Leading network Harcourts Group Australia has pledged $21,566 to the Australian Red Cross Farmer Drought Appeal programs, and coordinating through its Harcourts Foundation, the group has ensured that 100 per cent of the money goes directly to the charitable effort.
Harcourts Group Australia CEO Marcus Williams said that the initiative fits perfectly into the foundation’s sweet spot.
“Our foundation was created for such a purpose, caring for the community, and it is an honour to be able to provide this grant,” Mr Williams said.
“When the call went out nationally to come to the assistance of our country’s farmers, our network of Harcourts franchise offices came together to pledge. With large parts of Australia experiencing severe drought, the individuals and families in the affected communities need everyone’s help.”
Mr Williams said that the contribution has been directed to a Red Cross Drought Community Support program and will be delivered over two years. It will work to address some of the longer-term impacts of a drawn-out crisis like this drought.
He said that all donations are being directed to farmers and impacted communities in the form of short-term financial relief assistance.
Mr Williams said that the Australian Red Cross will commit 100 per cent of every dollar donated to help farming families and communities.
“With a franchise network of over 400 offices, Harcourts franchise owners in each state nominate and support the organisations that impact the community.
“Additionally, Harcourts corporate team members who salary sacrifice to the foundation are given the chance to nominate a specific charity for a grant as part of an initiative called ‘corporate choice grants’, while the Landmark Harcourts network also designates grant recipients.”
Earlier this month, Landmark donated $100,000 to help affected farmers and pledged up to $50,000 more to match employee donations.
Donations will go to Buy a Bale, the relief organisation created in 2013 to help Aussie farmers cope with drought by providing them with hay to feed their livestock and gift cards to help put food on the table.
Mr Williams said that there are “terrific” examples locally of Harcourts team members helping out where they can.
“Matt Hunt of Harcourts Clayfield, in Brisbane, Queensland, has pledged $500 for every real estate sale listing he has between now and the end of the year. Matt has close ties with rural Queensland and he is quite passionate about helping his mates in the region. He is a shining example of our key Harcourts values, ‘People First’ and ‘Doing the Right Thing’.”
Harcourts Queensland CEO Brendan Whipps echoed Mr Williams’ support of Matt Hunt.
“Our farmers are doing it real tough, and I know how proud some of these families can be from my own time growing up on a grazing property in Northern NSW.
“It’s nice to represent all of our beautiful Harcourts Queensland people and give a little back to our farming communities, and [I] hope that our farmers know that we are thinking of them always and are grateful for the critical role they play in all of our lives.”
Since The Harcourts Foundation’s first donation in 2008, over $5 million has been raised. That translates to over 700 charities supported and over 900 grants made through Harcourts offices in New Zealand, Australia, South Africa and the USA.