Andrea and her real estate team started Burlington Cares in April 2020 to help feed the local community.
This is Andrea’s Real Heart story.
Real Heart is about celebrating the many ways in which Ontario REALTORS® go above and beyond to give back to their communities. By telling REALTOR® stories, we aim to inspire others to do the same.
From founding the Henry Alexander House, a safe space for vulnerable community members, to creating L.E.O.N., a program that helps youth find gainful employment in the trades, Michelle, with the help of her team, has been a transformative leader in her community.
This is Michelle’s Real Heart story.
REALTOR® Kate McGinnis is a long-time volunteer at Brantford's The Soup for the Soul Program. She dedicates half a day every week to help provide a nutritionally-balanced, hot meal to approximately 200 people, five times a week. Not only does she donate her time, but she also donates a portion of her real estate transactions to support the initiative. Additionally, Kate helped organize St. Andrew's Church's Shine Gala, which has helped raise over $800,000 for the church. Outside of this, Kate continues to support numerous other local charities in her community of Brantford, including Handbags for Hospice and local youth sports teams.
From organizing fundraising events to collecting food for the Ottawa Food Bank, REALTOR® Nancy Allen is a dedicated volunteer in her community. Nancy organizes annual fundraising events for the Ottawa Food Bank, has hosted a fundraiser for first responders during COVID-19, helps to fundraise and raise awareness for cystic fibrosis through charity walks, and has spent the last 10 years raising funds for the Children's Hospital of Eastern Ontario (CHEO). Through her efforts, Nancy has inspired her friends and colleagues to take action in bettering their communities.
Ever since he started in real estate, REALTOR® Chip Barkel made a commitment to donate to charitable organizations in the communities he did business in. He has donated to community gardens, local churches, women’s shelters, hospitals, and the AIDS Committee of Durham, among others. In 2020, he decided to focus his efforts on donating bicycles to the Toronto Firefighters' Toy Drive – a cause that’s close to home for him, as both his father and grandfather were volunteer firefighters. Last year, he donated 25 bicycles and is hoping to grow this number in 2022 with additional donations to the York Region Police's Holiday Heros Toy Drive.
REALTOR® and author Debbie Payne decided to begin journaling at 50. This hobby quickly took off and prompted her first book, "No Thanks, I'm Full" – a memoir sharing her experience being born into generational trauma, how and why she broke the cycle, and the life lessons she learned along the way. Debbie decided to donate 50 percent of the book's proceeds to the Canadian Mental Health Association, in memory of her sister, Gale, who suffered with mental health issues most of her life. Her hope is that we keep the conversation going surrounding mental health to help each other in whatever ways we can.
During the pandemic, REALTOR® Ashanti Maingot felt compelled to give back to her childhood community of Parkdale, Toronto. She was drawn to supporting 'Sistering,' a local shelter that is a multi-service agency for at-risk women and trans people in Toronto. Ashanti used social media to inspire others to join in on the donation efforts, and was thrilled to see there was an abundance of people who wanted to support the cause.
REALTOR® Callum Wallace is flying around the world to support Home Suite Hope, an Oakville charity that helps single parents overcome financial hardship. In May 2023, Callum will set out to become the fourth Canadian in history to solo-circumnavigate the world in a small, single-engine aircraft. His goal is to raise $1,000,000, which will fund an affordable housing campaign, launching alongside Flight for Hope in the summer of 2022.
Janice Macaulay has demonstrated excellence in her community of Brantford, both through her work as a REALTOR® and through her volunteerism. She currently sits on the Board of Directors for Crime Stoppers in Brantford, is a member of the Kiwanis Club, and spends her free time volunteering at the Steadman Hospice/Hankinson House, where she is passionate about cooking for the residents. Janice has also been involved with three Habitat for Humanity builds and was a board member for the Glenhyrst Art Gallery.
Since moving to Oshawa two years ago, REALTOR® Mohamed Karatella has been helping feed the members of his community. Every Tuesday, he works with Durham Dignity for the Homeless to prepare approximately 70 sandwiches to be handed out to those in need. In addition to this, Mohamed is also the Vice Chair for the Durham District School Board's Ignite Learning Foundation, which is an organization that aims to alleviate poverty for students.
