Hugs Cafe Jul01

Hugs Cafe

Yardi is committed to supporting the community in every city where our offices are housed. Each year, the company distributes philanthropic aid to organizations selected by its employees. In 2021, Yardi offices supported more than 350 nonprofits worldwide. For the remainder of the year, we will be bringing you the stories of those organizations and insight into how they aid their communities. Today, get to know Hugs Café in McKinney, Texas, which provides meaningful training and employment opportunities for adults with intellectual and developmental disabilities.  This year, seven-year-old Hugs Café is focusing its efforts on raising funds for a permanent training facility, Hugs Training Academy. “This expansion will allow us to continue our mission and increase the number of skilled individuals we can provide the culinary and hospitality workforce,” said Ruth Thompson, Founder and Board President of Hugs Café. “In addition, we will no longer have to say we have a wait list for admission into one of our programs. Previously our waitlist prevented us from accepting new individuals into our mission. This expansion will provide a consistent opportunity for others to come in and receive services.” Thompson shared the story of participant Kathy, known as “Bread Queen” at Hugs Café. “Before coming to work for Hugs Café, Kathy was working for a wine bottle company and her job was to put labels on the wine bottles. Due to Kathy’s Cerebral Palsy, this job was very challenging and not something she was able to do effectively. Kathy was allowed to sit at the work station and be paid just like her peers, but she was unable to perform the task assigned and would leave work each day in tears,” Thompson shared. “Now that Kathy has a meaningful job at Hugs Café, her day is...

Me Fine Foundation Jun29

Me Fine Foundation

Yardi is committed to supporting the community in every city where our offices are housed. Each year, the company distributes philanthropic aid to organizations selected by its employees. In 2021, Yardi offices supported more than 350 nonprofits worldwide. For the remainder of the year, we will be bringing you the stories of those organizations and insight into how they aid their communities. Today, learn about the Me Fine Foundation of Durham, NC, which provides vital financial assistance and emotional support to families with children facing a medical crisis so that they can focus on their child. “Me Fine is focused on continuing to meet the needs of the community in a reliable and dignified manner while hoping to become a household name in the Triangle area of NC. Introducing more people to what our families endure will hopefully convince them to help us in our work,” said Joey Powell, Executive Director. “Major corporate support from partners like Yardi help us meet these family needs. As a responsive (rather than prescriptive) organization, we believe these families know what they need during their child’s crisis.” Powell shared the heart-wrenching story of a family with a child who had an aggressive form of cancer. The little girl was treated for about a year intensively and was able to beat the disease into remission. “However, the treatment regimen was so intense and required so much of a time commitment from her family, that the parents were really in financial peril. Unfortunately, a few years later, the cancer returned, and the girl succumbed to the recurrence quickly. Her family was so financially strapped that they couldn’t afford to have her body claimed from the hospital morgue. Me Fine was able to work with a local funeral home to help...

