Ross Mortgage Loan Officer Makes a Difference with Pay It Forward Promise Program
At Ross Mortgage, we believe in giving back to our communities. Since we opened our doors in 1949, getting involved with local charities in the areas that we work and reside in has remained a key component of our company culture and core values.
Since 2013, Senior Loan Officer Marc Edelstein of our Livonia branch has been working to donate to local organizations through his Pay It Forward Promise program. We’re truly inspired by Marc’s mission, so we sat down with him to learn more about his philanthropic efforts.
Q: How does the Pay It Forward Promise program work?
A: For every closed loan, whether it’s a purchase or refinance, I donate $50 to the charity of the borrower’s choosing. This goes for every transaction, so if someone were to borrow from me more than once, I would donate to charities of their choosing multiple times.
Q: What inspired you to create the program?
A: I have a passion for giving back and wanted to find a way to connect my passion for philanthropy with my business. I was thinking of things I could do to differentiate myself from other mortgage lenders, and in January 2013, I came up with this idea to start the program with all of my closings. My assistant is the one who sends out the donations, confirms we get the receipts and makes sure the charities send out notices to the borrowers to verify that we made a donation on their behalf. So, I ran my idea by her first, and we got the program up and running.
Q: Which charities have your clients donated to so far?
A: We have 12 charities listed on a sheet that I take to all of my closings. Clients can choose from my list, or if they have other charities in mind, we’ll gladly send their donations to other organizations. While we’re always looking for other charitable causes to add to our list, it currently includes:
- Canine Companions Rescue Center
- Catch Charity for Children
- Gleaners Food Bank
- Habitat for Humanity Detroit
- Lighthouse of Oakland County
- Make A Wish Michigan
- National Multiple Sclerosis Society Michigan Chapter
- Operation Injured Soldiers
- Ronald McDonald House
- Angels of Hope
- Southeast Michigan Land Conservancy
- Turning Point
Q: What are your goals for the program in 2018?
A: We’re proud to say that as of December 2017, the Pay It Forward Promise program has allowed us to donate $22,850 to local charities! Aside from surpassing $25,000 in total donations, our goal is to close 120 loans this year, which means we would like to donate $6,000 through the program in 2018.
Q: Why do you think it’s important to give back?
A: I’m very fortunate. This business provides a pretty nice lifestyle for my family, and I wanted to do something to give back because I felt like I could do more. I’m not always able to donate time, so I felt that paying it forward through this program was a great way to get involved and do the right thing.
Q: What advice would you give to other loan officers who are looking to get involved with non-profits in their communities?
A: You have to do it because you want to do it, not because you want to get something out of it. My intention has always been to try and make a difference $50 at a time with these donations. I am fortunate that I am able to incorporate my business into my philanthropic efforts, and I hope everyone who tries to get involved does it for the right reasons.
Q: What are your favorite local charities to work with?
A: Operation Injured Soldiers in South Lyon is a non-profit organization that provides recreation opportunities to wounded military Veterans of all eras. They have a camp up north where they take Veterans hunting and fishing, which is really nice to see. Make-A-Wish and Gleaners Food Bank are also some really great causes that get quite a few donations through our program.
We love hearing about what others are doing in the community! What charitable causes do you support?