In an effort to help those who have endured unimaginable loss in the wake of Hurricanes Harvey and Irma, the Realtors Association of Maui (RAM) recently donated two of its contingency funds to the National Association of Realtors’ (NAR) Realtors Relief Foundation, a charitable foundation dedicated to providing housing-related assistance to victims of disasters.
In one of her final acts as RAM’s 2016-17 president, Marilyn Griffin, now RAM’s immediate past president, decided to donate RAM’s presidential contingency fund—a reserve of $2,000 set aside every year to cover unforeseen expenses, at the president’s discretion—to NAR’s Realtors Relief Foundation. Over the course of her presidency, Griffin never saw a reason to tap into the fund—but she says that changed when the tragedy began to unfold in Texas. “What I was seeing on the news was absolutely heartbreaking,” she said. “There was no question in my mind that I should use the contingency fund to help the victims of Hurricane Harvey.”
A week later, as Hurricane Irma bore down on Florida, Griffin and the members of RAM’s executive committee voted unanimously to use the committee’s own contingency fund of $3,000 to increase the donation amount to $5,000. “I’m so proud we decided to do that,” Griffin said. “We wanted to put RAM’s name and our hearts on that check and send it to NAR.”
NAR launched the Realtors Relief Foundation as the Realtors Relief Fund in 2001, within hours of the devastating Sept. 11, 2001, terrorist attacks—raising more than $8.4 million to provide assistance so that surviving family members could stay in their homes. Since then, more than $25 million has been raised for victims of disasters, including wildfires, tornadoes, floods and hurricanes. Today, the Realtors Relief Foundation exists as a 501(c)(3) organization established to provide housing-related assistance to victims of disasters and for other charitable purposes.
Griffin encourages others to donate to any Hurricane Harvey, Irma or Maria relief effort in the coming weeks and months. “The storms may have passed, but people still need our help,” she said. NAR’s Realtors Relief Foundation welcomes contributions—not only in times of disaster, but at any time throughout the year—and 100 percent of all funds collected go to disaster relief causes. To learn more about NAR’s Realtors Relief Foundation, visit www.nar.realtor.