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MBA Opens Doors Foundation: Taking care of the families of critically ill children

Providing rental and mortgage assistance for more than 2,000 families

Back in 2011, former MBA President and CEO Dave Stevens, his wife Mary Stevens, and Dan Arrigoni, the former president of U.S. Bank Home Mortgage, had a vision to help families with critically ill or injured children stay in their homes.

This vision led to the Mortgage Bankers Association (MBA) establishing the MBA Opens Doors Foundation, which helps families with sick children receive mortgage or rental payment assistance while a child receives medical treatment.

Now, eight years later, what started as a vision has quickly grown into one of the most well-known charities in the housing industry. This shouldn’t come as a surprise, though, given the strong ties MBA Opens Doors has to the housing industry.

“The alignment is so strong with the people in the housing community since we in the industry worked so hard to put them there,” Deborah Dubois, president of MBA Opens Doors, said.

When the foundation was getting started in 2012, they were able to help 37 families. MBA Opens Doors now helps an average of 140 to 150 families a month.

The foundation reached a major milestone last year, providing mortgage or rental payment assistance grants to more than 2,000 families across the country, taking some of the financial burden and fear off parents and guardians while helping them to be by a child’s side during treatment. Thanks to the generosity of those in the housing industry, MBA Opens Doors was able to double the number of families they helped in the first five years of the foundation’s existence in less than a year, and this momentum is only continuing to grow.

“We are going to surpass 3,500 families this year,” Dubois said. “We have already given more grants in FY2019 than last year, and this year isn’t even over yet.”

One of the biggest ways the housing industry rallies around MBA Opens Doors is at the Ellie Mae Classic, where pro golfers and celebrities team with ordinary golfers in the Community Pro-Am to benefit the foundation.

For the second year in a row, the foundation partnered with Ellie Mae and the PGA TOUR to become the beneficiary of the Ellie Mae Classic Community Pro Am, sponsored by HousingWire.

“With Ellie Mae and HousingWire as partners, it has allowed us to get in front of people we never would have had access to, which is helping more people get engaged and adopt ODF as their charity of choice,” said Dubois.

Pro-Am alumni include Tony Finau, Cameron Champ, Stephen Jaeger, Si Woo Kim and Justin Thomas, and the tournament has even drawn sports celebrities such as Steph Curry and Jonnie West from the Golden State Warriors.

This year’s event is expected to feature even more star talent, as everyone comes together to golf for a cause and maybe even some bragging rights.

“You can’t over-emphasize the importance of a stable and comfortable home for families in crisis,” said HousingWire CEO Clayton Collins. “The MBA Opens Doors Foundation is doing incredible work and making a life-changing impact on thousands of parents and children. HousingWire is honored to support that work as the Presenting Sponsor of the Community Pro-Am at the Ellie Mae Classic.”

MBA Opens Doors passes on 100% of the donations it receives to families in need of assistance, while the MBA continues
to cover all administrative costs to ensure that all the money given goes directly to families.

Potential recipients of the grants are identified through the foundation’s ongoing relationships with nine children’s hospitals. These hospitals include Akron Children’s Hospital, Boston Children’s Hospital, Children’s Hospital Colorado, Children’s National Medical, Massachusetts General Hospital for Children, Children’s Hospital Los Angeles, Children’s National Medical System, Cook Children’s Hospital and Lucile Packard Children’s Hospital.

“We are forming exciting partnerships with people in the mortgage industry that allow us to say yes to a family in need,” said Dubois. “We are a small but mighty foundation.”

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