Pandemic Giving

February 2021 View more

After ending the career break he took to concentrate on the daily needs of his four children, Tracy Leddy had the opportunity to craft a new approach as a mortgage broker. While still allowing flexibility for his family, he created a program to give back to the community in which they live—a duty he takes very seriously.

“We are free to pursue the American dream,” he explains, “but when we get there we have a civic responsibility to give back.”

That philosophy resulted in a commitment to make a donation with every mortgage he closed in 2020. “It came from a synthesis of two driving forces that kind of shaped me—professional and philanthropic,” he says.

As vice president at Guaranteed Rate Affinity, Leddy worked with his compliance department to set up a program with the Chicago Community Trust that allows him to make a $500 contribution after each mortgage closes. Once the funds are cleared, Leddy is able to make financial disbursements to local nonprofits.

“I started this before the pandemic came,” says Leddy, “but ironically my first donation was March 21.” Since then he has made six donations adding to $9,000, and he has another $3,000 in the pipeline. “It’s starting to become a real number,” he says.

It’s relatively easy for Leddy and his wife, broadcaster Judy Hsu, to decide where to allocate funds. The couple has attended hundreds of events in the 20 years they’ve lived in the area.

“All these years Judy has been going to these events, and we have been exposed to so many through her emcee work—places like Bridge Communities, Loaves & Fishes, People’s Resource Center, Hinsdale Humane Society,” he says. “That sort of became our core group.”

Leddy looks forward to helping more homeowners find financial solutions and making even more donations.

“Having seen so much demand, even before the pandemic started, it’s something that I want to do because I enjoy it. This is my motivation in this job—helping people get through struggles they are having. I am really excited about making this a giving platform in 2021.”

Photo courtesy Tracy Leddy