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Chicago Real Estate Gives Back For The Holidays


'Tis the season for giving back, and across Chicago, real estate firms are donating their wealth and manpower for those in need this holiday season. Here are a few examples.

Evanston-based Morgante Wilson Architects kicked off the holiday season by once again playing Secret Santa for families served by Revive Center for Housing and Healing, a local organization committed to solving homelessness in Chicago. Morgante Wilson employees have worked with Revive over the past several years to build and donate gift baskets filled with items from families’ wish lists—from toys to household items and clothing—as well as grocery store gift cards to be used for a holiday meal. This year, the Morgante Wilson team put together holiday baskets for 10 families.


For the fourth straight year, Draper and Kramer organized a company-wide toy drive benefiting Toys For Tots during the holiday season. The initiative collected contributions from Draper and Kramer employees across the Chicago area, including corporate office staff, property management site employees and Lombard-based Draper and Kramer Mortgage Corp. More than $4k in donated toys filled an entire meeting room at Draper and Kramer’s corporate HQ, and will be delivered to Toys For Tots tomorrow. Additionally, Draper and Kramer is in the midst of a pajama drive for critically ill children at Ann & Robert H. Lurie Children's Hospital. SVP Jane Kanan said, “We have amazing employees who are always so enthusiastic about giving back to our community. That’s especially true at this time of the year, when even something small like a new toy or special pajamas can do so much to brighten the holidays for a child in need.”

Both initiatives are part of a robust charitable giving program at Draper and Kramer that regularly raises money and donations for 501(c)(3) organizations selected by the company’s employees. Organizations are chosen based on their reputation and commitment to address the needs of the communities they serve, while placing emphasis on supporting local organizations in the greater Chicago area that address the betterment of the city and the people in it.


To continue its year of giving in honor of its 45th anniversary, The Habitat Co sponsored a holiday clothing drive at its corporate office to collect business attire for The Cara Program, a nonprofit focused on helping individuals affected by homelessness and poverty through job training and coaching. The drive is a continuation of Habitat’s investment in the communities it serves, including the launch of Generations Housing Initiatives, a separate nonprofit to help the company’s community development arm gain access to the much-needed funding critical to the redevelopment of affordable housing communities.

Habitat also partnered with the Kids in Need Foundation at the beginning of the school year to donate backpacks filled with school supplies to more than 1,700 students at two schools near its Birmingham, AL, and Tampa, FL, communities and leveraged funds only available to nonprofits to help renovate and restore Casa Heritage, a 142-unit affordable housing community in suburban Melrose Park to preserve the only family-designated affordable housing option in a nine-municipality area.


Proper Title presented the Ann & Robert H. Lurie Children’s Hospital of Chicago a check in the amount of $30k through the firm’s charitable arm, Proper Giving. The firm raised the funds by contributing $10 for every residential and commercial transaction the firm completes to the Proper Giving program, as well as $3 for every refinancing transaction it oversees. Additionally, Proper Title's staff donates volunteer time at Lurie throughout the year.