Let’s face it. No matter how carefully we plan and prepare, life has a way of disrupting our best intentions, and from time to time we all face emergencies in our professional or personal lives.
As many of our fellow REALTORS® have experienced with Hurricane Harvey, Irma, and the fires in California, disaster can (with little warning) disrupt our lives forever. We are such a giving industry, with so many volunteering their time, energy, and hard-earned money to help others facing adversity, but where can we turn when we are the ones facing the adversity? The Columbus REALTORS® Benevolence Fund.
Beginning with the simple mission to provide a way for REALTORS® to help REALTORS® in need, the Benevolence Fund is the emergency assistance program offered to Columbus REALTORS®, their employees and families.
I am very proud to serve as this year’s Benevolence Fund chair and happy to share with you our many successes since the program’s inception in late 2012. To-date, we have been able to provide an incredible $27,960 in emergency aid to 24 deserving families and colleagues.
Our primary goal is to help the applicant continue working, often assisting with payments that unless paid, would otherwise hinder the individual unable to work, creating a ‘cycle’ that is often hard to break.
As the process is extremely confidential, it is often hard to share the details of those who have been impacted by the program, but as persons are often unsure whether their situation constitutes an ‘emergency’, I’d like to share a few examples of past grant funding with you.
Past Benevolence Grant Funding:
Longtime member sick with bone cancer, funds to cover prescriptions and gas for weekly trips to Cleveland Clinic.
Tragic house fire (including the loss of three family pets), emergency funds to provide housing and basic needs assistance for family of five while awaiting insurance claim.
Fifty-year member struggling to pay for dentures that prevented being able to continue working
Funds to assist with purchase of mobile oxygen device not covered by Medicare to allow member mobility to keep working.
Christmas funding for family whose father (sole earner) suddenly passed with no will or life insurance.
As I shared above, the entire process is confidential and done with the utmost discretion; one may apply personally or on behalf of another member. Applications are accepted anytime and may be obtained by contacting me, visiting the Columbus REALTORS® Foundation website, or by calling Ida Seitter at the Columbus REALTORS® (614) 475-4000.
The only way we can assist our fellow members is with your help. We can’t thank you enough for attending our second “Bowling for Benevolence” in April of this year. We had a great turn-out (33 teams), raising $6,711 to benefit the program.
We are also selling tickets for the annual red wagon raffle. Last year’s winner took home the red wagon, filled with items valued at over $3,000, just in time for the holidays. Tickets can be purchased through Ida, myself, any committee member, or at the annual President’s Ball. The winner will be drawn during the President’s Ball on Saturday, Dec. 9, 2017.
I end by asking you to remember the program as you contemplate your year-end and estate planning; pay it forward by donating a tax-deductible planned gift, bequest, or even property to the program (through the larger Columbus REALTORS® Foundation).