Second Helpings Atlanta Jun24

Second Helpings Atlanta

Yardi is committed to supporting the community in every city where our offices are housed. Each year, the company distributes philanthropic aid to organizations selected by its employees. In 2021, Yardi offices supported more than 350 nonprofits worldwide. For the remainder of the year, we will be bringing you the stories of those organizations and insight into how they aid their communities. Today, we bring you the story of Second Helpings Atlanta, a nonprofit that reduces food insecurity and food waste in Metro Atlanta by rescuing fresh, surplus food and delivering it to nonprofit partners, who then distribute it to their clients. According to Second Helpings, one out of every nine people in Atlanta, including one out of every seven children, does not have certainty about food access, yet one-third of available food is wasted every day. “We work to remedy this by getting the surplus to where it is needed. Our Food Rescue Network includes over 75 food donors, over 70 partner agencies, and over 300 volunteers,” says Andrea Jaron, executive director of the organization. “We rescued more than 3.6 million pounds of food from landfills in 2021, the equivalent of over three million meals. This was an 89 percent increase over 2020!” Jaron continues: “We can rescue 5 pounds of food for every donated dollar we receive. This is the equivalent of almost 4 meals. Yardi’s support will enable us to grow our network. We have the knowledge, expertise, and resources, and your financial support is critical to helping us rescue surplus food and deliver it to our neighbors who are in need.” Funds will help the organization meet its goals this year. “Our priorities this year are to bring food to areas in need that we are currently not serving,” said Jaron. “This will require us to recruit more volunteers, food donors, and partner agencies. This is a high priority given the rate of inflation and the already existing stresses on families because of the pandemic.”  How surplus food helps Among the partner agencies that distribute food collected by Second Helpings are local food banks. Here’s what one staff member there said about a recent donation which is pictured at right): “Just wanted you all to see how beautiful, bountiful and abundant the market looks today! Thanks to Second Helpings! It is a thing of beauty! Thank you all so much! If you told me six months ago the sight of fruit and vegetables would make me cry I would have thought you crazy! So grateful!” Another partner commented: “Thank you so much for your continued support for our youth and families in the communities we serve. You have been the strongest partner with our food distribution throughout the pandemic, before and after. You have allowed CHRIS 180 to provide needed meals to many who would not have had food to eat day to day, week to week. You and Second Helpings have been the guardian angels for so many across Atlanta. The greatest benefit for CHRIS 180 is that by providing the meals you donate; we can do wellness checks on the community to meet additional needs of them and their families. So again, thank you so much for always considering CHRIS 180 as a partner. We look forward to continuing this strong relationship between our organizations, delivering service to our communities.” Ways for Yardi Atlanta employees to help Yardi employees can become food rescue drivers for Second Helpings by going to the nonprofit’s website and clicking the volunteer button. There is a brief orientation, and then you will be matched to a route that is convenient or you can sign up for routes at a later date. Second Helpings also has a group volunteer activity at our warehouse at 970 Jefferson Street on the historic Westside. “We gather every Wednesday to pack 2000 meal kits. HelloFresh, the meal kit company, donates all of the ingredients, we...

Transforming Lives Jun22

Transforming Lives

Yardi is committed to supporting the community in every city where our offices are housed. Each year, the company distributes philanthropic aid to organizations selected by its employees. In 2021, Yardi offices supported more than 350 nonprofits worldwide. For the remainder of the year, we will be bringing you the stories of those organizations and insight into how they aid their communities. Today, we’re speaking with Center for Transforming Lives in Fort Worth, Texas. Center for Transforming Lives (CTL) works side-by-side with women and their children to disrupt the cycle of poverty by providing comprehensive housing services, early childhood education, economic mobility services, and clinical counseling, addressing their most critical needs. Each year, CTL works with over 3,000 people in Tarrant County to provide comprehensive services that support their journey from poverty to prosperity. CTL’s services are trauma-informed, two-generational, and incorporate best practices rooted in nationally backed research to ensure women and children achieve long-term success. In 2021, in partnership with The Center for Children’s Health led by Cook Childrens’ and other generous donors, CTL conducted surveys with families living in motels or extended stay properties throughout Tarrant County. Seventy families were surveyed on-site at motel locations. The findings of the survey included: One-third of families surveyed had been living in a motel for more than 6 monthsSingle-parent women represented the majority of families surveyed67% of families were paying rent on a weekly basis and 17 percent were paying one night at a time “In order to fully address the issue of homelessness in Tarrant County, our systems must look at the needs of these families living in motels when allocating funds and developing programs. At CTL, our comprehensive programs are trauma-informed, two generational, and incorporate best practices rooted in nationally backed research to...

