Three of the four founders of the charity group 100+ Real Estate Agents Who Care

Realtors give back with fundraising program

Imagine a charity where 100 per cent of every dollar raised goes directly to the identified cause.

Imagine a charity where 100 per cent of every dollar raised goes directly to the identified cause.

It’s an idea that initially captured the imagination of two local realtors, Tara Hearn and Jane Johnston, when they attended the inaugural meeting of 100 Women Who Care Victoria back in 2014.

The concept was easy enough. A small group of “founders” gathered family, friends and associates who in turn would reach out to their friends and family. The goal was to assemble a group of 100 women, all willing to meet quarterly to write a $100 cheque to a specific charity with a focus on the needs of women and children. The $10,000 raised would go to the chosen charity with no administration costs and no charitable infrastructure to support.

The elegance of the approach was an instant success for the Victoria 100 Women Who Care group and by the time Hearn and Johnston attended that first meeting, the group had surpassed its 100 women goal with an attendance of more than 200. Today they number more than 300.

But Hearn and Johnston wanted to do more. They saw the concept as an opportunity to reach out to the real estate industry with a goal of providing shelter to marginalized members of our society.

“We work with people who can afford a home and we love that work, but there are too many people who haven’t got a place to go to at the end of the day,” said Johnston. “Those are the people we really wanted to help. It was a chance to give them hope and allow them the self respect that goes along with having a place of your own.”

While still remaining part of the 100 Women Who Care group, Hearn and Johnston decided to launch another chapter of the charity by forming 100 Real Estate Agents Who Care. They recruited fellow realtors Joanne Broderson and Neil Bosdet and the four founders set out to provide a coordinated charity for the Victoria real estate community.

“I knew people in my business were very generous people and I believed it could work,” said Hearn.

Hearn had joined the ranks of an ever-increasing number of women in the real estate business six years earlier, coming to the job with a graduate degree in educational leadership and an established work history as an educational consultant.

“I wanted to try something where I could make a difference while at the same time applying my love of interior design and architecture. Real estate let me do that while putting me in a position where I could help people fulfill their dreams,” said Hearn.

Johnston had similarly come to real estate with a post graduate degree in education and 15 years of experience as an educator. For her, real estate was a place where excellence in service and the personal relationships she formed would be recognized and where she could help clients reach their personal goals.

“It’s always been about helping people for realtors, so this charity concept was really just an extension of those beliefs,” said Hearn.

The charity has received significant support from a variety of sponsors, said Hearn. A number of the brokerages stepped up to help develop the group’s logo and website and spread the word about the new charity. Max Furniture and Ruffell and Brown Window Coverings offered a regular meeting place while other sponsors joined in to provide refreshments for meetings and cover the cost of incidentals required to run the group.

Still, the group hasn’t yet met all its goals.

Hearn explained how the extremely busy real estate market made it difficult to arrange a time when 100 agents could all take the time to attend a meeting for the charity, saying that the market had already started taking off in 2015. It’s a trend that has continued with real estate sales reaching record highs in Victoria in the past year.

“Realtors are working non-stop with barely any possibility to take a day off, so getting them to commit to a charitable meeting was tough,” said Hearn.

By the fourth meeting the group’s founders saw the membership reach 60 realtors. While still shy of the 100 realtors they hope to assemble, the group has still managed to deliver about $30,000 to charities in the past year and Hearn is confident that the 100 realtor goal can be reached.

“After all, our business is all about making certain that people have a place to live, a place where they can live a happy and productive life,” said Hearn. “Our charity is about making that possible for people who hadn’t thought it possible. Everyone needs a place to live.”

The next meeting of 100 Real Estate Agents Who Care will be held on Monday, June 6. More information is available at 100realestateagents.com.

