|Habitat for Humanity||Charitable Contributions||Ontario REALTORS Care® Foundation|
Toronto Real Estate Board Members' Charitable Contributions Program
To help bring awareness to the charitable efforts of REALTORS® within local communities and abroad, TREB is asking REALTORS® to share their stories of Charitable Contributions.
TREB will promote the efforts of our REALTOR® Members in various TREB newspaper/magazine columns which includes the Toronto Sun, Toronto Star and Resale Homes and Condo Magazine, as well TREB’s various websites including its social media sites.
The Toronto Real Estate Board REALTOR®’s involvement and charitable efforts within local communities and abroad. That is why TREB felt is necessary to create a program that brings to light the extent of these efforts and the lives affected by the contributions.
Please read the eligibility criteria and application requirement to submit your story for a chance to have your story told.
>>> Click here to see the Eligibility Criteria and Application Requirements.
>>> To submit application online, click here.
John Gibson House – Loft Community Services
As REALTORS®, we are routinely invited into others’ most personal space as we work to help our clients achieve their home ownership goals, and as a result of this privilege, we are in a unique position to truly appreciate the significance that having a place to call home has in everyone’s life.
It is for this reason that each year, Greater Toronto REALTORS® offer their support to a wide range of shelter-related organizations through the Ontario REALTORS Care® Foundation.
One such organization is LOFT Community Services, the most diverse supplier of supportive housing in Ontario. As the largest provider of its kind in the province, it reaches more than 4,000 individuals with housing, outreach, and support services, focusing particularly on those who have mental and physical health concerns as well as substance abuse issues.
The organization traces its beginnings to 1953, when two youth programs were merged to form LOFT Community Services. In the decades that followed, it expanded its scope to also serve adults and seniors. Today, it includes more than 1,000 supportive housing units at more than 70 sites in Toronto and York Region where its residents benefit from various mental health and addiction services.
“We provide opportunity for people who normally would not be able to access housing elsewhere,” says program director Jim McMinn.
Greater Toronto REALTORS® recently fostered these efforts through a grant to the organization’s historic John Gibson House. Located in Trinity-Bellwoods Park, the facility specifically serves those ages 55 and over who are suffering from mental and physical health challenges.
“We provide the opportunity to discharge people from the hospital to John Gibson House, and then we work with those individuals for a three to four month period to discharge them into the community to more independent housing.”
As part of its services, the facility’s personal support workers assist with residents’ practical daily living needs such as the provision of meals, social activities and escorts to appointments.
“Many times all they need is that added support in order to live more independently,” says McMinn.
As a result, in addition to benefiting the many individuals it serves, the organization’s work has a broader influence on society as a whole.
“It has had a major impact on the health care system and over the last few years, we have seen probably 70 older adults move into more independent apartment situations and not return to hospital.”
As a result of the Greater Toronto REALTORS®’ financial contribution, the facility has received a helpful boost in covering the cost of its many necessities like sheets and pillowcases.
Additional support, however, is always needed. If you would like to learn more about how you can support LOFT Community Services’ efforts to assist those who are marginalized and most vulnerable, please visit www.loftcs.org
And for more information about Greater Toronto REALTORS®’ efforts to enhance the quality of life of people from all walks of life in our city, be sure to also visit www.TorontoRealEstateBoard.com
Christie Refugee Centre
According to a recent report by the United States-based Social Progress Imperative, Canada ranks seventh amongst 132 countries on a Social Progress Index. In the second annual report, which evaluates 12 attributes in the categories of Basic Human Needs, Foundations of Wellbeing and Opportunity, Canada placed well ahead of the United States and the United Kingdom, which ranked 16th and 13th respectively.
In fact, in the category of Opportunity, which assesses personal rights, freedom and choice, tolerance and inclusion, and access to advanced education, we placed second only to overall first-place winner New Zealand.
The report follows many other studies that have lauded the quality of life Canadians enjoy, a characteristic that prompts thousands of refugees each year to look to our country for a fresh start.
For almost 25 years, Toronto’s Christie Street Refugee Centre has helped these newcomers get back on their feet as they begin a new life in Canada, and recognizing the important contribution it makes to our city, Greater Toronto REALTORS® support this organization through the Ontario REALTORS Care® Foundation.
The Centre, which offers services in three areas: shelter and support, an outreach program, and refugee sponsorship, plays an important role in setting up new arrivals for success.
