Kares, a Canadian mortgage industry-led initiative to protect at-risk youth and young adults, recently received a $10,000 donation from 100 Brokers.
Kares—which stands for Kids at Risk Embracing Success—shields vulnerable youth and young adults aged 16 to 24 from the perils of transitioning through adolescence to adulthood, like drug addiction, prostitution, homelessness and abuse. While certainly a tall order, the industry-wide initiative has already made an immense difference in many lives, and, according to Meryll Dreyer, it’s just getting started.
“If we get them young, we can change their lives,” said the Verico Dreyer Mortgages COO who’s also one of Kares’ co-founders. “One of the big things is to be able to introduce an opportunity into their lives at a young age to make a change before they get into the cycle of homelessness and dependency. When you reach into a young-adult-at-risk’s life, you recognize that we not only had an opportunity to change a that child’s life, but they become a beacon of hope for their family, their friends, their community. It really branches out. Our impact can be very widely spread. The other thing we hope to accomplish with everyone in the mortgage industry is to give a small amount to Kares each month because it will make a substantial difference.”
The 100 Brokers initiative is a collaboration between industry professionals who donate $100 each quarter, totalling $40,000 annually. The program has grown from 60 brokers last year to 80 this year, and Kares believes attaining 100 within a month is realistic.
“We are so pleased to see the money go to this initiative that will have such a huge impact on youth that really need it,” said Sabeena Bubber, founder of 100 Brokers Who Care. “It’s wonderful to support another industry initiative that shows how much this mortgage industry really wants to make a difference.”
Ben Kawa, national director of sales and strategic partnerships at First National, and founding Kares committee member, extols the impact Kares has already made in young people’s lives.
“Many of us need a helping hand during our respective journeys in all stages of our lives…let’s make it easier for this demographic - where they have so much glorious life to live ahead of them,” said Kawa.
One way in which Kares makes a difference in the lives of vulnerable youth and young adults is by running trades schools.
“One trades school in Ontario is $25,000 a year to run,” said Dreyer. “If 2,000 brokers are giving $25 a month that’s $50,000. Think of how many trade schools can be run across the country.”
To donate, visit Kares.ca.