Remember IRRF can help recent northern Illinois flood victims

Bigstock Images

The Illinois REALTORS® Relief Foundation (IRRF) is accepting applications from northern Illinois property owners who were flood victims in early July.

The foundation is one of the charitable arms of Illinois REALTORS® and provides assistance to disaster victims. The latest outreach is for those who were affected by the storms which swept through the Chicago area.

Who is eligible for IRRF assistance?

Anyone who is a full-time Illinois resident, a U.S. citizen and who meets the criteria of the program is eligible to obtain funds.

  • Relief assistance is limited to $500 per application.
  • Assistance can be used for the applicant’s daily needs and employment.
  • Assistance is need-based and other forms of assistance may be taken into consideration when awarding grants.
  • All grants made through IRRF are based on availability of funds and applications are reviewed on a first-come, first-served basis.

If you know someone who was affected, or want to apply for aid, the form is here. Read the original blog post, July 19.

TRAR, Illini Valley lend help to nearby tornado victims

Illini Valley Association of REALTORS® CEO Gail Pyszka receives a stack of VISA gift cards from Three Rivers Association of REALTORS® CEO David McClintock.

The Three Rivers Association of REALTORS® (TRAR) and the Illini Valley Association of REALTORS® are working together to supplement assistance given by the American Red Cross and other relief organizations to victims of last week’s tornadoes in LaSalle County.

TRAR donated $500 in VISA cards and delivered them to Illini Valley last weekend. Illini Valley CEO Gail Pyszka thanked TRAR CEO David McClintock and President Matt Persicketti for the speed of the donation.

Three Rivers was very generous. They drove down with $500 in gift cards,” Pyszka said.

“Having been through two terrible tornadoes in the last three years, we were certain they could use the funds immediately,” said McClintock.

“We have been distributing applications for disaster relief from the Illinois REALTORS® Relief Foundation at the Multi Agency Resource Center (MARC) in Ottawa, as well as 80 Wal-Mart gift cards Illinois REALTORS® donated. Illini Valley members donated gift cards too.”

Several Illini Valley REALTORS® living in the affected area had damage to their homes and property, she said.

See the blog post about the tornadoes.


IAR, local associations ready to help latest Illinois tornado victims

Image: Bigstock

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.

Bigstock Photo

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

Photo courtesy of Bigstock

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

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 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.