REALTOR® organizations mobilizing assistance statewide; IAR provides initial relief of $7,500

Members of the Illinois Association of REALTORS®  are collecting supplies and money to help those with losses due to a swarm of tornadoes that swept through the state on Sunday.

The IAR has already donated $7,500 in gift cards to the cause, and is working to coordinate further assistance. Many member local associations are organizing fund drives as well.

The state association has begun the process of coordinating its efforts with the REALTORS® Relief Foundation, a National Association of REALTORS® charity that helps communities stricken by natural disasters. Money collected through the foundation can be used to help those in communities with housing assistance and other immediate needs in the aftermath of a disaster.

“One of the great things about our business is that when disasters strike, REALTORS® swing into action and donate whatever they can to help community residents,” said Phil Chiles, IAR’s 2014 president. “This disaster affected not just our members, but the neighborhoods in which they live. We want to make sure we do our part to put things back together.”

“It just shows the Power of R in action,” Chiles said.

One of the hardest hit communities was outside Peoria. Peoria Area Association of REALTORS® Association Executive Dallas Hancock said as many as 10 of that association’s members may have suffered substantial property losses. She said the association was still trying to conform details.

PAAR set up a webpage to collect donations. It can be found here.

PAAR, along with other local associations, are doing their part to help stricken communities:

  • Midwest Real Estate Data CEO Russ Bergeron announced Monday afternoon that the MLS will donate $25,000 for storm relief.
  • Champaign County Association of REALTORS® has already raised $500 and additional money is expected, according to Association Executive Linda Green. The association is collecting supplies and water to take to the affected areas.
  • The Bloomington-Normal Association of REALTORS® is holding a drive for supplies and funds to help victims. Information is here.
  • Other local associations have indicated they are holding board meetings this week to discuss donations.

IAR and its local associations have a long history of helping out when disaster strikes. The IAR donated $25,000 to help with relief efforts in 2011 in Harrisburg, Ill., when a tornado ripped through that town, and other local REALTOR® associations donated supplies and funds for recovery.

The association has also been part of relief efforts in Joplin, Mo., Tuscaloosa, Ala., and built Habitat for Humanity homes along the Mississippi Gulf Coast in the aftermath of Hurricane Katrina.

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About Jon Broadbooks

Jon Broadbooks is Director of Communications for the Illinois Association of REALTORS®. He supervises and carries out the implementation of the communications programs for the Association. He directs and supervises the Communications staff. He is responsible for coordinating and implementing the public relations and media relations efforts for the Association and acts as spokesperson and liaison to the statewide news media. He serves as editor of online and print content for IAR communications including the Illinois REALTOR® magazine and e-newsletters. He conducts IAR spokesperson training seminars and oversees the operation of website development for the Association.