By Mark Pakes, Managing Director, CRE Loan Special Servicing, ORIX Real Estate
One of our favorite activities at ORIX Foundation is visiting the charities we serve to get a better understanding of how we can support their missions. For the second year in a row, the ORIX Foundation bus tour was a huge success. This April, ORIX USA Chairman, President and CEO Hideto Nishitani joined the tour. Stops included CitySquare, Equest Center for Therapeutic Riding and Paul Quinn College.
A highlight of the tour was the WE over Me Farm at Paul Quinn College. ORIX Foundation was an early investor in this innovative concept when the college decided to replace its football field with an urban garden. Students work the organic farm, which was created to bring healthy food to under-resourced communities in southern Dallas. The farm has provided more than 30,000 pounds of organic produce to community members, the college, local restaurants and groceries since March 2010.
Our team was also eager to tour the new Opportunity Center at CitySquare, which brings multiple services under one roof for low-income residents of East and South Dallas. Down the road at Equest, we saw first-hand how therapeutic horsemanship offers healing benefits to children and adults with autism, cerebral palsy, Down syndrome, post traumatic stress disorder and visual impairments.
It’s incredibly moving to see how the charities we support put our investments to work for the good of the community. We loved spending the day seeing social change in action and walked away energized to volunteer and support their missions.