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.”)

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