kidSTREAM Children’s Museum Jun17

kidSTREAM Children’s Museum

Yardi is committed to supporting the community in every city where our offices are housed. Each year, the company distributes philanthropic aid to organizations selected by its employees. In 2021, Yardi offices supported more than 350 nonprofits worldwide. For the remainder of the year, we will be bringing you the stories of those organizations and insight into how they aid their communities. Today, let’s get to know kidSTREAM, a children’s museum under development in Camarillo, Calif. “We educate and inspire children allowing them to explore, play, and discover,” says Michael Shanklin, executive director, of the kidSTREAM mission. The organization has been working to open the museum since 2016 and hopes to do so by next year. “With the funds provided by the Yardi team, kidSTREAM has expanded our community access in significant ways. The investment by Yardi allowed us to develop STREAM Learning Kits in Spanish and English,” Shanklin said. “Our most recent kit which highlighted electrical circuits, motors, maker activities, and art were assembled by a group of community volunteers then distributed to farm working families in Oxnard.” The kits were also distributed to children involved in Ventura County Family Justice proceedings. “In addition to having the directions in Spanish and English, kidSTREAM filmed children volunteers who explained how to do each step in both Spanish and English by using a QR Code on the instructions. All kits were provided to the children at no cost to the family thanks to Yardi!,” Shanklin said. Meanwhile, work to open the museum continues. kidSTREAM is working to secure the museum building from the city of Camarillo, design exhibits hire staff and raise funds. “Our 2020-2023 Strategic Plan has five prioritized initiatives: 1. Open the Museum, 2. Be financially sustainable, 3. Establish community partnerships, 4. Create excellent programs and exhibits, and finally, 5. Become a community leader,” outlined Shanklin.  He singled out the support of Yardi and a longtime Yardi employee who has joined the kidSTREAM board. “We are humbled by the Yardi team’s generosity which has allowed us to provide meaningful STREAM kits so that ALL children can explore, play, and discover!  We are also thankful for our Yardi Board member, Wendy Acevedo-Solis, who has been instrumental in connecting us with local farmworker families,” Shanklin said. Volunteer opportunities in Southern California Yardi team members in SoCal, kidSTREAM needs help to assemble STREAM kits and distribute them to local families working in Ventura County agriculture.  Yardi teammates can connect with Michael Shanklin ([email protected] or 661-289-1369 cell) to arrange a time to help us help the community.   Learn more about kidSTREAM at https://kidstream.org/, and find future non-profit profiles at...

Step Denver Jun15

Step Denver

Yardi is committed to supporting the community in every city where our offices are housed. Each year, the company distributes philanthropic aid to organizations selected by its employees. In 2021, Yardi offices supported more than 350 nonprofits worldwide. For the remainder of the year, we will be bringing you the stories of those organizations and insight into how they aid their communities. Today, we introduce you to Step Denver, a Colorado nonprofit with a mission to give men with nowhere else to turn the opportunity to overcome addiction through sobriety, work, accountability, and community. “Like most cities across the United States, homelessness has reached a critical point in Denver. 75 percent of people living on the streets are men and the majority struggle with addiction. Doing our part to address this dire need, Step Denver provides same day admission with no cost to enter, to any man ready and willing to seek help,” explains Meghan Shay, Director of Fund Development & Marketing for Step Denver. Through a comprehensive long-term residential program, Step Denver participants establish a strong foundation in recovery and work to rebuild every facet of their lives including employment, financial stability, family, and health among others. Step Denver’s unique peer recovery model is led by a staff of Step Alumni, who have returned to help the hundreds of men following in their footsteps each year. “Above everything, our goal is to help men end their cycle of addiction, take back control of their lives, and transition to a safe and sober living environment where they can become productive, contributing members of their families and community,” says Shay. “Support from Yardi funds the key Step Denver components that change (and save) lives, ultimately helping to effect a behavioral change in the men served....

