Volunteers from the Chicago Association of REALTORS® (CAR) took a unique approach to help children and families served by the Hephzibah Home in Oak Park this holiday season.

And Illinois REALTORS® is proud to feature the work these members provided in the second in a series of 2019 REALTORS® Give Back stories.

Even though CAR has financially supported abused and neglected children at Hephzibah Home through the CAR Foundation, CAR members sought a way to enhance their support this year. So, when Hephzibah Home representatives said they needed a new conference table, chairs and bathroom step stools for young children to use in their group home facilities, CAR members responded.

About 40 volunteers gathered at the Rebuilding Exchange in Chicago one day in late October and used reclaimed building materials to construct the furniture. On another day in mid-November, volunteers delivered the new furniture to Hephzibah Home.

REALTORS® give back graphic with leaves and pumpkins“REALTORS® love opportunities to give back to their communities,” said Jacob Knabb, CAR director of commercial services. “We were excited about the opportunity to bring together committee members from CommercialForum, Global Council, Women’s Council of REALTORS®, CAR’s Board of Directors, the Sustainability Work Group and dedicated members of the greater Chicago REALTOR® community for this cool event that will benefit children of Chicago.”

“We chose Rebuilding Exchange for a few reasons,” said Knabb. “It is a not-for-profit that walks the walk when it comes to sustainability in real estate. Their model is built around the idea of saving useful building materials from landfills and giving them a second life by making new things from them.”

Representatives from the Rebuilding Exchange appreciated the effort by CAR.

“It’s great exposure,” said Carrie Rasor, education manager at the Rebuilding Exchange about partnering with CAR. “A lot of people don’t know who we are or what we do. There are only a few places like this in the city.”

“Sustainability is a focus for the Chicago Association of REALTORS® and CommercialForum, and we wanted our members to learn the sustainable practice salvaging these materials,” said Tony Hardy, Marcus & Millchap, chair of the CommercialForum Committee. “We chose to donate these items to Hephzibah Home, a group home the Chicago Association of REALTORS® Foundation has worked closely with in the past. We believe every child deserves a safe and comfortable place to call home, and the Hephzibah Home makes that a reality for many children who would otherwise be without one. We’ve made monetary donations in the past but wanted to take it a step further by building something that would address an immediate need. When staff members at the Home expressed the need for a table, chairs and step stools, our REALTORS® were excited to help build these items.”

CAR, with about 15,500 members, is led by: President Maurice Hampton of Centered International Realty, President-elect Nykea Pippion McGriff of Dream Town Realty, Treasurer Antje Gehrken of ARE Partners, Inc. and Immediate Past President Tommy Choi of Keller Williams Chicago-Lincoln Park.

See the list of CAR members who volunteered for the project.

(This is the second in a series of 2019 “REALTORS® Give Back” blog posts about the community involvement of Illinois REALTORS® late in the year. If your local association or brokerage has story idea to submit, please complete an online REALTORS® Give Back Form.)