IAR, local associations ready to help latest Illinois tornado victims

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While local REALTOR® associations work with community leaders to find the best ways to help this week’s tornado victims in communities like Coal City, Sublette and Mendota, IAR members and non-members can also contribute to the Illinois REALTORS® Relief Foundation (IRRF).

According to the National Weather Service, nine tornadoes hit northern Illinois communities as storms raked across the state Monday evening and early Tuesday morning.  Numerous minor injuries and power outages were reported, but no deaths. The largest tornado was an EF-3 in Coal City (Grundy County) with winds of 136 to 165 miles per hour, reported ABC-7 Eyewitness News. An EF-2 tornado struck a campground in Sublette (Lee County) causing extensive damage, while an EF-1 hit south of Mendota (LaSalle County).  On Tuesday, Governor Bruce Rauner declared Grundy and Lee counties as disaster areas.

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TRAR members helping in Coal City area

Three Rivers Association of REALTORS® Chief Executive Officer David McClintock says individual members of the local association have already volunteered during Coal City clean-up efforts. Coal City resident and REALTOR® Andy Cook of Coldwell Banker Honig-Bell in Morris told McClintock the expected number of volunteers for Friday will be “significant.” REALTOR® Debbie Bell of Baird & Warner in Plainfield spent a day helping a Morris attorney whose house took on water. McClintock adds that he will deliver a donation to the Community Foundation of Grundy County on behalf of TRAR for $1,000 today.

“Later next week, we will consider other forms of gifts based on a report from our members of what’s still needed,” says McClintock.

As more information on local tornado relief efforts becomes available, IAR will share it here.

Several ways for all to help

IRRF, a 501(c)(3) organization, was established by IAR last year to help Illinois residents living in communities affected by natural disasters. Donations are tax-deductible and can be made online or via mail: IRRF, 522 S. Fifth St., Springfield, IL 62701. Victims can apply for $500 in assistance on a first-come, first-served basis.

In addition, the NAR offers the REALTORS® Relief Foundation offers housing-related assistance to victims of disasters. You can donate to it online or by mail (REALTORS® Relief Foundation, c/o NAR, 430 N. Michigan Ave., Chicago, IL 60611).

IAR collecting funds for tornado victims; other associations working to provide aid

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IAR is joining the effort to help with disaster recovery in the wake of tornados that swept through the state Thursday.

The state association joins other local REALTOR® associations in helping those in the northern part of Illinois who saw significant damage.

IAR members and non-members can contribute to the Illinois REALTORS® Relief Fund (application pending), which is the association’s non-profit for such events.

The state association has traditionally played a role in helping with disaster recovery. The association provided aid when tornados struck throughout the state, and in 2012 the association donated to help those hit by storms in Harrisburg.

Contributions can be sent to:

Realtor® Relief Fund
522 S. Fifth St.
Springfield, IL 62701

Two people died and more than a dozen were injured Thursday evening as severe storms and at least one tornado raked communities south of Rockford in northern Illinois. Governor Bruce Rauner declared DeKalb and Ogle counties disaster areas.

The Chicago Tribune reported the deaths occurred in the village of Fairdale where 71 buildings were damaged and more than 15 homes were knocked off their foundations. The Rockford Register Star reported that 30 homes were either completely destroyed or uninhabitable in Rochelle.

Other efforts under way:

Heather Wiedrich, Association Executive for the Hometown Association of REALTORS® reports that vacant property owners who would rent it to tornado victims can contact Bobbie Bryant at Rochelle Realty and Property Management at 815-562-7368. Cash donations will not be accepted, but the following items can be dropped off directly at the Hometown Association of REALTORS® office in Sycamore:

  • Wal-Mart gift cards
  • Hand sanitizer
  • Water
  • Blankets
  • Ready-to-eat food
  • Baby wipes
  • Hand wipes
  • Meds and first aid items
  • Diapers
  • Animal food
  • Animal crates/cages
  • Cloths
  • Plastic bins

Kristen Jungles, Government Affairs Director, will have a drop-off location for needed items at her Naperville home, and can be reached at kjungles@sbcglobal.com.

Items dropped off at the Hometown office or at Jungles’ office will be forwarded to the Red Cross at Rochelle High School.

Chris Studebaker, CEO of the REALTOR® Association of the Fox Valley, reported that a relative of RAFV’s Community Outreach Chair, REALTOR® Betty Rylko died in the storms. Studebaker has set up a rally.org link for fellow REALTORS® to make financial relief donations. He has also provided the link to a Facebook page that will give updates on the community of Fairdale.

Champaign REALTORS® present relief checks to Gifford tornado victims #PowerofR

CCAR Association Executive Linda Green, left, presents a relief check to Donna Cole.

In February, the Champaign County Association of REALTORS® (CCAR) presented checks to members of the Gifford, Ill. community who were affected by last November’s devastating tornadoes that destroyed 90 homes and damaged homes 40 more in the area. The relief checks were made possible through donations from the REALTOR® community.

CCAR AE Linda Green, left, presents a check to Jeanette During, who accepted on behalf of her grandmother Emma Carpenter

REALTORS® from Illinois and around the country made donations to the Illinois REALTORS® Relief Fund and the REALTORS® Relief Foundation administered by the National Association of REALTORS®. The relief funds provide assistance with housing, storm recovery, subsistence and other needs. Monetary donations are just part of the overall outreach efforts of REALTORS®. Champaign County Association Executive Linda Green helped coordinate local relief efforts.

Champaign County REALTOR® Stefanie Pratt, far right, presents checks to recipients at a February luncheon. L To R: Terry Watson, Nicole Swinney, Deborah Farmer, Erin Duikman, Debra Ackerman, Lori Busboom.

When communities are hurting, REALTORS® swing into action to help those in need. This is evident through the tremendous outpouring of support received through the REALTORS® relief efforts.

If you are a REALTOR® who would like to help, click here to find information on how you can donate to help tornado victims. If you are a victim and need assistance, click here to download relief applications.

MORe donates $7,500 in gift cards to help with disaster relief

The Mainstreet Organization of REALTORS® announced it provided $7,500 in gift cards to REALTOR® associations helping with storm relief.

Mainstreet sent the gift cards, which can be used for all types of relief, to the Egyptian Board of REALTORS®, Three Rivers Association of REALTORS® and the Peoria Area Association of REALTORS®.

In all, REALTORS® have raised nearly $200,000 to help those affected by the November tornado outbreak in Illinois.