In Effingham County, some of Santa’s elves have day jobs as real estate agents.
Local realtors donated piles of presents to county families they “adopted” for Christmas through the Effingham Victim Witness Assistance Program and Family Promise of Effingham.
“Kids should have a Christmas,” said Sue Anderson, who co-chaired the campaign with fellow realtor Tara Robinson. “It’s all about the kids.”
Effingham realtors purchased gifts for seven families in need who are clients of the Effingham Victim Witness Assistance Program. EVWAP provides several services to victims and witnesses of crimes.
“We just appreciate them realizing a need for assistance in Effingham, and continuing to give assistance at Christmas,” said Ann Resto, executive director of the Effingham Victim Witness Assistance Program.
“This community goes above and beyond at the holidays,” said EVWAP victim services coordinator Heather Wadrose. “I really feel like no family goes without.”
The realtors also gave gifts to the first family to graduate from Family Promise of Effingham. The organization, along with its host churches, helps homeless families get back on their feet.
The Effingham chapter’s first family — two adults and four children — recently moved into a house of their own. Effingham realtors made it homier with Christmas gifts including bicycles and a basketball goal, according to Family Promise executive director Ashley Moore.
For years, the Savannah Area Realtors have “adopted” Chatham County families for Christmas. They expanded the effort to Effingham last year and helped seven families through EVWAP.
The realtors matched that number this year for EVWAP, and added the family of six from Family Promise. The children receiving Christmas presents ranged from toddlers to teenagers.
“The Effingham realtors, they’re just all amazing,” Robinson said.
Anderson’s office, Coldwell Banker Intercoastal Realty in Rincon, set aside money for the cause throughout the year, by contributing a percentage from the closing cost of each home one of its agents sold.
“So at the end of the year, we have a nice little pot of money to go buy all the families gifts,” Anderson said. “It’s fun.”