A great many businesses make their living within their own local community, and real estate is certainly no exception. However, these same companies often have little impact when it comes to giving back to the communities where they do business. But there is one real estate brokerage, Coldwell Banker Terrequity Realty, that stands out from the rest. Terrequity is giving back to the community in a big way through its own charitable foundation, the Terrequity Children’s Foundation (TCF).
Coldwell Banker Terrequity Realty is one of the few real estate brokerages in North America to operate its own charitable foundation. Real estate broker and founder of Terrequity, Andrew Zsolt, believed that many real estate brokerages were not doing enough for the community. He also recognized that his own company and all of its representatives were being pulled in multiple directions by various charities, resulting in very limited impact for their efforts. Also, very few of these charities seemed to focus on one of the most critical segments of our society: our children. Zsolt had a vision to focus his company’s charitable efforts to create a significant and long-term impact in his community.
So, why did the company focus on children?
“To put it simply, children are our future. The importance of the health, welfare, and education of children cannot be understated,” said Zsolt. “By investing today in the development of our children, we’re not only ensuring a happy and healthy childhood for them. We’re ultimately investing in the quality of our future society and its well-being.”
What makes the Terrequity Children's Foundation special is that it's funded through direct contributions from the company's 400 representatives and various fundraising activities. Over 95 per cent of Terrequity’s sales representatives chose to participate by contributing a regular monthly donation to the foundation. Some representatives also contribute an additional amount as a percentage of every transaction completed. Other representatives and the company’s support staff participate in charity fundraising activities initiated by the company.
Throughout the organization, every member of the company has contributed in some way to the success of this worthwhile cause, making a difference in the quality of life of thousands of children. The realtors of Coldwell Banker Terrequity Realty have raised almost $50,000 since the creation of TCF in 2008.
TCF is unique in that the representatives and managers can take part in determining which children's charities receive funding. Representatives may submit a written application for donation to the TCF Board of Directors, which is composed of both Terrequity staff and representatives. Once it is established that the request meets all the foundation’s criteria, the level of direct involvement the representative has in the charity will play an important role in determining the level of support TCF will contribute to that charity.
Terrequity Children’s Foundation has supported various organizations primarily in the greater Toronto and surrounding area that are directly committed to helping children. In 2009 alone, TCF donated $22,500 to initiatives including:
• The Metro-Central YMCA – in support of children who cannot afford to pay the fee for the health, fitness and recreation services, to attend day and overnight camp, and receive counselling.
• Shining Through Centre for Children with Autism – an education centre for children with autism, teaching them valuable skills and tools to live a more independent life and reach their full potential.
• Mentoring Youth in New Directions (MYIND) – a mentorship program for at-risk youths within Toronto schools that strives to develop appropriate strategies to enhance problem solving, decision-making and interpersonal skills.
• Child Haven International - assists children in developing countries in need of food, education, health care, shelter and clothing, and emotional and moral support.
• Child Find Ontario - assists in the search for missing children and youth, and provides assistance and support to families affected by the trauma of a missing child.
For more information or to get involved with Terrequity Children's Foundation, visit http://www.terrequitychildrensfoundation.com or contact TCF at 416-790-4149.