The REALTOR® Association of the Fox Valley (RAFV) provided nearly 100 volunteers and a total of $1,500 to Salvation Army chapters in Aurora, Elgin and St. Charles during the holiday season.

This is the fourth year that RAFV has worked with area Salvation Army chapters, either helping with Thanksgiving food drives or collecting and distributing gifts through the Angel Tree project, said Lisa Ayres, RAFV director of communications and social media. This year, members helped ring bells and collect donations outside local businesses.

“RAFV worked with three different branches of the Salvation Army in the Fox Valley area over 22 different volunteer days to help make the holidays a bit brighter for Fox Valley families,” said Ayres. “We volunteered at their Thanksgiving food drives and helped all three branches to set up and run their Angel Tree gift distribution events to give donated gifts to families. We also helped count red kettle donations at the St. Charles branch.”

RAFV collected holiday wrapping paper and brought it to the chapter headquarters in Aurora, Elgin and St. Charles, along with $500 for each branch.

“We selected the Salvation Army because we wanted to improve the lives of the families in our local communities – where we live and work,” said Ayres. “By the time the holidays are over, we will have helped thousands of families in the Fox Valley Area.”

Two offices staged a “Red Kettle Smackdown,” Coldwell Banker the Real Estate Group in Geneva and eXp Realty, LLC in Geneva. Several offices also had Angel Trees of their own where they collected gifts for local families and brought them to their local SA offices to be used in the Angel Tree distribution events. For the St. Charles/Tri-City chapter, REALTORS® helped count kettle money three days a week. “This is something they reserve for only their most trusted volunteers!” said Ayres.

RAFV is led by CEO Chris Studebaker, President Paul Kempa of Realty One Group Excel of Aurora, President-elect Lucas Albright of RE/MAX Town & County in Aurora, Treasurer Miguel Fernandez of HomeSmart Connect in Elgin, Secretary Natalee Dismuke of Realty One Group Excel in Aurora and Immediate Past President Michael Simpson of Baird & Warner Real Estate in Algonquin. RAFV serves 1,800 members.

(This is the 12th in a series of blog posts about charitable community work performed by local Illinois REALTORS® during the final months of the year. Watch for more stories in the coming days.)

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