Realtors giving back to their communities is the key philosophy behind the Royal LePage Shelter Foundation, the only such organization of its kind among Canadian real estate companies.
In Greater Victoria, Royal LePage Coast Capital Realty takes great pride in supporting the program, which raises money annually to help women and children fleeing abusive relationships who are need emergency shelter.
“The beauty of the Shelter Foundation is the money we raise locally stays local,” said company president Bill Ethier. He joined fellow agents at the Cridge Centre for the Family recently to present the proceeds of their annual charity tournament at Cedar Hill Golf Club – more than $30,000 – to representatives from four local organizations that provide safe places for women and kids.
Over the past 13 years, Ethier notes, Royal LePage Coast Capital Realty has raised close to $500,000 for the Victoria Women’s Transition House, the Cridge Centre, Margaret Laurence House and Sooke Transition House. “We give the money with no real strings attached to the shelter,” he says.
In all, about $70,000 will be contributed to the foundation in 2017 by the Victoria-area group, with the other $40,000 or so coming from agents taking money off their commissions through the year.
Marlene Goley, manager of the Cridge Transition House outreach services, says hers and other such organizations offer help in a wide variety of ways, from covering the cost of legal services to get a protection order, to buying a plane or bus ticket out of town to safety, to helping with a damage deposit for a new rental suite.
“It means that for the women who flee to our shelter and are trying to launch safe futures for themselves and their children, we can say ‘yes’ to meeting their needs instead of saying ‘sorry there’s no way we can help you,’” she says.
“The needs are so varied and that’s why it’s so important to us to be able to have access to these donated funds … it’s just so moving. We have the privilege of seeing the tears of gratitude when we’re able to tell women that there’s this fund and that all the Realtors have worked so hard,” Goley adds.
To learn more about the Shelter Foundation, visit bit.ly/2Dfu17P or call one of the five local offices of Royal LePage Coast Capital Realty.