beyond expectations,” he says.

Rebuilding takes time

One hundred percent of the contributions to the REALTOR® Tsunami Relief Project will be used to help Habitat for Humanity International build transitional or “core” houses for those who survived the tsunami. The rebuilding money has been designated for India, the Sumatra region of Indonesia, Sri Lanka, and Thailand.

Each core house will cost about $1,000, but the figure may be higher depending on the country and materials used, says Kathleen Moore, director of external affairs for Habitat, which has worked with NAR on housing-related initiatives since 2000.

Press estimates in late February put the tsunami death toll at nearly 300,000—with about 170,000 confirmed dead and more than 127,000 still missing and presumed dead. Many of the survivors are residing in overcrowded, disease-ridden, and crime-infested temporary camps, says Moore.

Habitat broke ground on its first tsunami rebuilding project in Sri Lanka Jan. 17. The first 250 houses funded by REALTOR® contributions will be built in the Pang Ngah area of Thailand.

“Rebuilding efforts are much harder and slower than relief efforts,” Moore says. Potential Habitat homeowners moving back to their original sites must show Habitat officials title or similar proof of property or homeownership, she says. “At new sites, it takes time to secure land because of government permissions. Every country has different regulations.”

In addition, the tsunami has spawned new requirements, Moore says. In Sri Lanka, for instance, the government insists that housing be built 100 meters from the ocean to help prevent similar destruction in case of a future disaster.

First steps

Core houses vary by locale. They typically feature 250 square feet of -living space on a single level with a precast concrete frame and cement flooring. The houses will be built atop an existing foundation when a secure one is available. Houses are free to tsunami survivors, according to Habitat’s Save and Build Program guidelines, but homeowners will pay for future additions.

Where feasible, Habitat is recycling housing materials, such as cement blocks and tiles that were undamaged by the tsunami. New materials are being produced at Habitat’s Building and Training Center in Batticaloa, Sri Lanka, which will serve as a model for four additional centers in Sri Lanka, four in India, three in Indonesia, and two in Thailand. These centers initially will be staffed by Habitat employees and skilled volunteers, such as site supervisors, engineers, architects, and project managers.

Habitat is relying on skilled workers—those trained in building construction trades, such as masonry and carpentry, because of the extent of the destruction, Moore says. The first international volunteers were expected to arrive from the United States and Singapore in March. Later in the year, Habitat will be seeking additional volunteers through its Global Village Program.

Knowing the importance of home

At a March 15 news conference in Washington, D.C., NAR’s Mansell was expected to hand over a check for more than $1.5 million to Tom Jones, a vice president for Habitat.

“The idea of helping put displaced families into homes has really struck a chord with real estate practitioners,” Jones says.

In fact, this is the second time in less than five years that NAR members have answered a major call for housing relief, says Steve Cook, NAR vice president of public affairs. The association raised more than $8 million after the Sept. 11, 2001, terrorist attacks. Members also gave generously last year after a series of hurricanes hit the southeastern United States.

“Our members have proved once again that nobody puts people in homes better than we do,” says Mansell. “They know as much as anybody that losing one’s home and belongings makes it terribly difficult to rebuild a life.”

Major Donors

NAR wishes to thank every individual, company, association, and MLS that helped the REALTOR® Tsunami Relief Project surpass its goal. Special thanks go to those who made a contribution of $1,000 or more. (List is current as of March 4, 2005.)

Florida Association of REALTORS®, $30,000

$15,000 - $29,999
eNeighborhoods/The Jill & Stuart Siegel Family Charitable Fund, $20,000; Esslinger-Wooten-Maxwell, REALTORS®, $20,000; Flint Area Association of REALTORS® (MI), $15,000; Oregon Association of REALTORS®, $15,114; Solano Association of REALTORS® Inc. (CA), $15,500

$10,000 - $14,999
CALIFORNIA ASSOCIATION OF REALTORS® Inc., $10,000; Colorado Association of REALTORS®, $10,000; Greater Tampa Association of REALTORS® Inc., $10,000; HRIS Inc., $10,000; Lexington-Bluegrass Association of REALTORS®, $10,000; Long Island Board of REALTORS® Inc., $10,000; MidAmerica Regional Information Systems, $10,000; Jerra L. Morris/Advanced Access, $10,000; MRIS (MD), $10,000; New York State Association of REALTORS® Inc., $10,000; Pennsylvania Association of REALTORS®, $10,000; Phoenix Association of REALTORS® Inc., $10,000; REALTORS® Association of the Palm Beaches Inc. (FL), $10,000; Regional MLS Inc. (FL), $10,000; J. Lennox Scott, $10,000; St. Louis Association of REALTORS®, $10,000; Tampa Bay REALTORS® Foundation of Pinellas Suncoast Association of REALTORS®, $10,000