Meals on Wheels of Wake County Jun10

Meals on Wheels of Wake County

Yardi is committed to supporting the community in every city where our offices are housed. Each year, the company distributes philanthropic aid to organizations selected by its employees. In 2021, Yardi offices supported more than 350 nonprofits worldwide. For the remainder of the year, we will be bringing you the stories of those organizations and insight into how they aid their communities. Today, we introduce you to Meals on Wheels of Wake County, which has served homebound elderly and persons with disabilities for almost 50 years. The Raleigh, NC organization will celebrate its half century anniversary in 2024. “The first meals were delivered in 1974, and 48 years later, we have delivered over 10 million meals to date. We are the only daily, home meal delivery program in the county,” said Mary Kate Keith, Director of Development and Communications. “Our program is specifically geared toward homebound seniors over 60 years of age, and other homebound persons with disabilities.” Over 1,500 dedicated volunteers deliver complete meals to homebound clients, while staff provides meals to Wake County residents in eight senior dining sites. Approximately 1,300 people receive a meal every weekday, and over 405,500 meals were served in fiscal year 2020/2021.  Meals on Wheels enhances the quality of the lives of participants with a daily, nutritious, hot meal that improves health and diet. Volunteers offer a daily check-up and visit that makes them feel safer in their homes.  “We also promote independent living which can prevent or delay a move to assisted living facilities and allow participants to stay in their homes with as much independence as their health allows. Without this service, a higher cost to taxpayers would result. The average cost for a nursing home is $240 per day,” said Keith. “Funds from Yardi have certainly helped our program. This past year we have experienced rising costs in food, transportation, and staffing. Our cost per meal has risen from $7 to almost $9 today.” Volunteer opportunities for Yardi Raleigh employees One of the current goals for Meals on Wheels of Wake County is to get back to pre-pandemic service levels.  “We need more volunteers, as many of our previous volunteers did not return,” explained Keith. “We are also working on opening our senior dining rooms, called Friendship Cafes. Currently seven of our original eight dining rooms are open and we hope to open the eighth this summer. Our number of clients is also continuing to rise, which is a good sign.” Yardi staff in the Raleigh area can sign up to donate their time as a group or individuals. Visit https://www.wakemow.org/corporate-partners to find out more information about volunteering as a corporate group.  “We have 12 meal pick-up sites located throughout Wake County to make volunteering convenient from any area. I would be happy to meet with the employees at their office to discuss the possibilities,” Keith said. Learn more about Meals on Wheels of Wake County at https://wakemow.org/, and find future non-profit profiles at...

Community Action Partnership OC Jun08

Community Action Partnership OC

Yardi is committed to supporting the community in every city where our offices are housed. Each year, the company distributes philanthropic aid to organizations selected by its employees. In 2021, Yardi offices supported more than 350 nonprofits worldwide. For the remainder of the year, we will be bringing you the stories of those organizations and insight into how they aid their communities. Today, we introduce you to Community Action Partnership of Orange County (CAP OC), which provides resources to low-income residents of Orange County, Calif. that fall into two categories: Immediate Needs (such as food, utility assistance, diapers) and Empowering Communities (such as nutrition education, youth/senior programs, workforce development, financial empowerment). CAP OC has worked to enhance the quality of life in Orange County since 1965. For more than 55 years, the organization has actively supported individuals and families with food, life skills, resources, community education, and more. Following its vision of generations of healthy communities where poverty ceases to exist, CAP OC walks alongside the people it serves, working at the ground level to connect them with the help they need.   This year, CAP OC is particularly focused on workforce development, equity, investments in human capital, low-income housing, community resiliency, and a new approach in how to move families out of poverty while empowering the communities it serves. Funds from Yardi will support programs that equip participants with the tools they need to lift themselves out of poverty in two generations. “We are grateful for this donation from Yardi. We deeply appreciate your support, especially as families are continuing to feel the devasting effects of the economic downturn caused by the pandemic. The work we do could not be accomplished without partners like you,” said LaShanda Maze, vice president of philanthropy for the organization. Major CAP OC accomplishments in the past fiscal year include:   The OC Food Bank distributed 43 million pounds of food—the second-largest amount in the Agency’s history, behind only 2020. The Southwest Community Center served 60,000 hot meals to over 300 participants who are homeless or precariously housed.The new Success Coaches Program coached 167 senior participants in the Commodity Supplemental Food Program to create SMART goals to improve their lives. The Diaper Bank program distributed 23 million diapers. CAP OC supported almost 20,000 participants with utility assistance. The organization implemented a complete virtual enrollment/assessment and contactless drop off Southern California Edison Energy Savings Assistance program that served over 8,000 families. CAP OC fulfilled a solar contract, completing certification in installation and design with SunPower and installing solar power in seven homes. The Housing Navigator program helped permanently house three chronically ill homeless participants. The Elevate Youth leadership program reached 188 youth.A new Workforce Development program launched in June, enrolling 92 young adults. By the end of December, 13 were already employed. Nine participants graduated from the Young Adult Court program and had their felony charge removed from their record. Fundraising efforts yielded $4.3 million in community support.  Learn more about CAP OC at https://capoc.org/, and find future non-profit profiles at...

