REALTORS® in Champaign, Livingston and Rockford counties, as well as Peoria, made their presence felt in their communities in December with multiple projects that helped the less fortunate. IAR staff also adopted two Springfield-area families for Christmas.
Champaign Area REALTORS® donate 275 blankets
“Our Bundles of Warmth program has been a fundraising program for our organization for more than 20 years,” said Stefanie Pratt, president of the CCAR. “We are so thankful to the REALTORS® and affiliate members who helped contribute to the 2015 program to help bring added warmth to individuals and families who need it the most this winter.”
The blankets collected were donated to six charitable organizations in the Champaign County area: Restoration Urban Ministries; Salt & Light Ministry; the Times Center; Circle of Friends; Empty Tomb; and Family Service of Champaign County. The blankets were purchased from the Savoy Walmart which waived the sales tax on the purchases and also donated blankets to the drive.
CCAR officers for 2016 are: Pratt (Coldwell Banker Honig-Bell, Champaign), President-Elect Jim Waller (Coldwell Banker Honig-Bell, Champaign) and Secretary/Treasurer Max McComb (RE/MAX Realty Associates, Champaign). The association executive is Linda Green.
Livingston County helps three organizations during the holidays
The Livingston County Board of REALTORS® (LiCBR) donated its time, energy and resources in late 2015 to the local Salvation Army, the local Cops and Kids program and a toy drive for children.
LiCBR raised $500 for the Cops and Kids program, took turns ringing bells for the Salvation Army for a day and gave a number of new toys to children in Livingston County.
The 2016 LiCBR officers are: President Kathleen Kallas (Lyons Sullivan Realty, Pontiac), Vice President Lisa Martin (Panno Realty, Pontiac) and Secretary/Treasurer Jill Thompson (Indian Creek Realty, Fairbury). Shelly Durham is the association executive.
Two Rockford companies donate $15,000-plus to United Way
In mid-December, REALTORS from Dickerson & Nieman and Gambino REALTORS jointly presented a check to the United Way of Rockford for more than $15,000 raised in a friendly competition between the two organizations. According to Gambino President Jon Krause, the groups roughly doubled the donations made in previous years as they vied to collect more than the other.
Although the winning company was to receive free lunch from the other as a result of the competition, a winner was not announced at the time. United Way was still collecting donations from employees of both firms.
PAAR raises more than $25K for local food pantries
The Peoria Area Association of REALTORS® (PAAR) celebrated its 29th Annual Turkey Drive by raising more than $25,000 in December to help feed needy families in Fulton, Woodford, Tazewell and Peoria counties.
By combining donations from Peoria REALTORS®, affiliate members, staff, community businesses and members of the public, Kroger gift certificates were purchased and distributed to 28 different food pantries.
REALTOR® Janet Jordan of RE/MAX Traders Unlimited led individual fundraisers with $8,300 collected, followed by Suzanne Miller of Jim Maloof/REALTOR® with $4,800. RE/MAX Traders Unlimited led real estate companies with more than $10,000 in donations, followed by Keller Williams Premier Realty with $6,200. Six Keller Williams Premier Realty brokers jumped into the Illinois River to raise money for the cause. More than 200 Peoria-area REALTORS®, affiliates and staff participated in the Turkey Drive.
Peoria President Becky Peterson said, “Each year, we raise funds and purchase gift certificates for needy individuals served by area food pantries. The gift certificates help make up food baskets to help those in need or for holiday meals. It’s exciting to see more businesses, churches, friends and families join in the effort.”
PAAR officers include Peterson and President-Elect Jana Heffron. Dallas Hancock is the association executive.
Nenoff keeps family tradition going
Christina Nenoff, broker for Coldwell Banker Honig-Bell in Plainfield, coordinated donations for the needy families before Christmas at three churches in three communities: St. John Cantius in Chicago, St. John Vianney in Northlake and Holy Cross in Joliet.
Through her efforts, 63 children received gifts and their families received groceries, plus donations were made to the homeless, senior citizens and veterans.
Nenoff is following the example set by her mother, supplying Christmas gifts as well as food and clothing through the St. Ann Helping Hands project at St. John’s in Chicago, says Karen Robertson of Spring Realty in Shorewood.
“Christina has a needy family drive every year for numerous churches throughout the Chicago land area,” says Robertson, who used to work in the same office with Nenoff. “She makes ornaments for the churches’ giving trees, solicits donations of gift cards and gifts, and then distributes the donations across the suburbs. She’s helped thousands of families over the years. Tina is not one looking for the limelight, but she is a remarkable person who always puts others first.”
Nenoff says she is limited to helping these causes during the holiday season but she is proud to carry on her mother’s example. “I am truly blessed with the generosity of the parishioners from these three churches to keep my mother’s dream alive.”
TRAR helps mission for 11th year
About 20 REALTORS® from the Three Rivers Association of REALTORS® (TRAR) helped with distribution of Christmas gifts and a shopping cart of canned, boxed and perishable food for area families registered in programs at the Morningstar Mission in Joliet on Dec. 22.
Association Executive David McClintock noted that TRAR has helped the less fortunate at the mission for 11 years, and that TRAR members were among many volunteers who served between 300 and 400 families in one day.
The mission offers a number of programs for homeless, jobless, victims of abuse, substance abuse and the hungry. For more information, go to morningstarmission.org.
IAR staff helps two mothers and their children
The IAR staff collected $1,575 to provide to two families through Contact Ministries, a faith-based, human and social service organization designed to help poverty-level individuals and families.
One family included a mother, a four-year old and an eight-month old, while the other family included a mother and an eight-year-old.
Staff members collected money, bought items on the wish list provided by parents, wrapped the presents and delivered them to Contact Ministries before Christmas.
(This blog post is the last in a series of blog posts about charitable community work performed by local Illinois REALTORS® during the last six weeks of 2015. To see all the stories in the series, search for “charitable giving.”)