Helping those less fortunate

November 25, 2011 — Almost every year, I head south in November to spend some time with REALTORS® from all over the world at the National Association of REALTORS® Conference.  It is a great way to find out what is new and happening in terms of technology and get an idea of the upcoming issues for the real estate community.

As we watch our American neighbours celebrate American Thanksgiving, and we as Canadians officially enter into the holiday season, I’m reminded of just how thankful I am to live in such a wonderful city. I also can’t help but take this time to reflect on how we as a REALTOR® community can help others achieve the dream of homeownership.

And so I’m truly honoured to be part of a community of REALTORS® who have volunteered to help make that dream a reality for one local family.

Starting on November 25th then again on December 1st, 2nd, 8th and 9th, our community of Greater Toronto REALTORS® are taking part in the construction of a Habitat for Humanity home that our professional association the Toronto Real Estate Board (TREB) has sponsored.

Located at 4572 Kingston Road near Morningside Avenue, the home marks the fourth title sponsorship of seven Habitat for Humanity builds to which TREB has contributed in recent years.

We as REALTORS® have the distinct honour of witnessing on a daily basis one of the greatest life changing moments when we witness our clients achieve that homeownership dream.

And so as REALTORS®, we recognize that a home is more than just bricks and mortar: It serves as a retreat from our busy world, a place where friends and family gather, and where memories are made. So I know I speak for all REALTORS® who will be playing a key role in improving the quality of life for another local family, not just through sponsorship but by volunteering to take part in their home’s construction.

In recent years TREB also sponsored Habitat for Humanity homes in Scarborough’s McLevin Woods and Etobicoke’s Lakeshore Village.  The organization, which constructs simple, decent and affordable housing in partnership with low-income families has built more than 225 homes throughout the city, and has set a goal to build 50 new homes each year by 2015.

By offering a helping hand to families in need, Habitat for Humanity is helping to build a better Toronto, which is a priority goal that we as Greater Toronto REALTORS® share.

Each year, Toronto Real Estate Board REALTOR® Members contribute to the overall quality of life in the Greater Toronto Area by supporting shelter-related charities through the REALTORS® Care Foundation. Last year it offered grants totaling more than $178,000 to 35 different organizations throughout the GTA.

So with the holidays upon us, this is a time of year when many people’s thoughts turn to helping those less fortunate. I encourage everyone to contribute their time or their financial resources to the GTA’s many shelter-related related organizations because doing so benefits us all.

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