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Bradford realtor receives award for community volunteerism

Bradford's Rose Sobrera recently received the Toronto Regional Real Estate Board's Community Services Award for her work on the local thrift shop with CONTACT Community Services
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Rose Sorbera recipient of the Community Services Award from the Toronto Real Estate Board for her work with CONTACT Community Services in Bradford

Bradford realtor Rose Sorbera knows what it's like to be homeless, relying on community resources in order to get by. 

"There was a time in my life when there was no light...and it was extremely traumatic," she said. 

For nine years she struggled to leave her partner, the father of her two boys, oftentimes staying in temporary housing just to keep herself and her family safe. 

After ending the marriage, Sorbera was left with nothing and had to start from scratch.

"I was homeless three times, without a car, and I basically had to start over," she said. 

She relied heavily on the support and services from CONTACT Community Services in Bradford and Alliston to help her obtain a job in real estate. 

"It was through not only the support of my family and close friends but through the support of the community resources that helped me build my life back," she said. 

She vowed to one day give back to the community that helped her, which is what led her to eventually work together with CONTACT to The Clothes Line second-hand clothing store in Bradford. 

The Clothes Line is run by volunteers and one full-time staff member, selling donated clothing at affordable prices, with profits going back to the community through CONTACT's services in housing, employment, and community support.

The store opened in December 2021, at which time, Sorbera shared her personal story of hardship and how much CONTACT means to her. 

"It's unreal, and I still get emotional about it," she told BradfordToday. "I am extremely thankful to CONTACT Community Services in Bradford for sharing my passion to give, and being instrumentally involved in the grand opening of the Clothes Line thrift store. It was directly connected to my personal experience with hardship. I was finally given an opportunity to fulfill the promise I once made to myself that I made many years ago."

It was earlier this spring that the Toronto Regional Real Estate Board presented Sorbera with their 2022 Community Service Award, recognizing her commitment and dedication to the Bradford community. 

"The award means very much to me because it's my story and my journey," she said. "My undeniable compassion and commitment to help people in need has always been in my heart well before my own personal hardships arose."

Sorbera has always had a generous and giving spirit, which she believes helped her persevere through the difficult period in her life. She says her volunteerism comes from a place of gratitude. 

"My goal is to always make an impact on my community," she said, noting there are two other projects she is working on with CONTACT, including finding a space to offer temporary shelter for women and children.  

"My circumstantial experiences have not only allowed me to relate to my clients needs at a much higher level but it has created everlasting relationships beyond my profession. It becomes personal," she said. 

She recognizes the hard work of fellow community members and businesses in helping get the thrift store up and running, noting the community in Bradford is very generous. 

"And we're known for that is what I've learned," she said. 

Sorbera is looking forward to CONTACT's inaugural Fashion Show this weekend in Bradford, titled 'Self Love'. 

The show will be on Sunday, June 12 from 1 to 3:30 p.m. at the Bradford Legion.

Not only will guests be able to view some of the latest fashions from the shop, but there will also be a 50/50  draw, refreshments, a silent auction, entertainment and giveaways. All models, including one special 'Mystery Model', will be strutting down the runway sporting some of this season's trendy threads. 

Tickets for the show are $10 each and are available for purchase at the Clothes Line Bradford at 95 Holland St. West. Each ticket will include a $5 coupon to redeem at the store.

Natasha Philpott

About the Author: Natasha Philpott

Natasha is the Editor for BradfordToday and InnisfilToday. She graduated from the Media Studies program at The University of Guelph-Humber. She lives in Bradford with her husband, two boys and two cats.
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