HUNTSVILLE– The Lakelands Association of REALTORS® has donated to The West Muskoka Food Bank (Port Carling), The Salvation Army Food Bank (Gravenhurst), The Manna Food Bank (Bracebridge), The Table Foundation (Huntsville) and The Burk’s Falls and District Food Bank as part of their Ontario REALTORS Care® and Tragic Relief Fund programs. This financial support is in response to the pandemic, the impacts of which are being felt by hundreds of local families and individuals, as well as the people who are working tirelessly to help feed the region’s most vulnerable residents.
“We extend our heartfelt appreciation to The Lakelands Association of REALTORS® for their timely financial donation,” says Heather Cassie, CEO of The Table Foundation. “During this difficult time, many in our community have reached out for support. It is because of generous people and businesses, like the association, that we are able to continue to provide our services.”
According to Food Banks Canada, the number of people requiring help has skyrocketed by at least 20 percent in most regions across the country since the lockdown began, with projections that these numbers will continue to rise in the weeks and months to come. This type of support from the corporate sector is vital.
“We are so thankful for the generous donation received from the Lakelands Association of REALTORS®,” says Joy Murphy, who is a coordinator at the Burk’s Falls and District Food Bank.
“Donations such as this go a long way in helping us to provide our clients with a more healthy and nutritious diet, enabling us to purchase fresh fruits and vegetables and some dairy products that they would not normally have access to.” Murphy says that a lot of their clients are also dealing with physical disabilities and other health problems; having access to healthy food plays an essential role in improving their day-to-day lives and overall health.
“REALTORS® care deeply about our communities,” says Port Carling REALTOR® Catharine Inniss, who is president of The Lakelands Association of REALTORS® Board of Directors. “We believe that now more than ever, we need to support those who are most vulnerable. We know that members of our association are proud to be part of a profession that extends itself with these types of initiatives.”
Between the two organizations – the association’s Tragic Relief Fund and The Ontario REALTORS Care® Foundation – The Lakelands Association of REALTORS® has donated $10,780 to food banks in the regions they represent (Haliburton, Muskoka, Orillia and Parry Sound) in response to the pandemic.
Provincially, the Ontario Real Estate Association (OREA) has donated $480,000 to Ontario shelters and shelter-based charities through the Ontario REALTORS Care® Foundation. OREA’s donation will reach the most vulnerable populations through more than 50 shelters and food banks across Ontario.
The Ontario REALTORS Care® Foundation, formerly the Ontario Real Estate Association (OREA) Foundation was established in 1967. The foundation supports shelter-based charitable organizations across Ontario, making a difference in the lives of people and communities where REALTORS® live and conduct business.
The Lakelands Association of REALTORS® holds a Tragic Relief fund in their budget to help support significant local causes. The committee responsible for the fund considers tragic events throughout Parry Sound, Muskoka, Orillia and Haliburton that require an injection of funds to prevent further impact.
Crystal Henderson, Executive Director of The Lakelands Association of REALTORS®