One hundred and twenty Royal LePage professionals recently journeyed to Morocco from communities across Canada to participate in the Sahara Desert Challenge for Shelter.
Over five days, they hiked more than 100 km across hard and rocky terrain, supporting each other along the way. They climbed sand dunes hundreds of metres high and withstood hours of walking in blistering heat. At night, the temperatures dipped to near freezing while they slept restlessly in their tents, their bodies aching from the effort. The physical and emotional strain put on the trekkers was immense, but it couldn’t compare to what women and children escaping domestic violence experience – the very women and children who were the driving force behind this adventure.
To participate in the Sahara Desert Challenge for Shelter, each trekker committed to raise at least $5,000 for the Royal LePage Shelter Foundation and cover their own travel and trekking expenses. To the amazement of Foundation staff, this outstanding group of fundraisers blew past their fundraising goal, ultimately raising more than $1,136,000! Eighty per cent of the funds raised were directed to emergency women’s shelters and transition houses across Canada. The remaining twenty percent will fund prevention and education programs aimed at breaking the cycle of family violence.
“The Sahara Desert Challenge for Shelter is an outstanding example of how Royal LePage professionals come together to support their local communities,” says Shanan Spencer-Brown, Executive Director, Royal LePage Shelter Foundation. “The trekkers put in considerable time and effort to fundraise, prepare by hiking long distances at home, and then travel across the world to take part in the Challenge. Across Canada, many other Royal LePagers made donations to support the cause. It was truly a team effort.”
In total, the three Challenge for Shelter treks in support of the Royal LePage Shelter Foundation ‒ Machu Picchu, Iceland and Sahara Desert – have raised $2.3 million. To view a collection of photos from the most recent adventure, please visit rlp.ca/saharaforshelter.