For the fourth consecutive year, Re/Max agent Paul Martin has donated $500 from every home sale in Woolwich Township to a charity or local community group, and this year’s recipients are Park Manor Senior Public School and the family violence prevention program offered by Woolwich Community Services.
Martin is donating $8,500 to each group, a reflection of the 34 homes he has sold thus far in 2011, and will give more should he close any more deals between now and the end of December.
“It’s my way of giving back to the community for allowing me to help people sell their house or find them a house,” said Martin of the donations.
“You can’t take it with you,” he added with a chuckle.
The large influx of cash, however, is no laughing matter and both groups said they will make wise use of the funds.
“Like many of our programs the family violence prevention program tends to run with a little bit of a deficit and we don’t get funding from the ministry for preventative work,” said Kelly Christie, director of community support at WCS.
She also noted that the donation coincides well with the fact that November is recognized as family violence prevention month.
“This money in particular will go to support the women’s groups that we support.”
This year marks the 20th anniversary of the program, and every year it helps about 100 women who are struggling with violence in their lives. It includes a four-stage women’s group that meets on a weekly basis to discuss what control and violence look like, and it takes about a year and a half for women to complete the course.
At the end of the program the women participate in an intensive weekend retreat that is the equivalent of about six months of counselling, Christie added, and the money is crucial to help keep that program running.
At Park Manor school, the principal said that he doesn’t have any firm ideas of what he plans to do with the money, and that he must discuss it with his staff and school council.
“If you think of our school goal of creating or developing global critical thinkers collaborating to change the world among our students, what things can we purchase to help make that happen?” remarked James Bond.
“Whether it’s more technology, or classroom resources, we have to decide.”
Bond also knows that the money not only helps the school, but it will indirectly help the entire region by producing better educated and more community-minded students.
“There are so many things that our school community does to support the Elmira community, and this will help support the school and allow us to do more of those things.
“It’s a great way for him to give back to the community, and a great way for us to give back as well.”
This most recent donation by Martin takes his four-year total past the $70,000 mark. He donated $10,000 to the Dan Snyder Memorial Arena in 2008, $8,500 to both John Mahood and Riverside public schools in 2009, $27,000 to KidsAbility in 2010, and another $17,000 this year for a grand total of $71,000.