Florida Realtors Disaster Relief Fund (DRF) is a Realtors-helping-Realtors charity. Realtors and others donate throughout the year, and the fund’s trustees distribute money to Realtors and members of the Realtor family, such as association employees, who apply and qualify after a disaster.
The DRF is a tax-exempt charitable organization under section 501(c)(3) of the Internal Revenue Code, and donations are tax deductible to the full extent allowed by law. Realtor volunteers make up the oversight board, and 100 percent of donations go to help people harmed by a disaster.
Mike Hughes, chairman of the DRF and vice president of Downing Frye Realty Inc. in Southwest Florida, says the charity’s mission statement is “right on the money” – to “raise and distribute funds for members of the Realtor family who have experienced substantial damage or loss to their residence or office due to a disaster.”
After Hurricane Irma passed through Florida in 2017, the DRF accepted applications for help and quickly cut checks for members of the Realtor family who qualified for a total of $321,000 in post-Irma aid.
In earlier disaster years – 2004, 2005 and 2006 combined – the DRF distributed a total of $1.4 million to Realtor family members in Florida who needed help following a disaster.
“We’ve helped countless families,” says Hughes. “It’s really been a godsend to many.”
Donate to DRF and “dress down”
Donations tend to flow into the DRF after a disaster hits Florida, but in some cases, that’s too late. The DRF prides itself on getting money to at-risk members quickly following a disaster so they can tend to their immediate needs.
To do that, they’re encouraging Florida Realtors members attending the 2018 Convention & Trade Expo – and even those who are not – to give generously and bolster the DRF’s finances now.
“If they donate to the DRF – any amount – they can dress casually on Thursday, Aug. 9, at the convention,” says Hughes, who hopes it becomes an annual event. “Realtors can go to our kiosk (near the Internet Café) at the convention, make a donation and dress casual on Thursday. A lot of people don’t like to wear suits when it’s this hot, so make any kind of contribution to our DRF fund, and no one will look at you funny.”
Realtors – and anyone else – can also donate online before the convention and pick up a DRF “dress down” sticker upon arrival. For more information about the DRF and to give online, visit Florida Realtors website.
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