Foundation funds shelter-related charities

Every year, REALTORS® step up to raise money in support of the Manitoba Real Estate Association (MREA) Shelter Foundation, which, in turn, selects and delivers donation cheques to worthy recipients in Manitoba. The MREA Shelter Foundation is funded, owned and managed entirely by Manitoba Realtors since its formation in 2007. Its entire focus and mission is to support shelter-related charities across Manitoba.

As a professional association, MREA has the social responsibility to ensure the communities it serves continue to thrive. As part of its commitment to build and promote a trusted real estate profession, Realtor volunteers carried out extensive community work.

One of the biggest and highest profile fundraisers, during which Realtors and many sponsor companies come together, is the annual Gimme Shelter event sponsored by WinnipegREALTORS® in the spring. This year’s organizing committee is busy planning for the spring of 2018 event with details to be shortly released.

To date, Gimme Shelter has raised over $320,000, with over $39,000 raised in 2017. All proceeds from this event go towards the shelter foundation.

Besides the major Gimme Shelter fundraiser, the 2017 Brian M. Collie Memorial Shelter Classic at the Glendale Golf and Country Club raised $15,300. The Win a Wine Cellar event raised another $500 for the foundation. 

A new initiative MREA launched this fall is the Care-a-Van charity drive with Realtors brokerages collecting much needed items for Manitoba shelter organizations. For a first-time event, Realtor volunteers were overwhelmed with the overall participation and interest.

The MREA Shelter Foundation granted funding to12 organizations, totalling $57,127. Habitat for Humanity, Siloam Mission, Esther House and the Main Street Project are just a few of the organizations that received grants from the foundation this year.

The foundation’s support staff and volunteers had the privilege of delivering cheques and touring nine of the 12 organizations to learn more about how the donations help Manitobans. From women and children in crisis, people living with disabilities, to the homeless population and those who are recovering from addictions, there is no limit to the number of people who need shelter.

“The MREA Shelter Foundation has given me a chance to learn more about the many shelter organizations we support,” said Joseph Taruc, a Realtor and the incoming 2018 MREA Shelter Foundation board governor, who toured a number of the facilities benefitting from foundation donations.

“I was really impressed by Siloam Mission’s facilities — the new cafeteria where they are now able to serve hundreds without a waiting line in our -40°C winters, much-needed medical care facilities, haircutting services, clean beds and clothing closets to support our homeless community.

“L’Arche Winnipeg operates the L'Arche Tova Cafe in Transcona to provide employment for people with disabilities in a friendly and social environment. I think this organization is much needed in Winnipeg. I’m glad I was able to visit the café to learn more about the organization and enjoy their delicious food.

“All in all, this was a very humbling and enlightening experience,” he added. “Running into someone I knew personally at one of the shelter organizations made me realize that there are many hidden issues that people are experiencing and need support. I am proud that the MREA Shelter Foundation strives to help those who need it most.”

One of the 12 recipients worth highlighting this year is Ndinawemaaganag Endaawaad. It is an Indigenous organization, located in the North End of Winnipeg, which provides a continuum of integrated programs and services to youth 11 to 24 years of age, who may experience feelings of detachment from their family, school or community.

The shelter foundation provided a grant this year of $7,000 to help the group repair their youth resource centre and purchase a much-needed commercial dishwasher, which is necessary for a heavily-utilized kitchen that feeds an average of 50 youth a day.