Showing their commitment to helping people in the nation’s most vulnerable communities, REALTORS® on Friday raised nearly $350,000 in just three hours to support disaster victims.
National Association of REALTORS® President Charlie Oppler hosted a virtual telethon to commemorate the 20th anniversary of the REALTORS® Relief Foundation, which provides housing-related assistance to victims of disasters such as wildfires, hurricanes, and tornadoes. The telethon, part of RRF’s Hope Rising campaign to raise $8.5 million this year, also was held on the eve of the 20th anniversary of the 9/11 terrorist attacks in New York—the impetus for RRF’s launch in 2001.
The telethon drew 451 donations from individuals and organizations, with large donations averaging $17,371 and small ones averaging $97. Including the proceeds from the telethon, RRF has raised about $7.3 million so far and reached 86% of its goal for Hope Rising. REALTORS® can make a donation to RRF to help boost the campaign, which runs through November.
Oppler said the dark day of Sept. 11, 2001, “made us feel something we’d never felt before: that we weren’t safe in our own country—in our own homes. As REALTORS®, we know how important the idea of home is. And we realized that if we can come together, we can provide hope, we can provide funding, and we can provide relief.”
Since its inception, RRF has helped nearly 18,000 people across 38 states and territories and provided $33 million in emergency funding during more than 100 disasters in the U.S., including Hurricane Ida earlier this month, Oppler noted. The Hope Rising campaign aims to best RRF’s fundraising amount of $8.4 million in its inaugural year. “Your dedication to your communities and your neighbors is just so inspiring,” Oppler told donors during the telethon. “Your trust in us empowers us. We can see that hope is rising, and we want you to know how much we appreciate you rising with us.”