For the last eight years, REALTOR® Dori Mueller has been volunteering in her local community of Clair Hills. She started as a school council member, then created a community group Facebook page, which has spurred volunteer activity from members across the community. From holiday cards for the Clair Hill Retirement Residence, to business referrals, Dori's initiative has brought her community together and helped support the residents of Clair Hills.
From personal donations to the University of Ottawa Heart Institute (UOHI), to co-hosting a golf fundraiser that raised $50,000, to serving on the board for Project North (an organization that donated over $1 million in hockey equipment to communities in Northern Canada), REALTOR® Colin Zappia is a dedicated volunteer in his community. Most recently, he combined his passions and donated 20 cents per save for every game in the OHL in honour of Heart Month in February to UOHI. In the past, Colin was also part of 'Leaders at Heart,' which raised over $1.5 million for UOHI.
Every February for the last six years, the Alex Irish & Associates team has run their Kindness Tour, a month-long initiative where the team donates to local charitable organizations in Oakville, Burlington, Mississauga, Hamilton, and beyond. Over the last six years, they have supported over 150 charities and impacted thousands of lives.
REALTORS® Jennifer and Terry Ames started the Terry Ames Care Fund at the Northern Cancer Foundation to help Sudbury families who need financial help so they can focus on beating cancer. The fund has raised over $575,000 to date.
REALTOR® Lidia Tagliabracci has donated more than $33,100 to charities of her clients’ choice since May of 2020. Lidia has felt invigorated by being able to help so many charities and continues to promote her donation goal to donate over $70,000 by the end of 2021.
REALTOR® Sandi Halpern volunteers as a gallery interpreter at the Royal Ontario Museum.
REALTOR® Daniela Rodrigues, along with her business partner Sue Driver, raised $15,300 to support the Denise House, an organization committed to supporting women and children impacted by violence. The REALTOR® duo are invigorated to help the organization and continue spreading awareness about this important cause.
For the last nine years, REALTOR® Anne Sheppard has volunteered her time to give back to her community. She has worked with Meals on Wheels in Brant County, cooking and delivering food to those in need. For Anne, it's heartwarming to be able to support her community.
The REALTOR® team at Williams & Follows saw a need during the pandemic to connect with the people in their community and to promote local businesses and the arts. Using Facebook, they created a community group that has grown to over 9,000 members. The group is a safe space for people to connect, engage in positive discussion and learn about the businesses and artists in their community.
REALTOR® Eric McCartney has gone above and beyond during the pandemic to help his community. Eric has done everything from assisting his neighbours, to providing help at vaccination clinics, to purchasing commemorative benches in memory of the people we lost to COVID-19 and the dedicated healthcare workers who held their hands. Eric's contributions have supported his community in a time of need, and he was named Aurora's 2021 Citizen of the Year as a result.
REALTOR® Sean O'Hearn has seen the benefits first-hand of belonging to the Sea Cadets, a free youth-based program for 12 to 18 year olds who learn to sail, work as a team, work in the community, travel and meet new friends. That's why Sean is a member of The Navy League of Canada, the organization that sponsors the Sea Cadets program. Sean is excited to help children discover the joys of sport and team work.
REALTOR® Amber Leis wanted to help promote the local businesses in her community during the pandemic. Amber reached out to 19 local businesses and throughout the month, raffled 19 prizes to her community through social media. The initiative brought her community closer and helped bring awareness of the struggles faced by businesses during the pandemic.
REALTOR® Dominique McIntyre wanted to give back to her community while honouring her grandmother who recently passed away in a nursing home during the pandemic. She knew how isolating and upsetting it can be for residents of long-term care homes during this time. In collaboration with Dahlia May Farms, she sponsored a flower delivery initiative to have a bouquet of flowers delivered to every resident of Crown Ridge long-term care home in Trenton.
REALTOR® Wanda Latuszak understood the logistics and safety issues facing seniors who needed groceries during the pandemic. Wanda took the initiative to volunteer and do regular grocery pick-ups for seniors in her community.
Suzanne Othmer and Royal LePage Best Choice Realty rallied together to purchase a vaccine fridge for their local nursing home. The fridge has helped the healthcare staff safely store and handle its vital vaccine supply during the pandemic.
REALTOR® Alexandra Cote is the Vice-Chair of Parkdale Community Food Bank in Toronto. Alexandra is proud of the work the organization has done during the pandemic to ensure the community has had access to food.
Check back for more inspiring stories coming soon and share yours with us today!