$5,000 - $9,999
Ann Arbor Area Board of REALTORS® (MI), $6,630; Arizona REALTORS® Disaster Assistance Foundation, $5,000; Pam Barsanti, $5,000; CCIM Institute, $5,000; Connecticut Association of REALTORS® Inc., $5,000; Illinois Association of REALTORS®, $5,000; Kansas City Regional Association of REALTORS® Inc., $5,000; Lehigh Valley MLS (PA), $5,000; Maryland Association of REALTORS®, $7,000; Milwaukee Multiple Listing Service Inc., $5,000; New Jersey Association of REALTORS®, $5,000; Orlando Regional REALTOR® Association, $5,000; Pacific West Association of REALTORS® Charity Inc. (CA), $5,000; Portland Metropolitan Association of REALTORS® (OR), $5,000; Raleigh Regional Association of REALTORS®/Triangle MLS (NC), $10,225; REALTORS® Association of New Mexico, $5,300; REALTORS® Association of Port St. Lucie (FL), $5,000; RMLS Inc. (OR), $5,000; Rubloff, $6,210; San Diego Association of REALTORS®, $5,000; Seattle-King County Association of REALTORS®, $5,000; Richard J. Seltzer Inc., REALTORS®, $5,000; Greater Springfield Board of REALTORS® (MO), $5,000; St. Paul Area Association of REALTORS® Inc., $5,000; Suburban West REALTORS® Association (PA), $5,000; Trend Regional MLS (PA), $6,896; Linda Trevino, $5,000; Virginia Association of REALTORS®, $5,000; Washington Association of REALTORS®, $5,000; Western Wisconsin REALTORS® Association, $5,305.43; Women’s Council of REALTORS®, Southern Alameda County Chapter (CA), $5,000

