The Royal LePage Shelter Foundation raised $3.3 million last year through the contributions of thousands of Royal LePage agents and supporters. Since inception, the foundation has raised $38 million in support of women’s shelters and domestic violence prevention programs across Canada. It is the largest public foundation in the country dedicated exclusively to this cause. Royal LePage is the only Canadian real estate company with its own branded charity.
“Thousands of the Royal LePage faithful, their families, their clients and their friends worked together during this challenging pandemic year to support women and children in desperate need of safe shelter,” says Phil Soper, president and CEO, Royal LePage. Soper was among the 60 Royal LePage members who participated in the 2021 Challenge for Shelter, held this year over multiple days, climbing British Columbia’s Purcell Mountains. The bi-annual fundraiser has raised $3 million to date.
Soper adds, “Our foundation is the largest of its kind in Canada dedicated to eradicating violence in our communities and supporting the women and children seeking safe shelter and a life free of abuse. Together with hundreds of local shelter partners, the Canadian Women’s Foundation, Women’s Shelters Canada, the Assaulted Women’s Helpline, TD Bank, Sagen and other critically important organizations, we are working to make home a safer place for everyone.”
Violence against women and girls remains largely unreported due to the impunity, silence, stigma and shame surrounding it, says UN Women. Canadians agree the issue is serious. A recent Environics Institute poll found that 86 per cent of women and 80 per cent of men believe violence against women to be the most serious issue affecting women today. In a time of greater isolation, due to COVID, there have been widespread reports of an increase in intimate partner and other forms of violence, as well as unprecedented barriers for those seeking help, says Royal LePage in a news release.
“Royal LePage offices across Canada partner with local women’s shelters to provide much-needed financial and in-kind support,” says Lisa Gibbs, executive director of the foundation. Funds raised by Royal LePage brokerage offices are raised locally and remain in their communities.”
Royal LePage pays all administration costs of the foundation so that 100 per cent of funds raised go directly towards the cause.
“I know a number of Royal LePage agents who say that the Royal LePage Shelter Foundation is a factor for joining the brand and a point of pride, and I definitely include myself within that group,” says Lisa Suarez, an agent with Royal LePage Lifestyles Realty in Lacombe, Alta. She was recently presented with the Royal LePage Shelter Foundation Individual of the Year – Alberta award for 2021 in recognition of her fundraising and passion for promoting the foundation.