RRF’s Largest Grant Yet Helps Arkansas Tornado Victims

REALTORS® are rushing more emergency aid to disaster victims recovering from deadly tornadoes that swept through parts of Arkansas in late May, leveling entire neighborhoods and killing seven people.

The REALTORS® Relief Foundation announced this week an additional $1 million in disaster relief for the Arkansas REALTORS® association. RRF aid to Arkansas now totals $2 million, making it the largest grant ever awarded by the foundation, according to the National Association of REALTORS®. RRF, which provides funds for housing-related assistance to disaster victims, is seeking donations from NAR members and REALTOR® associations to meet a $1 million goal for Homeownership Month in June.

Seven tornadoes plowed through parts of northern Arkansas on May 26, affecting Boone, Marion, Baxter and Benton counties. Wind gusts reportedly reached up to 154 miles per hour, tearing apart homes and buildings and toppling trees and powerlines.

“These tornadoes have had a massive impact on families throughout Arkansas, and our hearts go out to all those affected,” says RRF President Mike McGrew. “This grant is not only a reflection of the selfless support of our donors, and state and local association partners, but it also acknowledges the incredible work being done by the Arkansas REALTORS® in reaching out to the communities affected. We are committed to providing tangible aid to those rebuilding their lives during this challenging time.”

Real estate brokerages in Arkansas also have opened their doors for donation drives to help communities affected by the tornadoes. Just hours after the tornadoes struck, the Northwest Arkansas Board of REALTORS® turned its building into a “command center” to coordinate aid, including food, water, diapers and pet food. The board also set up activity areas for children and workstations for adults. Brokerages also stepped in to cater hot dinners for victims.

Victims of the tornadoes will be able to apply for financial aid through the RRF grants as rebuilding efforts continue.

Since its inception in 2001, RRF has distributed more than $43 million in disaster relief to more than 23,000 families. NAR collaborates with state and local REALTOR® associations to cover all of RRF’s administrative costs, so 100% of donations go directly to disaster victims.

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