$1,000 - $4,999
Jeffrey C. Ackermann, $1,000; Alaska Association of REALTORS® Inc., $2,500; Albuquerque Metropolitan Board of REALTORS®, $3,000; All Florida Realty Services, $1,000; Elizabeth A. Allardice, $1,000; Terri Allison, $1,000; Aloha Island Properties, $1,000; Amarillo Association of REALTORS® Inc., $1,000; Arcadia Association of REALTORS® Inc. (CA), $3,611; Arkansas REALTORS® Association, $2,650; Associated Multi-List Services of Oklahoma, $1,000; Atlanta Board of REALTORS® Inc., $1,000; Atlantic City & County Board of REALTORS®, $3,500; Bartow Area Board of REALTORS® (GA), $1,500; Janet Bass, $1,000; Bay County Association of REALTORS® Inc. (FL), $1,000; Margaret F. Beard, $1,000; Beazley Co., $3,435; Lori L Bee, $1,000; Cynthia A. Berg, $1,000; Brian R. Bell, $1,000; Daniella M. Bell, $1,000; Joanne L. Bell, $2,500; Karen Bell, $1,000; Laurie Bertrand, $1,000; Garry F. and Phyllis Bettencourt, $1,000; Barry Bruskin, $1,000; Robyn Bonk, $1,500; Nancy Boyd, $1,000; Breckenridge Associates Real Estate, $1,000; C. Michael Brodie, $1,000; Justin K. Brown, $1,000; Brunswick County Board of REALTORS® (NC), $1,000; BT Ventures Inc., $1,000; Kurt Buehler, $1,000; Buffalo Niagara Association of REALTORS® Inc., $1,000; Jeanne L. Burke, $2,000; Carroll County Association of REALTORS® (MD), $1,000; Central Georgia Board of REALTORS®, $1,000; Century 21 George Michael, $1,000; Champaign County Association of REALTORS® (IL), $1,000; Charles H. Brown, $1,000; Judi Chapnick, $1,000; Charlotte Regional REALTOR® Association Inc. (NC), $1,000; Chicago Association of REALTORS® Inc., $3,000; Chicago Title Co., $1,200; Citrus Valley Association of REALTORS® (CA), $1,525; Leslie A. Clark, $1,000; Classic Properties Group Inc., $1,000; Clear Lake Board of REALTORS® (IA), $2,000; Chattanooga Association of REALTORS® Inc., $1,000; Christine Coffman, $1,000; Coldwell Banker Elite, REALTORS®, $1,000; Linda Ann Collie, $1,000; Columbus Board of REALTORS® Inc. (GA), $2,000; Contoocook Valley Board of REALTORS® Inc. (NH), $1,000; Howard Converse, $1,000; Raymond A. Cooper, $1,000; Pamela H. Coovert, $1,000; Cortland County Board of REALTORS® (NY), $1,000; Covenant Advantage Realty Team LLC, $1,500; Elizabeth Crane, $1,000; Crown Realty of Kansas Inc., $1,000; Anne Cummins, $1,000; Daniel Gale Agency Inc., $1,025; Del Osman Realty Inc., $2,000; Delaware Valley Real Estate Info Network Inc., $1,626; Development One LLC, $1,000; William and Carylon Dopp, $1,000; Betty W. and William R. Dounnuck, $1,000; Kathleen M. Durham, $1,000; East Polk County Association of Realtors® (FL), $1,000; Eastern Connecticut Association of REALTORS® Inc., $1,000; Eastern Middle Tennessee REALTORS® Association Inc., $1,145; Eastern Shore Association of REALTORS® Inc. (VA), $1,000; Eastside Sales Inc., $1,000; Edmond Board of REALTORS®, $1,000; eFrog Pond Inc., $1,000; Patty L. Emge, $1,000; Estes Park Board of REALTORS® (CO), $1,000; Ellen Fahr, $1,000; Salma and Bassa Fara, $1,000; Fargo Moorhead Area Association of REALTORS® (ND), $1,000; Lisa A. Fariss, $1,000; Steve Faunce, $1,000; David A. Figueroa, $1,000; First Multiple Listing Service Inc., $1,000; First Realty Inc., $1,695; Caroline and Wayne Fleischer, $1,000; William B. Flint, $1,300; Florida Keys Board of REALTORS®, $1,000; Michael D. Foster, $1,000; Sue Fowler, $1,000; Franklin Realty, $1,000; Joan A. Freytag, $1,000; Rita Gallant, $1,000; Richard B. Galway, $1,000; Gerald J. Vuolo Agency, $1,000; Robert German, $1,000; Gillespie Realty Co., $1,175; Virginia Glass, $1,000; Global Trans Inc./Robert Castro, $1,000; Kyle D. Graham, $1,000; Greater Baltimore Board of REALTORS® Inc., $1,000; Greater Baton Rouge Association of REALTORS®, $1,000; Greater Capital Association of REALTORS® (NY), $2,500; Greater Hudson Valley MLS (NY), $1,000; Greater Las Vegas Association of REALTORS® Inc., $1,000; Greater Nashville Association of REALTORS® Inc., $1,000; Greater Providence Board of REALTORS®, $1,000; Greater