Food Share Ventura County Jun03

Food Share Ventura County

Yardi is committed to supporting the community in every city where our offices are housed. Each year, the company distributes philanthropic aid to organizations selected by its employees. In 2021, Yardi offices supported more than 350 nonprofits worldwide. For the remainder of the year, we will be bringing you the stories of those organizations and insight into how they aid their communities. Today, we introduce you to Food Share, the largest hunger-relief organization in Ventura County, serving approximately 190,000 food-insecure people each year. In 2021, Food Share distributed nearly 19 million pounds of food, the equivalent of just under 16 million meals.                “A county-wide network of 190 pantry partners collects nutritious fresh and shelf-stable food items, at no charge, from Food Share’s warehouse to distribute to their local communities. Food Share also supplies multiple weekly drive-thru emergency food box distributions and runs several programs serving vulnerable communities including farmworkers, low-income seniors, and the unhoused,” said Monica White, president and CEO of Food Share. “We are immensely grateful for Yardi’s generosity and commitment to ensuring that no one in our community goes hungry. Corporate donations on the scale of Yardi’s are one of the main reasons we have been able to meet the dramatically increased need for food that we’ve seen in the past couple of years,” White said. A lost job leaves a family in need Food Share contributed the story of client Hakim and her family, who worked at a senior center preparing and serving meals but lost her job when the center closed and switched to delivery-only. For an already low-income family, the lost paycheck made putting enough nutritious food on the table even more of a struggle. “It gets really hard to feed everybody,” says Hakim, a mother of five with three children still living at home. Hakim was relieved when a friend told her about a weekly drive-thru food distribution in Moorpark where she could pick up a free box of shelf-stable pantry items and fresh produce.  “I love to cook, and I don’t want to waste any food. I enjoy cooking spaghetti, and sometimes we’ve been getting bread, and things like potatoes, celery, cabbage, and zucchini and I’ve been using that to make soup,” explains Hakim. She also remembers to pick up an additional box for a friend in need who doesn’t drive. “I hope it continues. It has been very good to have the extra food. Thank you.” Continuing the fight against hunger In 2022, Food Share will continue to lead the fight against hunger in Ventura County. “With inflation biting hard, we are seeing a new surge in people attending our drive-thru distributions and visiting our pantry partners. Hunger is an ever-present reality for too many,” White said. The current priorities for Food Share are: Increasing the number and scale of the programs serving vulnerable populations including farmworkers and the unhousedInvesting in technology to manage the increased need for food and investing in staffingExpanding operational infrastructure to meet the long term needs of the communityGrowing the supporter base. “Without the generosity and commitment of the people of Ventura County, we cannot lead the fight against hunger,” White said. Volunteer opportunities and how to learn more It takes around 150 volunteers a day to keep the Food Share operations running efficiently. Anyone interested in volunteering can go their website at foodshare.com/volunteer or download the Food Share app at the App Store and Google Play (Search Food Share Ventura County) to view the latest opportunities and sign up. “Every dollar, every volunteer hour, and every can of food donated to us makes a real difference in the lives of our friends and neighbors struggling with hunger,” says White. Learn more about Food Share at https://foodshare.com/, and find future non-profit profiles at...

