For the past 26 years, the Peoria Area Association of REALTORS® (PAAR) has helped raise significant money for the food pantries in Peoria, Tazewell, Woodford and Fulton counties with the PAAR Turkey Drive, and the 27th year is no exception.

“We’re hearing how great the need is this year from all our local pantries,” says PAAR President Phil Harvey. “We need to step up and meet that need just like we have in the past.”

PAAR’s goal this year is to raise $25,000 to distribute to for 26 local pantries. History is on the side of PAAR, which has helped get more than 26,000 turkeys to the hungry since the project began.

Community members can participate by contacting REALTORS® in the area and making monetary contributions. The donations are used to purchase Kroger Gift Certificates for the pantries.

This year’s turkey drive, which ends Dec. 11, has been publicized by word of mouth, social media and local newspapers. A committee also actively works on creative ways to help raise funds, including help from the Affiliates members, and friendly competition among REALTORS®.

“Our company is hosting a chili lunch several times this month, Peoria Notre Dame High school will have a ‘uniform free day’ with a contribution, and countless other ways of increasing donations to the Turkey Drive,” said President Harvey.

See the PAAR Turkey Drive 2014 video available on YouTube or through the PAAR website.

Donations of any size are welcome, says Harvey, who adds that $10 can provide a holiday meal for a family, and can be made online by clicking turkey below.

PAAR officers include: President Phil Harvey, President-Elect Becky Peterson, Secretary/Treasurer Jana Heffron and Association Executive Dallas Hancock.

(This is one part of a series of stories that shine a light on charitable community work performed by local Illinois associations and their members.  To see all of the stories published so far, search for “charitable giving.”)