“Many of the families that we serve come from very violent and turbulent situations in their home countries and communities. Christie Refugee Welcome Centre seeks to provide stability, a sense of peace, and a sense of order as they establish roots in Canada,” says Executive Director Linda Moorcroft. “The residents really develop a strong sense of community with one another and that translates into the communities where they choose to live.”
To make their start a little more comfortable, Greater Toronto REALTORS® recently provided a grant that has contributed to bathroom renovations, transforming them into beautiful, energy efficient facilities.
Moorcroft says that as a result of beginning their new life in a home with dignity and respect, many families get involved in the community once they are able to forge their own path.
“To hear that the parents are learning English, that children are enrolled in schools and that the family is active in their community is exceptionally rewarding.”
There are a number of ways you can support Christie Street Refugee Centre. A $25 donation for example, provides a new backpack complete with school supplies to a child refugee. Every person who stays at the shelter receives a new bed-in-a-bag consisting of a comforter, sheet set, pillow and towel; a $50 contribution makes this effort possible.
Volunteers are also welcome to assist in the kitchen, the computer room and with tutoring, to name just a few roles. Gently used clothing and household items along with new personal grooming products are gratefully accepted as well.
To learn more about the various opportunities to offer your support to this very worthy organization, please visit www.christiestreetrc.com, and to learn about the many ways that Greater Toronto REALTORS® contribute to the social fabric of our city, please visit www.TorontoRealEstateBoard.com
Ernestine’s Women’s Shelter
Recognizing that Canada is highly regarded around the world for the quality of life it offers, you may find it surprising to know that according to Statistics Canada, in 2010 there were almost 99,000 victims of family violence across the nation, accounting for 25 per cent of all victims of violent crime.
Fortunately, there are a number of organizations throughout the Greater Toronto Area that make it their mission to provide safety, shelter and support to women and children fleeing abuse. One such facility, which Greater Toronto REALTORS® support through the Ontario REALTORS Care® Foundation, is Ernestine’s Women’s Shelter.
Established in 1983 by a group of people who identified a need for such services in the community, Ernestine’s Women’s Shelter has supported more than 5,000 families with immediate, critical care services. Offering a crisis line, shelter services, and transitional and outreach programs, it strives to help women rebuild their lives. These services are vitally important, not just to the victims of abuse, but to all Canadians, since according to the organization, health related costs of violence against women in Canada exceed $1.5 billion a year. Equally staggering is the fact that in Canada, between one and two women are murdered every week by a former or current partner.
Organizations like Ernestine’s Women’s Shelter, however, are making a difference. Executive Director Jill Cunningham points to the story of one client who, as result of the support she received from Ernestine’s Women’s Shelter, went on to complete her education, find affordable housing and daycare and establish a successful company.
“Women and children that stay at Ernestine’s Women’s Shelter learn that the violence and abuse is not their fault, they’re not alone and that they can live independently,” says Cunningham.
In order to foster more success stories, Greater Toronto REALTORS® has offered a grant to Ernestine’s Women’s Shelter that will allow the organization to provide family start-up kits to women and children leaving the shelter or escaping an abusive relationship. Each kit consists of the basics required for beginning again, along with some financial relief. Having been proud supporters of Ernestine’s Women’s Shelter since 2008, Greater Toronto REALTORS® are very pleased to be able to make this contribution to the start-up kits, support that Cunningham says is crucial.
“Most women who come to the shelter come with only the clothes on their back so it’s really important; also the government has recently made cuts in the area of helping out with community start ups so the support is more important than ever.”To learn about opportunities to support this very worth organization, visit www.Ernestines.ca, and if someone you know needs support in fleeing an abusive relationship, please urge them to call the Assaulted Women’s Helpline at 1-866-863-0511. For more information about the many ways Greater Toronto REALTORS® make a difference to quality of life in our city, please visit www.TorontoRealEstateBoard.com
Furniture Bank Housewares Drive MONTH – October 2014
September 29, 2014 -- TREB has partnered with the Furniture Bank organization to host a Housewares Drive throughout the month of October. The donated items collected will provide houseware essentials to recipients in need within our community.
All donations are gladly accepted at:
Furniture Bank Receiving Area
25 Connell Court, #1
Toronto, ON M8Z 1E8
To arrange a houseware items pick up through the Furniture Bank Social Enterprise Program, please call (416) 934-1229 Ext. #1 citing promo code TREB15 to receive your 15% TREB discount for the entire month of October.
