Greater Detroit was one of the first areas in the country to be hit hard by COVID-19, and the Greater Metropolitan Association of REALTORS® wasted no time in helping its communities cope with the lockdowns and its members confront financial challenges. Through its GMAR Cares outreach program, the association identified items needed by area shelters and placed a donation box outside its office. Members and staff contributed reusable face masks, nonperishable food items, and other essentials, delivering two carloads to Haven Community Center and Lighthouse of Oakland County by the time the drive ended June 18.
Simultaneously, GMAR donated $40,000 to its nonprofit arm, the Greater REALTORS® Foundation (GRF), to establish the REALTORS® Helping REALTORS® Benevolent Fund. Launched in 2018, GRF has helped fund initiatives involving disas- ter recovery, installing accommodations for the disabled, and training service dogs for veterans.
The fund offers immediate, direct financial relief to members affected by the pandemic. Individuals, couples, and families can apply to receive up to $500 to cover expenses such as car payments, groceries, mortgage payments, prescriptions, credit card bills, and more.
“The Greater REALTORS® Foundation had always planned to create a benevolent fund to help strengthen our communities,” says GRF President Karen Greenwood, “but we found that need to be even greater as we find ourselves in the middle of a worldwide pandemic.”
The fund had disbursed $3,800 by the end of July and will continue to accept applications until the $40,000 is exhausted. “We thought we’d be flooded with applications, so it’s a testament to the relief measures already in place from Michigan REALTORS® and our leadership,” says GMAR Marketing & Communications Director Kevin Tshiamala.
For more information on GRF, visit greaterrealtorsfoundation.com.