Proving that REALTORS® make a difference, ORRF Chairman Robert W. “Bob” Caldwell III, Caldwell Realty Services, has been named 2019 Humanitarian of the Year by Florida Realtors®. In addition to a long history of leadership with the foundation and it’s many affordable housing initiatives over the years, Bob is a past president of the Orlando Regional REALTOR® Association.
The Humanitarian of the Year award, which was presented at a special luncheon during the Florida Realtors® Convention and Expo , recognizes a REALTOR® whose service activities identify them as compassionate, involved, and sympathetic community members.
Prior to becoming a REALTOR®, Caldwell was a certified fireman and emergency medical technician (EMT). For years, he has been the REALTOR® to call when it comes to the aftermath of hurricanes and other natural disasters. He’s one of the first to respond and run to the area to see how he and other REALTORS® can help: He rallies the troops, picks up supplies, helps with cleanup, and does whatever else is needed to help in the recovery efforts.
Within the first days after Hurricane Michael hit the Panhandle on Oct. 10, 2018, Caldwell was packing his truck and calling REALTOR® volunteers to join him in taking relief supplies to the area. He and the other volunteers drove seven hours to offer their help, remaining in the area for four days with little sleep and virtually no access to electricity.
Once he returned to Orlando, Caldwell knew help was still needed, so he organized a second trip to the Panhandle to help Floridians there who were homeless, had no power and no access to clean water.
After that second trip, Debbie Ashbrook, CEO of the Central Panhandle Association of REALTORS®, wrote the following: “Bob Caldwell is a true humanitarian. I had the pleasure of meeting Bob when he came to my area to help with relief efforts following Hurricane Michael. He is the true picture of personal sacrifice. He even slept in the parking lot in between doing all the work to help hurricane victims.”
Caldwell also volunteered with recovery efforts in New Orleans after Hurricane Katrina in 2005 and was instrumental in organizing the National Association of REALTORS’® Habitat for Humanity build of 52 homes in New Orleans just before the NAR annual convention there during the same year. In the past, he has served as a trustee on Florida Realtors® Disaster Relief Fund and is currently in his second term as a trustee for NAR’s REALTOR® Relief Foundation.
Bob also has been a Little League baseball coach, umpire and board member for 12 years, a member of the North Orange County Development Association for 24 years, and a member of the Committee of 100 for Orange County. He volunteers with Relay for Life and is a multiple Gallon Club member for the Florida Blood Bank. Caldwell also was awarded the U.S. Coast Guard’s Merit Award for Bravery – an honor he holds dear.
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