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'Tis the season for giving back in Toronto's real estate community

Many real estate brokers are taking part in charity drives

The Toronto Real Estate Board encourages its members each year to support some of the city’s several hundred charities.

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The Toronto Real Estate Board encourages its members each year to support some of the city’s several hundred charities.

This holiday season will hopefully be a little brighter for many people in the GTA, thanks to the efforts of many of Toronto’s real estate agents and offices.

Individual brokerages contribute to a wide range of community causes, including granting the wishes of seriously ill children, raising funds for women’s shelters, providing winter coats to those in need and sponsoring children in developing countries.

The Toronto Real Estate Board encourages its members each year to support some of the city’s several hundred charities. This time last year, TREB members kicked off 2015 by providing grants to 60 different shelter-related charities throughout the GTA.

For seven consecutive years, Greater Toronto Realtors have voted in favour of participating in the Every Realtor campaign, which has allowed TREB to donate $485,410 to the Ontario REALTORS Care Foundation on their behalf.

Scott Hanton and Cameron Weir are brokers with The Weir Team at Keller Williams Advantage Realty. This year they will be donating $10,000 to charity. In an interesting twist, they’ve decided to let their Facebook followers vote on a particular charity. “There are so many worthy charities that we didn’t think it fair to decide ourselves,” says Hanton.

“We’re hoping that advocates for local charities see this as an opportunity to bring attention to organizations in desperate need of extra funding,” he continued. “Any registered charity is eligible, but we’re hoping to spawn a grassroots campaign that you often only find on Facebook.

“Since we are doing this as a Facebook poll, the control is really in the hands of users who, by quick and simple online sharing, can elevate their charity to the top fast.... We’ll be publishing the standings of the Top 10 charities regularly, so it will be interesting to watch.”

The winners will be decided by the end of May.

Toronto’s Holiday Helpers is a registered charity whose mission is to provide a one-time personalized Christmas package to low-income families with young children who are trying to improve their circumstances.

One of the volunteers is Lani Fumerton, a Realtor working with a busy and successful team of agents at Re/Max in the east end. Lani is passionate about giving back to the community, and is actively involved in many charitable initiatives including Holiday Helpers, Future Possibilities for Kids and the fundraising committee for the Red Door Shelter.