Take it from one who knows: Giving back feeds the soul

It’s 8:30 a.m. on a cold-for-Vancouver Friday morning and, unlike most nine-to-fivers, Laura-Leah Shaw’s day is already in full swing.

On top of negotiating a house sale, the REALTOR® is headed to a local food market to pick up healthy options for food banks in the city’s poorest neighbourhood. Before that, though, while on her way to drop off household items to a family in need, she stops what she’s doing to help reunite a lost dog with its owner.

For Shaw, all living beings deserve to be treated fairly; if she can help make a life better, she’s sure going to try to do so. It’s why Shaw was chosen as this year’s recipient of the Canadian REALTORS Care® Award 2017 Proudly Presented by REM.

Despite Shaw’s demanding work schedule – she’s received the Real Estate Board of Greater Vancouver’s Medallion Club award several times for being among the board’s top 10% most productive salespeople – she is still actively involved with numerous charities and activist groups.

And she’s hoping to see more REALTORS® do the same.

“You don’t do it for yourself. You do it for others and that’s what makes it so rewarding,” Shaw says. “Helping those in need feeds my soul. I hope to be able to use the award to bring new ideas of how to help and encourage the generous giving spirit in even more REALTORS®.”

However, there’s a gap between what charitable work is done by REALTORS® and what’s reported. From 2012 to 2015, the Canadian REALTOR® community reported giving more than $91.2 million to charity. Even though this is an impressive number, it’s only a fraction of the true amount of money – not to mention time and passion – the REALTOR® community gave to charity during those four years.

And it’s not just monetary donations that deserve praise. Those who volunteer for a charity or donate used goods leave lasting impressions.

Shaw draws on a personal story where she gave an old refrigerator to a man living at a shelter.

“One gentleman said having a fridge was life changing. He used to have to consume (fruits and vegetables) in one day before it spoiled because he didn’t want to waste the food,” she recalls. “Now he can regulate how and when he eats… It gives him a sense of being.”

If you, or a REALTOR® you know, is involved with a charity, email info@REALTORSCare.ca to see how the foundation can help promote the cause close to your heart.

Matt Day brings his experience as a nationally-recognized multimedia journalist to the Canadian Real Estate Association as a Communications Advisor. Matt provides professional writing, digital media and communications support to CREA and assists in developing engaging social media content. He is regularly featured in the CREA Café where he provides interesting and entertaining content for REALTORS® to enjoy. Matt is a professional photographer but has dreams of becoming a rock star. He also enjoys mountain biking, skiing, hiking, and using the Oxford comma.

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