Real estate professionals from across the country have come up with a $2-million donation to the Canadian Museum for Human Rights.
It represents gifts drawn from more than 100,000 individuals, brokerage firms, 110 real estate boards and 12 associations from across Canada and beyond associated with the Canadian Real Estate Association.
The fundraising effort was led in Manitoba and was first launched by a WinnipegRealtors committee in 2008. It was later managed by the national chairman of the Realtor campaign, Sheldon Zamick. Harry DeLeeuw and Manitoba Real Estate Association CEO Brian Collie exerted a strong final push over the past year to reach the finish line.
"The right to own property and live safely in our communities is at the heart of so many human rights conversations among us," said DeLeeuw. "The purpose of the Canadian Museum for Human Rights aligns with our profession's philosophy that we are here to improve the quality of life for all people."
The initial goal was to raise $2 million, and about a year ago DeLeeuw, a past president of CREA and Winnipeg and Manitoba real estate associations, and Collie solicited some of their other past-president colleagues to get the campaign over the top.
"We needed to step it up," said DeLeeuw. "We solicited support from CREA and there were a lot of phone calls and emails and presentations in the last nine to 10 months, and we reached our goal at the annual general assembly in April in Ottawa."
Gail Asper, national campaign chairwoman with Friends of the Canadian Museum for Human Rights, said, "The goal of this museum is to bring together believers in human rights, which is why we're so excited that Realtors came together from not only across Manitoba, but from all corners of Canada and beyond, to show their support for human rights education, dialogue and action."
DeLeeuw said the Realtors Care Foundation raises and donates $35 million annually. "Realtors have always been committed to the communities that they serve," he said. "The subject itself of human rights is an international issue. You just have to look around and see what is happening in the world these days to see how human rights are affected."