Rochester Association of REALTORS® Inc., $1,000; Greater Scranton Board of REALTORS® Inc. (PA), $2,180; Greater Washington Commercial Association of REALTORS® (DC), $1,000; Greenwood Association of REALTORS® Inc. (SC), $1,000; Gulf South Real Estate Information Network, $1,000; Marc A. Guzman, $1,000; Jacqueline Harrington, $1,000; Hawaii Association of REALTORS®, $1,250; Barbara Hawkins, $1,000; M.J. Helton-Boggs, $1,000; Philip Henry, $1,000; Jorge Hernandez, $1,000; Kathleen L. Hodges, $1,000; Deborah Hoey, $1,000; Wayne Holmes, $1,000; Peggy Hook, $1,000; Gary W. Hosack, $1,000; Martha H. Hubbard, $1,000; Shea Huser, $1,000; Haley MiYoung Hwang, $1,000; Jacobsma & Associates, $1,000; Carol Jeans, $1,000; Jefferson City Area Board of REALTORS® (MO), $1,020; Jefferson County Association of REALTORS® (CO), $1,000; Jenny Pruitt & Associates Inc., REALTORS®, $1,000; John L. Scott Real Estate, Eugene, Ore., $1,000; John R. Wood, REALTORS®, $2,500; Lura Lorraine Jones, $1,400; JP O’Connell & Associates Inc., $1,000; Kristine K. Karaglanis, $2,000; Kauai Board of REALTORS®, $1,300; Susan C. Keal, $1,000; Janice M. Kendall, $1,000; Kentucky Association of REALTORS®, $4,000; Koa Properties Land & Homes, $1,000; Melody Kolb, $1,000; Kraemer Real Estate Services Inc., $1,000; David A. Kubes, $1,000; Lancaster Board of REALTORS® Inc. (OH), $1,000; Landed Gentry Realty & Investment, $1,000; Lebanon County Association of REALTORS® Inc. (PA), $1,000; James L. Lee, $1,000; Martha D. Lee, $1,000; Lepic-Kroeger, REALTORS®, $1,000; Linas Real Estate Inc., $1,000; Nancy Lipsky, $1,000; Susan J. Long, $1,000; Long & Foster, REALTORS®/Kormann Realty Group LLC, $1,000; Long Island Board of REALTORS® Inc., $2,475; Loveland-Berthoud Association of REALTORS® Inc. (CO), $1,000; Lou Anne Ludwig, $1,000; Lynchburg Board of REALTORS® (VA), $1,000; Louise Maasen, $1,000; Marianne Mackenzie, $1,000; Maine Commercial Association of REALTORS® Inc., $1,000; L. Alma Mansell, $1,000; Marathon and Lower Keys Association of REALTORS® (FL), $1,000; John and Dorothy Marchildon, $1,000; Marshalltown Board of REALTORS® (IA), $1,000; Gina M. Martino, $1,000; Jamie Mason, $1,000; Catherine E. and Gregory S. May, $1,905.95; Terri J. Mayhew, $1,000; Justin W. McClung, $1,000; Terrence McDermott, $1,000; Marjorie McLaughlin, $1,000; Jeanette K. McVay, $1,000; Wally l. Melte, $1,000; Stephen P Merkle, $1,000; Matthew T. Meyer, $1,000; Michigan Association of REALTORS®, $1,000; Middlesex Country Association of REALTORS® (NJ), $2,000; Shikha Miglani, $1,000; Milton-Freewater MLS (OR), $1,000; Mary E. Mitchell, $1,000; Galen M. Miura, $1,000; Morrison Development Corp., $1,000; Morristown Association of REALTORS® Inc. (TN), $1,000; George and Tamara Murray, $1,000; Roberta Murray, $1,000; George C. Myers, $1,000; Naomi Davis, $1,000; Richard B. Nelson, $1,000; New Jersey Multiple Listing Service Inc., $2,500; Brysone K. Nishimoto, $1,692; Brysone K. Nishimoto and Liz Grout, $1,000; Rhonda S Nivens, $1,000; Mikael Nordstrom, $1,000; North San Diego County Association of REALTORS®, $1,000; North Shore-Barrington Association of REALTORS® (IL), $2,000; Northeast Georgia Board of REALTORS® Inc., $1,427; Northeast Tennessee Association of REALTORS® Inc., $1,000; Northern Arizona Association of REALTORS®, $1,000; Northern Kentucky Association of REALTORS®, $2,000; Northern Solano County Association of REALTORS® (CA), $1,000; Northern Virginia Association of REALTORS®, $1,000; Northwest Ohio Real Estate Information Systems, $1,000; Philip & Margaret Nothnagle, $1,500; Oak Park Board of REALTORS® (IL), $1,500; Ocean City Board of REALTORS® (NJ), $1,000; Oklahoma Association of REALTORS®, $3,000; Stephen P. O’Leary, $1,000; Orange County Association of REALTORS® (CA), $1,000; Frank Owen, $3,000; Steven D. and Angela Oyer, $1,000; Patricia C. Paquette, $1,000; Debra A. Parmenter, $1,000; M. Parson, $1,000; Passaic County Board of REALTORS® (NJ), $1,000; Paul E. Labossiere