President's Toronto SUN Column
TREB President's Column as it appears every Friday in the Toronto Sun's Resale Homes and Condos section.
It’s Time to Lend a Helping Hand
December 30, 2011 -- In hopes of avoiding sounding like a broken record, but rather helping to be a constant reminder of how important it is, not just during this time of year, but all year to give back, and help those less fortunate.
The GTA REALTOR® community has sponsored a number of worthy organizations throughout the years that helps build solid foundations with homes and communities.
One notable organization is Habitat for Humanity Toronto, and in a recent column, I wrote about our most recent build located at Kingston Road and Morningside Avenue. This build marks the fourth title sponsorship of seven Habitat for Humanity builds to which we have contributed in recent years. The house will soon become a home for one family currently living in substandard housing.
Luckily, we had beautiful weather for our day of volunteering and I was put on garden patrol. (I’m not to be trusted with a hammer.) If you’ve ever wondered what a day on a build site looks like, or represents, I encourage you to watch a short video of our day at www.YouTube.com/TREBChannel.
We are also proud to say that The REALTORS Care Foundation last year raised more than $500,000 and provided grants totaling $178,710 to 35 shelter-based charities throughout the Greater Toronto Area.
So as you can see we certainly put forth a great deal of effort in helping Canadians achieve their dreams of homeownership, but we also feel community goes beyond homeownership, we also want to help improve the quality of life in our city.
The Children’s Breakfast Program, initiated five years ago by REALTOR® Carolyn Griffis of RE/MAX Hallmark Realty Ltd., involves more than 150 Toronto Real Estate Board Member volunteers who serve and clean up after the approximately 9600 nutritious breakfasts provided every month to children in 17 different local schools. GTA REALTORS® believe that providing a nutritious breakfast to children in our communities will ensure they begin each day ready and able to learn and succeed.
In recent years, TREB contributed $10,000 to the construction of the Canadian Museum of Human Rights in Winnipeg, which is now nearing completion.
The museum is envisioned as a centre for learning where people from around the world will engage in discussion and commit to taking action against hate and oppression. Human rights issues from Canada and around the world will be featured, highlighting the hardships in countries from which many of our REALTOR® Members have come.
REALTORS® from all over Canada, me included, have donated to this important institution, and you can learn more about this project at www.humanrightsmuseum.ca.
A number of years ago I was involved with Casey House Hospice, an AIDS hospice that offers people dealing with HIV/AIDS a place to seek respite from the disease. Casey House Hospice will soon begin building a new facility that will house all of its services under one roof. It will include hospital-style rooms, a day centre and home hospice services.
Casey House Hospice and Habitat for Humanity are two of the charities that will benefit from some of the fundraising activities at TREB during my term as President.
So I share these pieces of information and stories with you in hopes of helping show that if we join in our efforts we truly can make a difference in our communities, in our cities, in our world. I encourage you to take whatever measures in your reach to help those in need.
From our REALTOR® family to yours, best wishes for a safe and happy holiday season.