Realtor’s charity program helps KidStart

Thanks to a program launched by a local realtor, John Howard KidStart has a new source of community donations.

Mason Walker, a Comox Valley realtor with RE/MAX Ocean Pacific Realty, donates a portion of his commission earned on home purchases or sales to charities. Walker invites his clients to choose from a list of charities on his website that he believes are making a real difference in the world.

One such program is the John Howard Society of North Island’s KidStart mentoring program.

John Howard KidStart is a volunteer-based mentoring program that connects positive adult role models with children ages 6–18 for supportive friendship and three hours of recreational activities per week.

KidStart depends entirely on donations, grants, fundraising, and gaming funds to help children and youth in the community.

KidStart mentor Katie Rose Brand listed and sold her home with Mason Walker last spring. She requested that the charity portion of his commission go to John Howard KidStart—a $440 donation. Walker — a former KidStart mentor himself — was very happy to provide the donation to KidStart.

“I’ve personally been involved with KidStart as a mentor in the past and have seen firsthand the positive impact that the program can have on a young person’s life. It is a rewarding and meaningful way to give to give back and to be involved in a child’s life as a role model and friend. KidStart needs the community’s support and involvement, and I’m happy to be a part of that,” he said.

Brand became a KidStart mentor three years ago. She was matched with a bright, enthusiastic, and kind-hearted girl who was eight years old at the time.

“Mentoring this girl has brought so much joy to my life and a deep interconnected feeling of being a vital part of my community,” she said. “I value our children grow up knowing they are cared for, seen, and recognized for their unique gifts they bring to this world.”

For more information about John Howard KidStart, call 250-338-7341 in the Comox Valley or 250-286-0611 in Campbell River, or visit jhsni.bc.ca/index.php/volunteer