Enterprises Inc., $1,000; Lillian W. Peterson, $1,000; Lisa S. Petruska, $1,000; Pen-Mar Regional Association of REALTORS® Inc. (MD), $2,250; Nittaya Pichedvanichok, $1,000; Plumas Association of REALTORS® Inc. (CA), $1,000; Plymouth & South Shore Association of REALTORS® Inc. (MA), $3,000; Mollie W. Poe, $1,000; Prime Realty Group Inc., $1,000; Prince William Association of REALTORS® (VA), $1,000; E.W. Proctor, $1,000; Quick N Clean Carwash, $2,222.66; Jeanne Radsick, $1,000; RD&K Investments Inc., $1,000; Realsource Association of REALTORS® (NJ), $1,000; REALTOR® Association of Greater Fort Lauderdale (FL), $1,000; REALTOR® Association of Greater Miami and the Beaches (FL), $2,000; REALTOR® Association of Acadiana (LA), $1,000; REALTORS® Association of Martin County (FL), $1,000; REALTORS® Association of Citrus County Inc. (FL), $1,000; RE3 LLC Real Estate Services, $1,000; RE/MAX Colonial, $1,328.39; RE/MAX Irish Hills Realty, $2,500; RE/MAX, $1,000; RE/MAX Midway, $1,000; Alice Richards, $1,000; William B. Rinnier, $1,000; Michael Robinson, $1,000; Rocky Mount Area Association of REALTORS® (NC), $1,000; Linda A. Rogers, $1,000; Bill Roquemore, $1,000; Lydia and David Rubin, $1,000; Jan C. Rusenko, $1,000; Richard E. Schuller, $1,000; Ruidoso MLS (NM), $2,300; Saginaw Board of REALTORS® (MI), $1,000; San Antonio Board of REALTORS® (TX), $1,000; San Benito County Association of REALTORS® (CA), $1,000; Jerome Sanders, $1,000; Sandpiper Realty Inc, $1,000; Sanibel and Captiva Islands Association of REALTORS® (FL), $1,000; San Juan County Board of REALTORS® (NM), $1,000; Penelope Schwartz, $1,000; Pearl Scott, $1,000; Selkirk Association of REALTORS® (ID), $3,657; Connie Shroades, $1,000; Elfrida Smith, $1,000; Southeast Valley Regional Association of REALTORS® (AZ), $1,000; Special Real Estate, $3,000; James Standing, $1,000; St. Charles County Association of REALTORS® (MO), $1,000; Thomas Stevens, $1,000; Paul F. Stillwaggon, $1,000; Dale Stinton, $1,000; Sun Vista Commercial Real Estate LLC, $1,000; Sussex County Association of REALTORS® (DE), $1,000; Tacoma Pierce County Association of REALTORS® Inc. (WA), $1,000; Taget Real Estate, $1,000; Team Von Mosch Inc., $1,000; Temple Belton Board of REALTORS® Inc. (TX), $1,000; Derinda Thatcher, $1,100; Martha Thorn, $1,000; Tillamook County Board of REALTORS® (OR), $1,000; Toledo Board of REALTORS®, $1,000; Topeka Area Board of REALTORS®, $1,000; Tri-Lakes Board of REALTORS® (MO), $1,062; Russ F. Trinidad, $1,000; Susan Uknes, $1,000; Irma Vargas, $1,000; Village Coast Properties LLC, $2,000; Virginia Country Real Estate Inc., $1,000; Scott and Claudia Walker, $1,000; James Wallace, $1,000; W.F. Chapman Investments LLC, $1,000; Andrea Whearley, $1,000; Gary White, $2,000; Wichita Area Association of REALTORS®, $1,000; Williamson County Association of REALTORS® (TN), $2,000; Jeri Wilson-Jorgenson, $1,000; Worcester Regional Association of REALTORS® (MA), $2,000; Anthony Wu, $1,000

MATCHING DOLLARS In early January, Stuart Siegel, CEO of eNeighborhoods, made a personal appeal to eNeighborhoods’ customers on behalf of the REALTOR® Tsunami Relief Project, offering to match every customer dollar contributed with a dollar from the company and a dollar from The Jill & Stuart Siegel Family Charitable Fund, up to $20,000. On February 24, Siegel, left, presented a $20,000 check to NAR CEO and Executive Vice President Terry McDermott. Siegel’s company is a REALTOR VIP® Alliance Program partner and founding sponsor of REALTOR® Magazine’s Good Neighbor Awards.

Barbara Ballinger

Barbara Ballinger is a freelance writer and the author of several books on real estate, architecture, and remodeling, including The Kitchen Bible: Designing the Perfect Culinary Space (Images Publishing, 2014). Barbara’s most recent book is The Garden Bible: Designing Your Perfect Outdoor Space, co-authored with Michael Glassman (Images, 2015).

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