Community Engagement

REALTORS® care about the community in which they live and work. They fight for affordable homeownership opportunities, take pride in giving back to the community through volunteer work, and recognize those citizens whose extraordinary contributions have enriched our area.

About the Community Service Committee

The Capital Area REALTORS® Community Service Committee offers opportunities for CAR members to engage in various projects that are designed to serve our local community. Throughout the year, the Committee offers programs for CAR members to get involved. For more information on the Community Service Committee or to obtain additional information on how you can get involved, contact: Kathy Nichelson 217-698-7000 or via email.

Charity of Choice

Each year, in October, the Capital Area REALTORS® selects a "Charity of Choice," to be the recipient of charitable donations of money, time and needed items. In recent years, CAR’s charity of choice has included Friends of Sangamon County Animal Control, Boys and Girls Club of Central Illinois, Contact Ministries, Land of Lincoln Honor Flight, M.E.R.C.Y Communities, Central Illinois Foodbank, Hoogland Center for the Arts, Southwind Park, The Salvation Army, the Iles House Foundation, Habitat for Humanity and Springfield Green, to name a few.  The Refuge Ranch has been selected as CAR's "Charity of Choice" for 2016. 

Refuge Ranch was developed to rescue the equine, mentor the child, and provide hope, healing and community for at-risk children and families in Central Illinois. The Ranch provides a beautiful setting and unique experience that helps to develop empathy, responsibility, work ethic, perseverance, problem solving and many other character traits and life skills in the clients they serve. The Refuge Ranch incorporates horsemanship, mentoring, and the unique joys, challenges, and responsibilities of farm life to accomplish these goals.

Their mentoring program teaches the basics of farm life, horsemanship and husbandry. As they work one on one with their mentor, participants learn horsemanship including feeding, grooming, vetting, and riding. Participants are also invited to assist in the rehabilitation of the Ranch's rescued horses and learn the ins and outs of farm maintenance.

This program is geared, in particular, toward at-risk children and families. Mentors are paired in one-on-one mentoring relationships with participants and seek to provide them with support, counsel, friendship, reinforcement and constructive example. Each participant works with a mentor for 1-6 sessions per month and each session allows time for both work (chores, projects, etc.) and horsemanship. Specific and appropriate goals are set for both the participant and their horse.

Community Foundation for the Land of Lincoln

In 2007 the Capital Area Association of REALTORS® established a Donor-Advised fund within the Community Foundation for the Land of Lincoln (CFLL) and named it “The Capital Area REALTORS®” fund. To get the fund started CAR provided $5,000 in seed money. The purpose of this fund is to “enhance the quality of life in the capital area.” CAR accepts direct contributions to help build this fund balance. Find out how you can contribute to this fund.

Summer Outing Also Benefits Community

CAR’s Annual Summer Outing and Golf Tournament also make it possible to contribute to our community as a portion of funds generated by this event are distributed to the Capital Area REALTORS fund.

CAR Members are Engaged

In addition to the Capital Area REALTORS® being a civic-minded organization many members CAR are as well and volunteer countless hours of service each year to local charitable organizations. Each year CAR recognizes one or more of its members with the coveted Community Service Award.

Homeownership Coalition for Persons with Disabilities

In 2002, the Capital Area REALTORS played a critical role in helping to launch the Homeownership Coalition for Persons with Disabilities (Homeownership Coalition), answering a need expressed by , lenders and independent living centers, to assist people with disabilities with purchasing homes. The solution to this need is expressed in the Homeownership Coalition's mission statement: 

To assist all people, regardless of their disability, in purchasing their own homes, allowing them to live in the community as independently as possible. 

In 2009, this program was awarded the NATIONAL ASSOCIATION OF prestigious HOPE Award and, although the program unfortunately ended in August of 2014, this program helped over 215 families achieve the dream of homeownership.