Ocala business “adopts” local families in need for the Holidays

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Published: Dec. 21, 2020 at 6:58 PM EST
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GAINESVILLE, Fla. (WCJB) - This holiday season, as the pandemic continues, many families have put typical holiday traditions aside -- especially families facing financial problems.

Ocala Realty World is doing their part to change that for some families.

Staff at ORW came together to make a difference in the community by “adopting” local families for the holiday season and providing them with gifts and meals.

“Right now I am actually taking every odd job that I can, making sure I have a good Christmas for my sister,” said Cameron Osterhof. Cameron and his sister Sammie are one out of seven families that were chosen to receive gifts and meals for the holidays through Ocala Realty World’s ORW Cares program-- aimed at helping families in need through the pandemic.

At 26 years old, Cameron has taken his 17-year-old sister Sammie under his wing. After growing up in a violent home, going in and out of foster care, and seeing his mother be put behind bars, Cameron says he is grateful for all of the little things today.

“I am doing the best I can ... it has made me realize what life is all about -- it’s not just about yourself.”

Elisha Lopez operates Ocala Realty World. She spearheaded the ORW Cares program.

“When the team heard about Cameron and his sister’s story, we were just like ‘we have to help him’ ... because what Cameron has done to step up and be such a big brother and role model to his sister ... it’s like not a lot of people do that ... and we knew we had to step in and be able to help them and let him know that there are people out there that see what he’s doing and that he’s not alone.”

The program has inspired Cameron and Sammie to pass on the holiday spirit.

“We plan on doing something on Christmas for the homeless people -- cook food and put it on trays and hand it out,” Sammie said.

They say they hope their acts will inspire someone else to pass the spirit on.

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