Katie Taylor, development manager, Women and Childrens Shelter of Barrie, left, receives a cheque from Jillian Lynch, 2022 BDAR president elect.
Katie Taylor, development manager, Women and Childrens Shelter of Barrie, left, receives a cheque from Jillian Lynch, 2022 BDAR president elect.

The Barrie & District Association of Realtors recently launched a new virtual fundraiser, A Night of Shelter, “with a goal to engage Realtors and the greater community to be a part of building hope and transforming lives,” says the association.

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The first annual fundraiser in November raised funds in support of South Simcoe Youth Haven, Women & Children’s Shelter of Barrie and The Busby Centre.

The average night of shelter in the Barrie region costs approximately $30. BDAR’s initial goal was to raise 365 nights for a total of $11,000. After receiving an overwhelming response from members and the community, the goal was quickly surpassed, and the association made the decision to stretch it to 730 nights for a total of nearly $22,000.

“We have more than doubled our original goal and raised over $25,000 and are able to provide 834 nights of shelter,” says Chantal Godard, 2021 BDAR president.

BDAR has been a long-time contributor to local shelter-based organizations through various initiatives. COVID-19 continues to put pressure on an already stretched shelter system.

The Night of Shelter fundraiser was the final initiative of BDAR’s annual contribution to shelter-based organizations.

This year, working through the Realtors Care Foundation, BDAR distributed an emergency grant fund of $7,700 to Youth Haven, United Way Simcoe Muskoka and Women & Children’s Shelter of Barrie, and an annual donation of $13,000 shared between The Busby Centre and Habitat for Humanity Huronia.

“We are looking forward to running this fundraiser annually to encourage a brighter future for those seeking shelter and to support the long-term programs of local organizations recognized and respected for good works across Simcoe County,” Godard says.

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