The many ways Realtors strengthen communities across our region

BY ROBIN BRUNET
POSTMEDIA CONTENT WORKS

Arguably, no other professional group has a firmer grip on the pulse of communities than Realtors. Their job is, after all, to find homes for clients, a service that requires deep knowledge about the health and needs of their neighbourhoods.

Realtors are often on the front lines of charitable activity. Since it began tracking its members’ contributions in 2007, the Real Estate Board of Greater Vancouver (REBGV) has identified $43.4 million* in charitable giving. REBGV is the professional organization representing over 14,000 Realtors in Metro Vancouver.

Last year, member contributions amounted to $2.2 million, a figure that only tells part of the charitable story, says Jill Oudil, REBGV president.

These donations were accompanied by countless volunteer hours to a wide range of causes, including the Ride to Conquer Cancer, the Children’s Miracle Network, the Richmond Hospital Foundation, Backpack Buddies and more.

Oudil says: “Our members are community builders. To be successful in real estate, you need to know your community. That means getting involved and helping out where you can. That’s what Realtors do. It’s innate to many of us in the profession.”

On occasion, Realtor contributions can be spectacular. In 2012, long-time REBGV member William P.J. McCarthy made the single-largest charitable bequest to a sole beneficiary in B.C.’s history: $21.4 million to the BC Cancer Foundation via the Jambor-McCarthy Legacy Fund.

Other initiatives are more grassroots. Each November, the Realtors Care Blanket Drive collects clothes and blankets for the working poor and homeless. (The 23rd annual REALTORS Care Blanket Drive takes place Nov. 14 to 21.)

“Originally, Realtors collected and donated excess items from clients moving from one location to another,” Oudil says. “Today, that process is facilitated by volunteers at over 100 drop-off locations at real estate offices across the Lower Mainland.”

The program is the largest and longest running blanket drive in British Columbia. Since it began in 1994, it has helped more than 300,000 people in our communities. Charitable organizations across the Lower Mainland rely on the Blanket Drive to help them keep people warm and dry during the winter months.

The fact that Realtors spend much of their working days within the communities they serve has also proven beneficial to making the Lower Mainland a little safer.

The Realty Watch program is a partnership between local police departments, the RCMP and more than 17,000 Realtors across the region. In emergency situations, Realtors respond to police requests to search for missing or abducted persons.

In July 2016, Port Coquitlam Realtor Risa Bassetto was integral to finding a missing person.

She checked her Realty Watch fan-out, requested by police and sent by REBGV, and discovered it was a Vancouver resident who’d been reported missing.

“Risa was instrumental in finding this elderly person,” says Vancouver Police Department Detective Const. Raymond Payette.

As REBGV members continue making their communities stronger and safer, Oudil reflects on their efforts.

“The volunteering spirit within our Realtor community is widespread. In fact, it would be difficult to find a local charitable event, a parent advisory committee, a youth sports team or other volunteer group that doesn’t have a Realtor involved. Giving back is second nature to our members and I don’t think they realize how powerful a force they are across our communities.”

* This total includes an REBGV member’s one-time donation of $21.4 million. Click here for more information about this donation.

THIS STORY WAS CREATED BY CONTENT WORKS, POSTMEDIA’S COMMERCIAL CONTENT DIVISION, ON BEHALF OF THE REAL ESTATE BOARD OF GREATER VANCOUVER. © Postmedia Network Inc.  

This advertisement and article appeared in the Vancouver Sun on Sat, Oct 14, 2017 and in the Province on Sun, Oct 15, 2017

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Greater Vancouver REALTORS® donate $2.4 million to charity in 2010

 

Greater Vancouver REALTORS® donate $2.6 million to charity in 2008

     

Greater Vancouver REALTORS® donate $1.2 million to charity in 2007

 

 

 

 

  

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