In recent years, there have been a number of unprecedented natural disasters, from Hurricane Harvey—the second-most costly hurricane to hit the U.S. mainland since 1900—to the Camp Fire, the deadliest wildfire in California’s history. These disasters uproot families and wreck communities.
At Zillow, we have long emphasized a corporate culture of giving, from our support of closing the opportunity gap in public education to our investments in addressing housing insecurity and homelessness. Recently, we partnered with Giveback Homes to launch a Disaster Relief Fund. Through this fund, we are supporting real estate agents, their families and other members of the real estate community facing losses after natural disasters. We launched the campaign with Giveback Homes with a $10,000 donation and have committed to provide a $1-for-$1 match, up to $20,000.
At Zillow, we believe in investing in the real estate industry—to support the agents and brokers we work alongside, especially in the midst of devastating events. Together with Giveback Homes, Zillow wants to help make home feel like home again for those impacted.
The funds donated are being used to help impacted families rebuild their lives. Families receive in-kind donations such as refrigerators, washers and dryers, mattresses and other necessities to help in their rebuilding efforts.
To date, the campaign has helped three families impacted by last year’s California wildfires:
Tammy Spirlock has worked as a REALTOR® since 1997 and has sold real estate in Paradise, Calif., since 2003. She, her daughter and son lost all of their belongings when their home in old Magalia burned down due to the Camp Fire, the deadliest wildfire in California history. The Zillow and Giveback Homes Disaster Relief Fund is providing Tammy with a washer and dryer for her new home, which she is in the process of rebuilding.
Mike Richards was first licensed as a REALTOR® in 1986, leaving the industry to work as a firefighter for several years before returning to real estate. The home he shared with his wife Christy for less than 11 months was destroyed in the Camp Fire. The Zillow and Giveback Homes Disaster Relief Fund will provide Mike with a new fridge, since the one his wife loved, and had only recently purchased, was destroyed.
Kelly Kissman has worked as a REALTOR® for 15 years and served as the 2018 president of the Women’s Council of REALTORS® Ventura. Her family, which includes five children, was displaced by the Woolsey Fire. Their home was a total loss, and they currently share a one-bedroom apartment. The Zillow and Giveback Homes Disaster Relief Fund is providing Kelly and her family one-month’s rent for their apartment while they work on rebuilding.
At our core, Zillow is a mission-driven company working to improve people’s lives through the places they call home. Please help us continue to support those whose lives have been disrupted by disasters by donating or nominating a family.
To nominate a family and learn more about Giveback Homes, please visit donate.givebackhomes.com/campaign/zillow-giveback-homes-disaster-fund/c207920.
Bret Calltharp is director of Industry Outreach, Zillow.