REALTORS®, your generosity is contagious

It’s win-win. Social scientists continue to find evidence of a correlation between helping others and increased happiness and productivity. Recent studies have also found that one act of kindness can have a ripple effect, creating a “cascade” of philanthropy.1 You could say, generosity is contagious.

One incredible story shared on a couple of years ago showed this to be true. In September 2012, Darcy, a mother of five from North Bay returned to the parking lot of the Children’s Hospital of Eastern Ontario (CHEO), where her newborn was being treated, only to find that her van had been stolen. After Ian Charlebois, a REALTOR® in Ottawa, heard this horrible story on the news, he loaned Darcy one of his vehicles and planned to travel to North Bay to pick it up once she had found a new way to get around. In a heart-warming turn of events, a local high school student heard about Ian’s act of generosity in the news and suggested to her brother, Ben, who had a flying licence, that he fly Ian to retrieve his vehicle and save him a 350+ kilometre drive. In October, they made the trip to North Bay and were thrilled to learn upon arrival that a Guelph couple had donated a truck with new tires to the family after, again, reading their story in the paper. Although Ian initially did not want credit for his good deed, his story inspired others to take action and do what they could to help.

The Canadian REALTORS Care® Foundation collects and shares stories of REALTORS® like Ian who give back to their communities. In 2013, we published over 100 stories of REALTORS®’ community involvement (and we know that’s only the tip of the iceberg). We hope that by telling these stories, we can help raise awareness for the charities and causes close to REALTORS®’ hearts and also inspire others to use their time, money, skills, or passion to help make a difference.

To celebrate the generosity demonstrated by the REALTOR® community last year, we created a video that highlights a few examples of their charitable achievements from coast to coast:

So keep up the great work, REALTORS®, and don’t forget to let the Foundation know all about how you’re giving back to your communities so we can spread the word and inspire others to follow your lead.

CREA and the Foundation are also currently asking REALTORS®2 to report your 2013 donation and fundraising totals so we can update our $30.6 million total and make it even more attention-grabbing and inspiring! All you need to do is complete a simple form on Rest assured your personal information will be kept strictly confidential, in accordance with CREA’s Privacy Policy.

1 To learn more, check out the following recent articles: “The Best Kept Secrets to Exceptional Productivity”; “Why Fund-Raising Is Fun”; and “The Science of ‘Paying It Forward.’”

2 Boards, Associations, franchisors, and brokerages may also report donations and fundraising totals on behalf of their members by completing the form or emailing the details to

Sarah Thirnbeck, Associate Director, Strategic Impact, oversees CREA's national REALTORS Care® program, which aims to celebrate the amazing charitable achievements of REALTORS® across Canada and further foster a spirit of giving in our industry. She also oversees CREA's efforts to support local and provincial Young Professionals Networks across the country as well as new initiatives dedicated to promoting diversity, equity and inclusion on CREA's Board of Directors and committees. Sarah recently earned a Graduate Diploma in Social Responsibility and Sustainability from the University of St. Michael’s College in the University of Toronto to complement her bachelor’s and master’s degrees in communications.

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