REALTORS® Help Save Brown Bag Lunch Program in Smiths Falls

Late last year, a group of REALTORS® in Smiths Falls, Ontario, rallied together to save a local bagged lunch program that has been serving the increased needs of their community since the beginning of the COVID-19 pandemic.

Linda Mckenna, a REALTOR® with Royal LePage Advantage Real Estate Ltd., had driven by the long line-ups for the Brown Bags and Blessings Community Lunches program at Trinity United Church many times throughout the year. In mid-December 2020, she was shocked to learn that the in-demand program would soon come to an end due to a lack of funding.

It was a local news article that brought this sad reality to her attention. “It really spoke to me,” she said. Mckenna wanted to do something but felt the problem was too big for her to solve on her own. She decided to reach out to all her fellow REALTORS® in town by email. She explained the situation and suggested they join forces to give the program a lifeline.

Within minutes, Mckenna started to receive positive responses in her inbox and donations started rolling in. Within days, more than 15 REALTORS®—with representation from every brokerage in town—had stepped up to contribute to the cause and had raised a total of $11,500. Thanks to these funds in conjunction with a separate private donation of $5,000, Trinity United Church now has enough money to keep the lunch program going until the end of May 2021.

On December 29, 2020, Linda Mckenna, Kevin Grimes of RE/MAX Affiliates Realty Ltd. and Wendy Hillier of Century 21 Explorer Realty Inc. were thrilled to present the group’s donation to program coordinator Betty Lou Kempt and fellow volunteers on behalf of all those who contributed.

Mckenna is proud of how Smiths Falls REALTORS® came together to make an impact. “It just felt so good,” she shared. “This is where we work. This is where we live. This is our community. We need to give back when there is a need.”

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