Sotheby’s International Realty Canada is donating $50,000 to HART, a not-for-profit organization focused on raising awareness of sex trafficking in Canada and providing care to survivors, and Jack.org, “Canada’s only charity training and empowering young Canadians to revolutionize mental health,” says the company in a news release.

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Each organization will receive a $25,000 donation for their efforts in supporting the mental and physical well-being of vulnerable Canadians. The HART donation marks the start of a new charitable partnership with the organization, Sotheby’s says. To date, the company has also raised more than $68,000 for Jack.org

Don Kottick, president and CEO of Sotheby’s International Realty Canada, says, “This holiday season, in a year where so many in our community have experienced such tremendous challenges, many within our organization expressed a strong desire to exemplify the holiday spirit by giving back to these two important organizations, in many cases, prioritizing charitable giving over the idea of more traditional company holiday celebrations. It is a privilege to reflect our team’s generous spirit through our donations to HART and Jack.org.”

Kottick says the company’s philanthropic efforts have always focused on raising funds and awareness for urgent and timely causes that touch the lives of Canadians, and the company continues to focus on pressing issues exacerbated by COVID-19. Recognizing the worsening conditions in mental health and human trafficking brought on by the ongoing pandemic, Sotheby’s is partnering up with HART, its second not-for-profit partner alongside Jack.org.

“At HART, we focus on the physical and mental health needs of survivors by providing care and counselling. Preventatively, we provide research funding for the development of targeted healthcare responses and effectively advocate for more stringent laws and policies so that our communities are safer for vulnerable Canadians,” says Kelly Grier-Nadal, who founded HART in 2017.

Jack.org says suicide is the leading health-related cause of death for young people in Canada and one in seven young people in Canada report having suicidal thoughts. HART reports that human trafficking has become second only to drug/gun trafficking in terms of size of illegal enterprise worldwide and in Canada, a majority of victims are from local communities and primarily aged 11-25.

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