 

 

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Just Posted

A study by SlotsOnlineCanada notes there is at least 88 hours of top-rated horror movies for Canadians to consume this Halloween. (Unsplash)
Spooks and Chill study reveals Canada’s favourite horror flicks

88 hours of top-rated horror movies can fill COVID-19 Halloween

Coun. Tara Ney rakes leaves behind Oak Bay municipal hall. Ney’s motion asking staff to do a report on alternative options to the ongoing use of gas-powered leaf blowers in Oak Bay. (Travis Paterson/News Staff)
Oak Bay a step closer to banning gas leaf blowers

Council leans toward a study on alternatives

Maureen Cue models maybe the most obvious pandemic Halloween costume this year. (Kendra Crighton/News Staff)
Pandemic impacts trends in Halloween looks, says costume shop owner

Maureen Cue sees shift in costume rentals due to the pandemic

The Capital Regional District is considering adding another dollar a year to the parkland acquisition fund fee for homeowners. (Black Press Media file photo)
One dollar or two? Greater Victoria parks acquisition fee hike spurs debate

$2 a year too steep, CRD committee recommends $1 a year increase per household

Vancouver Island-based Wilson’s Transportation has expanded to fill some of the routes left unserviced by Greyhound as of Nov. 1, 2018. (Black Press files)
B.C. bus companies say they need help to survive COVID-19

Like airlines, motor coaches have lost most of their revenue

A woman wears a face mask and plastic gloves while browsing books as a sticker on the floor indicates a one-way direction of travel between shelves of books at the Vancouver Public Library’s central branch, after it and four other branches reopened with limited services, in Vancouver, on Tuesday, July 14, 2020. (THE CANADIAN PRESS/Darryl Dyck)
B.C. reports 234 new COVID cases, 1 death of senior who had attended small birthday party

Roughly 5,700 people are isolating due to being exposed to a confirmed case

MNP senior economist Susan Mowbray presents the State of the Island Economic Report on Thursday night to conclude the Vancouver Island Economic Alliance’s virtual summit. (VIEA image)
Not-so-rosy State of the Island report caps off virtual summit

Vancouver Island Economic Alliance’s summit took place online Oct. 27-29

President Donald Trump speaks at a campaign rally in Allentown, Pa. on Oct. 26. (AP Photo/Alex Brandon)
POLL: How closely are you following the U.S. presidential election?

It may feel like it’s been going on forever but the U.S.… Continue reading

Burnaby RCMP responded to a dine-and-dash suspect who fell through a ceiling in March 2020. (RCMP handout)
VIDEO: Suspected dine-and-dasher falls through ceiling of Burnaby restaurant

A woman believed to be dashing on her restaurant bill fell through the kitchen ceiling

A can of Canada Dry Ginger Ale is shown in Toronto on Thursday Oct. 29, 2020. The maker of Canada Dry Ginger Ale has agreed to pay over $200,000 to settle a class-action lawsuit launched by a B.C. man who alleged he was misled by marketing suggesting the soda had medicinal benefits. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Joseph O’Connal
B.C. man’s lawsuit over marketing of Canada Dry ginger ale settled for $200K

Soda’s maker, Canada Dry Mott’s Inc., denied the allegations and any liability

A deer was spotted in October 2020 in Prince Rupert, B.C., with a bright pink yoga ball stuck in its antlers. (Kayla Vickers/Chronicles Of Hammy The Deer Official Page)
Hammy 2.0? Prince Rupert deer spotted with bright pink yoga ball stuck in antlers

The BC Conservation Officer Service is aware of the deer roaming around the city

RCMP. (Phil McLachlan - Black Press Media)
Kelowna Mountie hit with 2nd lawsuit in 2 months for alleged assault

Const. Julius Prommer is accused of breaking a woman’s knee during while responding to a noise complaint

Hirdeypal Batth, 24, has been charged with sexual assault and forcible confinement in relation to an incident in August 2020. (VPD handout)
Man, 24, charged with sex assault after allegedly posing as Uber driver in Vancouver

Investigators believe there could be more victims outside of the Vancouver area

Pilot Kevin Maher participated in a flyover of a ceremony at the Cobble Hill cenotaph on Oct. 22 in a 1940 North American (Noorduyn) Harvard aircraft. (Robert Barron/Citizen)
Cobble Hill remembers lost military members with ceremony, flyover

Annual event commemorates those who died in non-combat roles

Most Read