By Jen DeSalvo, WGN News
Planned Property Management, a company that owns and manages 32 residential high and mid-rise rentals on Chicago’s north side recently asked it’s residents to help a local school start off on the right foot this fall.
In early August, the office posted flyers, sent emails and spread the word through social media posts that they were having a school supply drive. Residents living in PPM buildings quickly got to work both dropping off materials in areas designated in their buildings, and also sending items directly to the main office through an Amazon wish list.
“Just because you rent somewhere doesn’t mean that you’re not as attached [to your community] as somebody who owns property,” Max Downs, Marketing Director for PPM told WGN News. He was referring to the dedication and community of the residents living in PPM buildings not only with this campaign but with various others the company supports.
“We also do a lot of other good with the Lakeview Food Panty and the Epilepsy Foundation,” Downs added. “We have clothing drive bins.”
During the school supply drive, the organization accepted more than $3,500 in materials from its residents and set out to match that amount.
While at the local Office Depot, Max and his colleagues were discussing what supplies may be beneficial to the teachers since they already collect lots of supplies for the kids.
Tracy Heider, an 8th-grade teacher at Helen C. Peirce School of International Studies in Chicago’s north side Edgewater neighborhood, interjected, “I think I can help with that.”
Heider was ironically shopping for her own classroom at the time and had a cart full of supplies. Grateful for her advice, Downs and the other PPM employees decided to pay for the nearly $200 worth of supplies she was buying that day.
“They said we’ve got yours,” Heider explained of the interaction between herself and the PPM employees. They then thanked her for all that she does.
“It was a great, heart-warming thing that I wasn’t expecting,” Heider said. “It is a great way to start the year.”
When asked why PPM does these types of things in the community, Downs responded, “when we bought those supplies for her and to see her face; to see her overwhelmed with joy. That right there told us everything we needed to know about why we do this.”
Separate from Heider’s experience, all of the PPM resident-donated school supplies were delivered to Leslie Lewis Elementary School in Chicago’s Austin neighborhood on Thursday, August 30th.