Illinois REALTOR® Erika Villegas has developed her own style when it comes to charitable giving, and as a result, she’s been able to help less fortunate families as close as Chicago and as far away as Central America.
Villegas is a broker for ERA Mi Casa Real Estate in Chicago, and her work as chair of the Young Professionals Network for the Chicago Association of REALTORS® allows her to help people in need over a wide area. But she also responds when needs are closer to home on the southwest side of the city and in the Garfield Ridge neighborhood.
“In my community, I host a monthly wine social, and for 2016 we will be supporting different local non-profits and raise funds for them,” says Villegas. “In March we supported two local girl scout troops.
“For YPN, we have committed to support the Boys and Girls Club of Chicago with monetary donations and, most importantly, hands-on involvement.”
In the past, she helped with a project to send 50 kids to camp and she coordinated an auction that raised more than $5,000. And together with her husband, they have coordinated annual holiday toy drives. Through the Chicago YPN group, she has supported Habitat for Humanity projects and collected more than 3,000 books for Bernie’s Book Bank.
“Over the years, I have been involved in many organizations,” she says. “But our all-time favorite was traveling to Guatemala to help build a school out of bottles of water with a non-profit named Hug It Forward. My son was only seven years old, and he was the youngest boy to ever travel to help with a similar project. It helped plant a seed of giving back, and ever since then he’s come up with the best ideas to help others.
“Volunteering is just in my DNA and it is something our family takes pride in,” she says. “No one will remember how many houses I sold, but I do hope I can leave a legacy of giving back and that my son will follow my footsteps.”
Villegas serves clients in the Chicago area, with many on the southwest side and in the Garfield Ridge Neighborhood. She’s been recognized as a Top 250 Latino real estate agent (2012-2014) as reported by Inman News, a top producer of the Chicago Association of Realtors® (2009-2015) and earned the Circle of Achievement as a top producer of ERA Real Estate (2013-2014). She has also served as a board member for the Chicago chapter of the National Association of Hispanic Real Estate Professionals (NAHREP) from 2013 to 2015.
Watch the Illinois REALTORS® blog for weekly stories about the community involvement of Illinois REALTORS® during the association’s 100th anniversary year. This is the 15th in that series. If you have an idea for a REALTOR® to highlight with an article, please send it to firstname.lastname@example.org. #MemberMonday#100YearsStrong