Royal LePage Benchmark is collecting new unwrapped toys and cash donations for the Children’s Cottage Society and Brenda's House until Dec. 9. Photo courtesy Royal LePage Benchmark
Dec. 07, 2016 | Shelley Boettcher
Season of givingReal estate industry steps up to help Calgarians in need
The holiday season is here, and, for many people, that means food, family, Christmas lights, a visit from Santa and piles of presents under the tree.
But not everyone is so lucky, especially given Alberta's tough economy.
That's why many real estate professionals are stepping up their volunteer efforts this year to put some joy into the lives of their fellow Albertans.
Here's a look at how several local real estate offices are helping non-profit organizations in and around Calgary this season.
1. Toy drives
The team at Royal LePage Benchmark is collecting new unwrapped toys and cash donations for the Children's Cottage Society, a local non-profit organization that offers a 24-hour safe haven for children who need a break from abuse or neglect.
Calgarians are encouraged to drop off donations at the brokerage (110, 7220 Fisher St. S.E.) until Dec. 9.
Royal LePage Benchmark associate broker Rob Smith noted donations will also go to Brenda's House, an emergency shelter for homeless families.
CIR Realty is also collecting new unwrapped toys as part of KISS 95.9 radio and the Salvation Army's Toy Angels toy drive.
Calgarians are invited to drop off toys through Dec. 16 at all CIR Realty offices in Calgary, Cochrane and Strathmore, or at IKEA, Calgary Police Service, Westbrook Mall and Marlborough Mall.
2. Coat drive
Re/Max First real estate professional Mathew Said Morley and his team of volunteers are in the midst of gathering gently used jackets of all sizes and types for the Calgary Drop-In Centre as part of an annual coat drive.
From now through Dec. 22, Calgarians can drop off donations at Re/Max First (115, 8820 Blackfoot Tr. S.E.) or one of 23 locations around the city, including 80th and Ivy, Lavish Salon, Re/Max First and Re/Max Mountain View. Visit mathewsaidmorley.com/2016jacketdrive for a full list.
A wrap-up party will take place Dec. 22 at Roosevelt Food & Drinks, starting at 7 p.m. Calgarians are encouraged to stop in to drop off a spare jacket or make a cash donation.
Last year, Morley and his team of volunteers collected more than 2,200 coats.
3. REALTOR® After Party
CREB® Charitable Foundation's annual REALTOR® After Party (formerly known as Nico-Nite) will be held at the Standard Modern Speakeasy & Social Club (111 Seventh Ave. S.W.).
The high-profile event, which follows CREB®'s annual Holiday Luncheon, dates back more than 20 years when it was first founded by Nick Profeta, who describes himself as "chief happiness officer" at Re/Max Central.
All proceeds go toward the CREB® Charitable Foundation's Investing in Hope program, which awards grants to charities throughout the city, including Alberta Adolescent Recovery Centre, Inn from the Cold, Calgary Women's Emergency Shelter and Kids Up Front Calgary.
Real estate professionals and other industry members are invited. Tickets are $10 apiece.
CREB® members can purchase tickets through CREB®. Industry members can call 403-218-3686.
4. Food drives
Re/Max Central will host its annual office potluck Dec. 19, with a collection of non-perishable food items for local food banks. Staff will also be able to fill out a form to donate part of their next deal to the Children's Miracle Network.
Last year's gathering raised more than $400 for the charity, which funds critical treatments and medical equipment for children in and around Calgary.
Sotheby's International Realty (290, 815 17th Ave. S.W.) is also accepting food or cash donations in support of the Calgary Food Bank through to Dec. 20.
Re/Max Mountain View member Maria Lizotte and mortgage broker Martin Jensen from Dominion Lending recently hosted a food drive at a client appreciation night Nov. 26. More than 80 clients brought more than 225 items for local food banks, plus close to $100 in cash donations.