See details [pdf] for a list of appropriate items for donation.
Furniture Bank Contact:
DIRECTOR OF DEVELOPMENT, FURNITURE BANK
Phone: (416) 934-1229 (ext. 721)
Registered Charitable # 87253 1843 RR0001
TREB's Breakfast Program Volunteers Needed
TREB's Children's Breakfast Program in need of Volunteers. TREB's Children's Breakfast Program has grown from two schools in 2008 to include 15 schools within the GTA. The beginning ofthe 2011-12 school year is fast approaching and our program is in need of new and continuing volunteer.
Volunteering is an activity you can share with family, friends, neighbours and clients; everyone is welcome to join our team! Please help us to provide a nutritious breakfast to children in our communities to ensure they begin each day ready and able tolearn and succeed.
If you or someone you know is able to commit to one hour for one morning a week to assist with the Children’s Breakfast Program in any of the following participating schools, please contact Angela Marini at 416-443-8190 or Carolyn Griffis at 416-409-6221 to volunteer.
* Please note that volunteering for the Children’s Breakfast Program is available to high school students and counts towards the 40 volunteer hours required to graduate.
- Blake Street Junior Public School (Pape & Riverdale area)
- Thorncliffe Park Public School (Don Mills & Overlea area)
- Secord Elementary School (Main & Danforth area)
- First Nations Public School (Broadview & Dundas area)
- Lord Dufferin Public School (Parliament/Jarvis)
- Kingslake Public School (Sheppard & Don Mills area)
- Valley Park Middle School (Don Mills & Overlea area)
- Tom Longboat Jr. Public School (Neilson & 401 area)
- Corvette Junior Public School (Kennedy & Eglinton area)
- Duke of Connaught Public School (Woodbine & Queen St. East area)
- Woodbine Junior High School (Don Mills Road East) / Vanier Secondary School
- Eastview Junior Public School (Kingston & Galloway area)
- Ecole Queen Alexandra Middle School (Broadview & Dundas area)
- D.A. Morrison (Woodbine & Cosburn area)
Through various fundraising events, Toronto Real Estate Board Members have
been able to raise money to make significant contributions to charities such as Habitat for Humanity GTA, resulting in the construction of a Habitat home
for a family in need.
TREB builds Habitat Home
June 14, 2010 -- TREB has again joined forces with Habitat for Humanity Toronto to provide simple, decent and affordable housing for families currently living in substandard housing in the GTA. TREB is building one of 29 townhome units at 4572 Kingston Road in Scarborough. This site represents the 225th affordable home build by Habitat Toronto since 1988.
Recently, TREB President Tom Lebour was invited to participate in the groundbreaking ceremony of this newest site and meet the TREB partner family selected by Habitat for Humanity Toronto as the new home owners of TREB's Habitat Home build.
The Matin Family of six was on site on June 8th to share in the shovel presentation at the groundbreaking. Merajuddin Matin is looking forward to moving his wife and four children into their new home upon completion. "Right now our life is very difficult" Merajuddin explains. "We're six people living in a small, two bedroom apartment. A new home means a brighter future for our children".
Since 2003, TREB has contributed to six other home builds with Habitat for Humanity Toronto, including a co-sponsorship home build with OREA in 2005 at Lakeshore Villages.
More about TREB and Habitat for Humanity.
- Habitat for Humanity Toronto Appreciation Book
- REALTORS® Offer Key to a Better Life
- It's Time To Lend a Helping Hand
- GTA REALTORS® Continue to Help Build Communities with Habitat for Humanity
- GTA REALTORS® Working with Elected Representatives to Create Affordable Housing
- Habitat for Humanity Build (video)
- Habitat for Humanity Build (photo slideshow)
Read more about TREB and REALTOR® Fundraising
- GTA REALTORS® Donate $485,410 to Shelter Charities
- Matthew House is Canada's refuge for refugees
- Providing Shelter, Support and Hope
- Furniture Bank Offers A Helping Hand
- Inspired By The Volunteer Efforts Of REALTORS®
- Let's Recognize Those Who Do Good Works
- Serving Others is the Highest Honour of All
- TREB hosts REALTORS Care Foundation Annual Motorcycle Ride for Charity
- Working Hard to Make a Difference
- Charity Begins and Ends at Home
- Recognizing Our Volunteer Effort
- REALTORS® Give Back