WASHINGTON (June 28, 2021) – The REALTORS® Relief Foundation was created in the immediate aftermath of September 11, 2001, with the belief that no American should be left homeless because of a terrorist attack or natural disaster. Realtors® raised $8.4 million within 100 days of the attacks, and in the years since have raised and disbursed tens of millions in additional funds to the victims of hurricanes, floods, wildfires and other disasters. As the nation marks two decades since 9/11, RRF is commemorating its 20th anniversary by launching Hope Rising, a campaign designed to ensure the Foundation can respond to disasters as quickly and effectively as possible.
"Today, almost 20 years after its founding, the REALTORS® Relief Foundation continues to respond to the nation's biggest disasters, ensuring Americans have a roof over their heads and a place they can call home even in the worst of times," said NAR President Charlie Oppler, a Realtor® from Franklin Lakes, N.J., and the CEO of Prominent Properties Sotheby's International. "RRF embodies a history of giving back and a future of paying it forward, and as it is called upon with increasing frequency to respond to natural disasters, the role it plays becomes even more critical."
With major natural disasters in the U.S. becoming more common, RRF has been forced to intensify its focus on sustainability for the years ahead, particularly as it is currently distributing funds almost as quickly as they are received. Hope Rising is part of a deliberate effort to better position RRF for the next 20 years, formally shifting its fundraising efforts to a more proactive model.
When a major disaster occurs, RRF mobilizes its outreach efforts and turns to NAR members and other constituents for support. New goals set as part of Hope Rising will help maximize the impact the Foundation can have on communities and people in need by ensuring it has the resources it needs to respond to any disaster at a moment's notice.
"As we commemorate the RRF's 20th anniversary, we have a bold vision to 'never say no' to a victim in need," said RRF President Michael Ford, who noted the Foundation has already raised more than $4 million of its $8.5 million campaign goal. "The goal of our 20th Anniversary Campaign is to ensure that we are able to immediately respond and protect people in a time of need, and I'm confident that we'll be successful."
Realtor.com®, which is a Founders Club-level supporter of the Foundation's 20th Anniversary Campaign, was RRF's first corporate investor in the real estate industry. "At realtor.com®, home means everything,” its CMO Mickey Neuberger said. “We express that value in our site experience through tools like Flood FactorTM that help people better assess flood risks to neighborhoods and homes, and by supporting programs like the REALTORS® Relief Foundation, which sends hope and help to those in need during times of crisis. Recent crises like the winter storm in Texas and flooding in Tennessee underscore the need to help communities and homeowners get back on their feet after these life-changing events, and we are proud to stand with NAR, its members and the REALTORS® Relief Foundation as part of our ongoing commitment to bringing people home."
With 100% of its administrative costs covered by NAR, every dollar donated to RRF goes directly to disaster relief efforts. To date, funds have been used in response to some 105 events across 40 U.S. states and territories, helping 17,000 families with housing-related financial assistance.
The National Association of Realtors® is America's largest trade association, representing more than 1.4 million members involved in all aspects of the residential and commercial real estate industries.
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