CAR gives 49 reasons to help homeless children and moms

The Chicago Association of REALTORS® (CAR) is supporting the fourth annual coat and toy drive for the nonprofit organization, Advocates for Adolescent Mothers.

The charity gathers outerwear and toys to help 49 young mothers and their children during the holiday season.

CAR has set up collection bins at several locations – including its downtown Chicago and Cicero offices – where members can deliver coats, toys or monetary contributions until Dec. 5. In addition, trustees for the CAR Education Foundation have pledged $1,000 for the purchase of new outerwear and toys. CAR has shared information about the drive with individual members, association leadership, staff members and industry leaders.

Acceptable items include:

  • New, unwrapped toys (except stuffed animals);
  • New or clean, gently used outerwear and coats for young women;
  • New or clean, gently used outerwear for infants and toddlers; and
  • New toiletries and bath products for young mothers.

During three previous years, Advocates for Adolescent Mothers has collected and donated more than 600 toys and 300 coats to three charitable organizations that support homeless Chicago teens and their children, CAR says.

Advocates for Adolescent Mothers was founded by Lillian Harris, a woman who was homeless as a child and as an adolescent mother.  She has since earned a master’s degree in social work, and is now using a two-year, $10,000 CAR Education Foundation scholarship to earn a master’s in business administration with a focus on real estate.

CAR Education Foundation officers are: Coby Hakalir, Chair; Heather Gustafson, Vice-Chair; and Zeke Morris, Secretary/Treasurer. CAR officers include: President Hugh Rider, President-Elect Dan Wagner, Secretary/Treasurer Matt Silver and Association Executive Ginger Downs.

(This is one part of a series of stories that shine a light on charitable community work performed by local Illinois associations and their members.  To see all of the stories published so far, search for “charitable giving.”)

Heartland collects ‘Toys for Tots’ in McHenry County

On Dec. 4, from 5 to 7 p.m., the Heartland REALTOR® Organization will conduct its Toys for Tots drive at Sideouts Bar & Eatery in Island Lake, Ill., to benefit less fortunate children in McHenry County.

Retired local Marines will be there to collect new unwrapped toys – worth $10 or more – for donation.  Those who register by Nov. 28 may attend a pizza party that will feature door prizes donated by affiliate sponsors.

It is the fourth consecutive year that Heartland members have supported the Toys for Tots drive.

Association Executive Jim Haisler, who is also the CEO of Heartland, says, “Every year we have this event, more than 120 people attend, and we collect several hundred toys.”

Jim Haisler

Heartland officers include: President Casey Meyers of Woodstock and Association Executive Jim Haisler.

(This is one part of a series of stories that shine a light on charitable community work performed by local Illinois associations and their members.  To see all of the stories published so far, search for “charitable giving.”)

You won’t believe what PAAR is driving to do

For the past 26 years, the Peoria Area Association of REALTORS® (PAAR) has helped raise significant money for the food pantries in Peoria, Tazewell, Woodford and Fulton counties with the PAAR Turkey Drive, and the 27th year is no exception.

“We’re hearing how great the need is this year from all our local pantries,” says PAAR President Phil Harvey. “We need to step up and meet that need just like we have in the past.”

PAAR’s goal this year is to raise $25,000 to distribute to for 26 local pantries. History is on the side of PAAR, which has helped get more than 26,000 turkeys to the hungry since the project began.

Community members can participate by contacting REALTORS® in the area and making monetary contributions. The donations are used to purchase Kroger Gift Certificates for the pantries.

This year’s turkey drive, which ends Dec. 11, has been publicized by word of mouth, social media and local newspapers. A committee also actively works on creative ways to help raise funds, including help from the Affiliates members, and friendly competition among REALTORS®.

“Our company is hosting a chili lunch several times this month, Peoria Notre Dame High school will have a ‘uniform free day’ with a contribution, and countless other ways of increasing donations to the Turkey Drive,” said President Harvey.

See the PAAR Turkey Drive 2014 video available on YouTube or through the PAAR website.

Donations of any size are welcome, says Harvey, who adds that $10 can provide a holiday meal for a family, and can be made online by clicking turkey below.

PAAR officers include: President Phil Harvey, President-Elect Becky Peterson, Secretary/Treasurer Jana Heffron and Association Executive Dallas Hancock.

(This is one part of a series of stories that shine a light on charitable community work performed by local Illinois associations and their members.  To see all of the stories published so far, search for “charitable giving.”)

What can be done to solve important housing issues?

This week, Sharon Gorrell, Housing Policy Advisor for IAR is attending the Solutions 2014 Conference that is being put on by the National Housing Conference which is a research and housing advocacy organization.  She has attended several sessions on a variety of topics ranging from local finance options for affordable housing to pairing health with housing as it is related to long-term options for seniors.

Pictured here is a round table discussion that took place at a senior housing facility that focused on how senior services are an important component to keeping seniors in independent living situations. Recommendations to include financial provisions for senior services as part of the development of senior housing was a major point discussed.
Affirmatively Furthering Fair Housing and Transit Oriented and Economic Development are also major topics at the forum.