While it has been several months since the terrible earthquake and tsunami struck the island nation of Japan, the images of lives being devastated in an instant are hard to forget.
That’s why our good friends at the Asian Real Estate Association of America and their foundation, the AREEA Education Foundation, created the Japan Relief Fund. It is organizing the real estate community’s relief efforts for the victims of the horrific tragedy. Last Friday, I was honored to attend the Japan Relief Fund event at the Japanese-American Museum in Los Angeles.
Unfortunately, it seems that fate has dealt 2011 a difficult hand. The earthquake and tsunami that hit Japan has been followed by devastating tornadoes and uncontrollable flooding here in the United States. With one disaster seemingly following another it has stretched our efforts to respond in a timely manner.
But, this does not diminish in any way our commitment and dedication to helping the victims of the horrific tragedy.
If anything, this string of natural disasters has reawakened the bonds of our common humanity. The suffering and pain is being met with boundless gestures offering hope and renewal.
That is why I was so proud to represent that of the National Association of REALTORS®, and in particular those members who have generously donated to the REALTORS® Relief Foundation in presenting a $50,000 donation to the Japan Relief Fund.
For 10 years now, the REALTORS® Relief Foundation has been a lifeline of support for the victims of several natural disasters including the tsunami in 2004 and Hurricane Katrina in 2005. It has raised more than $20 million for victims of disasters.
While our donation showed REALTORS® at our very best, it was more impressive to see that every level our organization is engaged. One of our local boards, the Arcadia Association of REALTORS® , hosted a Poker Night, the California Association of REALTORS® stepped up to the plate and contributed generously, and now the National Association of REALTORS® proudly offered our hand.
Time and again during moments of great need, REALTORS® can be counted on. Our Good Neighbor Awards highlight our strong commitment to helping our communities while our donations from the REALTORS® Relief Foundation help innocent victims rebuild their lives. I am humbled to be a member of an organization with the passion and commitment to help our neighbors, whether they are just down the street or across the globe. — Gary Thomas, 2011 NAR First Vice President