KCR: ‘I want to give back’

KCR Community Resources shares stories of its volunteers in a weekly column

Darryl Reuter is a well-known realtor and community supporter who has volunteered his time, energy and skills to raise thousands of dollars for organizations over the years, including KCR Community Resources’ Sponsor-a-Family program.

“I’ve been involved since my early 20s,” says Darryl. “It all started with a friend who had been diagnosed with ALS. A few of us got together to put on a charity event to help his family retrofit their house to accommodate his needs. It was a big success and I learned that I had a skill set where I can put things together like this and so I have continued to do that.”

“It has to be something I believe in,” stresses Darryl who has initiated fundraisers for a wide array of groups and is one of the founders of the 100 Heroes who Give a Damn. “I have a knack for getting people together and I joke around a bit and like to have fun, and so I am usually game for it when someone sets me up for a funny situation.”

When the pandemic first started in 2020, Darryl decided to do something special for the KGH Foundation and was talking with a fellow realtor who said they would be willing to put money towards the fundraiser if Darryl would shave his pandemic beard. “Another realtor piped up and said they would contribute if I shaved only half my beard,” laughs Darryl. “Before I knew it, we had $5,000 committed to the cause and I guess I was committed too. I had to wear my half beard for about two-and-a-half weeks and it was funny some of the looks I got!”

The campaign raised over $20,000 for the KGH Foundation and reflects the fact that Darryl puts his heart fully into the initiatives and also that his sense of humour and fun are key to his success. His colleagues and friends love to participate by giving generously because he is fully committed to make the events fun while also making real impact in the community. In another fun challenge, he committed to getting a unicorn tattoo to raise funds for Motionball.

“Our support for Sponsor-a-Family started about four years ago with organizing a Pub Crawl where the proceeds went to the program to help families have a special Christmas,” remembers Darryl. “Last year we couldn’t do the Pub Crawl and so we partnered the Train Station, their suppliers and staff with another good friend and client who donated $5,000 to cover the additional costs and over 300 traditional dinners were delivered to families just in time for Christmas dinner. This year because we couldn’t do the Pub Crawl again, we made a straight donation to KCR to support the Sponsor-a-Family program.”

Darryl credits his grandmother with teaching him about having a community lens.

“Honestly, my grandma gave a lot and I saw the impact she had and so I think I get a bit of that from her,” says Darryl. “I admired her and wanted to do that as well. For my work I am out there all the time and so it gives me an opportunity to connect with lots of people and encourage them to make a difference too.”

“I feel like if you have the skills or time, giving back, is one of the most powerful things you can do,” says Darryl. “Too many people get focused on a single track and lose the opportunity to put a smile on someone’s face. You lose out on the connections you make. So many people I first met doing these kinds of things are now my best friends.

“At the same time though, I know the world takes all kinds of people to make the world spin around, so the ones that can commit their skills and their time and that enjoy doing it, should,” encourages Darryl.

To learn more about KCR’s Sponsor-a-Family program or how to host a fun fundraiser to make local impact, contact Dorothee at dorothee@kcr.ca.

Dorothee Birker is the communications and development coordinator for KCR Community Resources. If you are interested in sharing your volunteer or organizational news, please contact Dorothee at dorothee@kcr.ca.

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