100 Brokers Who Care brings philanthropic support to Canadians in need

Mortgage professionals team up for quarterly financial donations to struggling households and fundraising causes

100 Brokers Who Care brings philanthropic support to Canadians in need

Five years ago, Sabeena Bubber learned that a friend was experiencing a life-altering tragedy after her ex-husband and their daughter drowned during a weekend camping trip. Bubber’s response was to assist her friend meet unexpected financial problems that she was not prepared to meet.

“I started a GoFundMe page to help her with some of her funeral expenses and to cover her rent,” explained Bubber, a senior mortgage consultant at Xeva Mortgage. “She was just wondering how she was going to manage her expenses.”

Within three weeks, Bubber raised $35,000 for the GoFundMe page. But she was surprised to discover that “$7,000 came from the mortgage broker community and people across Canada that I didn't know but had seen my post and decided to help out. That was a huge impact for me to see that somebody that I care about was given that kind of money from people that didn't know her. And I thought, ‘Okay, if I can make that impact for somebody that I care about, maybe I should take this one step further.’”

Three years later, Bubber teamed with like-minded members of her profession to launch 100 Brokers Who Care, a nonprofit that unites Canada’s mortgage broker community into a force of philanthropic altruism. And while the group has outgrown its name – Bubber cited 150 broker members – it has retained the focus of asking each member to donate $100 per quarter, with the funds channeled into quarterly financial gifts of $10,000 to a household or a cause in need of monetary assistance.

Each quarter, the group’s board of directors reviews nominations for assistance. Bubber stated they receive “anywhere from three to 15 nominations per voting period, and then the board will narrow it down to a reasonable number that would be on the final vote that gets sent out to the entire group. All 150 would get a list of everybody that's eligible to receive the funds and there is a voting system where they vote on their first choice.”

When 100 Brokers Who Care raises more funds than expected, it allocates additional financial gifts to other households.

“We'll go to the first family with the $10,000 maximum donation and then, whatever surplus we have, we'll go to the second,” she added. “And we're also looking at adding a third family component.”

For the first quarter of this year, 100 Brokers Who Care provided a $10,000 gift to Saving Savanna, a fundraiser on behalf of a 22-month-old girl fighting Stage 4 Neuroblastoma cancer, and $2,000 to Todd Pachauer, a Vancouver resident raising three young children following the death of his wife from complications related to ALS.

Bubber’s work on behalf of 100 Brokers Who Care has been praised across the industry, culminating last year in a Canadian Mortgage Award; she is nominated again for this year’s awards.

“It's extremely humbling to get an award for something that is just a dream, if that makes sense,” she stated. “It is like a dream come true to make a difference in the lives of others and to be recognized for it.”

Looking forward, Bubber is hopeful to encourage corporate sponsorship for 100 Brokers Who Care, with matching corporate funding to the group’s fundraising efforts, and is seeking to create regional chapters in Eastern and Western Canada that will focus on households within the respective regions. She is also concentrating on making general public aware that mortgage professionals have more on their minds than real estate.

“It doesn't matter which firm you're with, whether you're a mortgage broker, a lender, working for a lender, anything along those lines,” she said. “It’s all of us coming together as a community and showing people in our own communities how much mortgage brokers actually do care, and that we want to make a difference.”