Small social media group creates a big impact on community


Courtesy of Rob Peavey

By Natalie VonderHeide

Rob and Ann Peavey, along with three helpers, help shape Huntley’s next generation through the art of a social media group chat. 

“It was meant as kind of a joke at first. But it quickly morphed into something way more important, way more relevant to be honest,” owner and creator of Facebook’s Huntley Chat, Rob Peavey said. 

After forming the page in the spring of 2017, Huntley has been brought together more than ever, through little events for charity, or simply by raising money to pay off the District 158 school lunch debt. 

The chat is meant to encourage people to do good and be a good person, while bringing the community closer together.

While the chat was created as a joke, it formed into a more serious group. There have been flaws such as people abusing the power of expressing their feelings about certain topics.

“We want diverse values, views and perspectives in Chat. We just won’t tolerate hate in any way shape or form,” Peavey said. 

Diversity is a big part of what makes Huntley Chat different. People come to the group to discuss places to eat, advice from others, or to report a concern they see occuring in the area. Other people might start their own personal blogs or incident report reposting to keep locals informed. 

Even though the chat is a very fun and thrilling place, it was the fall of 2018 that changed the Chat the most. Mchenry County was affected by a microburst that came through.

“The fall storm brought us together like no other event,” Peavey said. 

People from the chat all came together to help people that experienced significant damage and other effects as a result of the storm. Peavey explains that this is what got people around this time thinking what can people do for their community, or how they could make an impact in the area. 

After reaching over 8000 members, Rob and Ann were not expecting the chat to grow this close together in Huntley and the surrounding communities. The amount of posts in the group everyday amounted to the couple looking for three assistants to help monitor and run the page. 

The main message Peavey wants to tell people is Huntley Chat will not discriminate against you.

“Regardless of who you are…your wealth, your position in society, the color of your skin, your sexuality, your gender, your Religion, your background, your physical looks, your disabilities, it does not matter at all. How you were born matters nothing to us,” Peavey said. 

The only personality restriction is in order to join the chat, you must be over the age of 18 to keep some conversation private from younger viewers.