Al Noor Training Centre

Recently, the Yardi Middle East team, based in Dubai, took part in Al Noor Associations’ volunteer program. The centre offered exciting opportunities to engage in during the holy month of Ramadan for people to give back and help children and young adults. The Yardi team worked closely with people of determination including trainees placed in Vocational Training Units at Al Noor Centre and engaged in activities for the upkeep of the premises, such as painting classrooms. “Being able to give back and help at the Al Noor Training Centre was a great opportunity for the Yardi Team. We took part in workshops with the children and also helped paint classrooms,” said Aditya Shah, senior director of Middle East services and operations for Yardi. “The centre provides great opportunities for people of determination to learn skills in a safe environment and allows them to learn in their own time. Yardi is proud to have the opportunity to help the children and young adults at the Al Noor Training Centre and we look forward to working with them again.” “We would like to thank Yardi and their staff for being a part of our Employee Engagement Program and helping to create awareness for the work we do amongst our community,” said Ms. Ranjini Ramnath, director of the association. “It is due to the support of organisations like Yardi that Al Noor can help people of determination and their families, by providing professionally driven services that impact quality of life and inclusion into the community. “We look forward to an ongoing relationship with Yardi for years to come so that together, we can create a positive impact for the community of determined ones in the UAE,” continued Ramnath. Established in 1981, the Al Noor Training Centre started with just 8 children. With a holistic approach to wellbeing and development, the centre has expanded and now provides high-quality professional training for people with disabilities in Dubai. The centre has specially designed programmes to suit each individuals’ needs, which includes children and young adults with various physical and cognitive challenges such as down syndrome, cerebral palsy and autism. They also employ Trans-Disciplinary Assessment and Intervention methods to ensure each child gets the precise help they need. Today, the Al Noor Training Centre has over 180 students with more than 28 nationalities. The goal of Al Noor’s Vocational Training Unit is to make students of determination skilled and productive members of the community. Training is offered in wood design technology, printing technology, fashion technology and bakery units. The centre includes a well-equipped gym, a large multi-purpose auditorium, a swimming pool and a shaded outdoor playground. If you would like to find out more about the services Al Noor Training Centre provides to their students with disabilities or explore employee engagement initiatives, visit Al Noor Training Centre. Learn more about Yardi’s corporate social responsibility and philanthropy on our Giving...

Life’s WORC May27

Life’s WORC

Yardi is committed to supporting the community in every city where our offices are housed. Each year, the company distributes philanthropic aid to organizations selected by its employees. In 2021, Yardi offices supported more than 350 nonprofits worldwide. For the remainder of the year, we will be bringing you the stories of those organizations and insight into how they aid their communities. Life’s WORC staff celebrate the organization’s 50th anniversary. Today, we are featuring Life’s WORC, a Garden City, NY nonprofit that supports people with intellectual challenges, developmental disabilities, and autism. The organization is celebrating a milestone anniversary this year: 50 years of providing services that facilitate an independent and productive life experience for their constituents. “Over fifty years ago, Victoria Schneps Yunis created Life’s WORC after Geraldo Rivera exposed the deplorable care and conditions at a place called Willowbrook,” said Tina Moreno, director of development for the nonprofit. “Geraldo and Vicki are still dedicated to ensuring that individuals live healthy and productive lives.” The scandalous story of how patients – from children to seniors – were treated at Willowbrook horrified the nation when it was exposed in the early 1970s. “This institution in 1972 was a crime against humanity. Those aren’t just words, they accurately represent the reality of Willowbrook,” Rivera says in his original report on the atrocious conditions at the state facility. Life’s WORC was created to offer an alternative reality that was safe, healthy, clean, and supportive. Today, six of the original residents of the Life’s WORC Rivera home in Little Neck Queens continue to enjoy their home and a healthy lifestyle.  “Vicki, along with Geraldo and now-NYC Mayor Eric Adams, paid a visit to the home to celebrate our 50 years of achievements,” said Moreno. “Life’s WORC is proud of our achievements over the last 50 years and will continue the important work begun by Vicki Schneps Yunis. We strive to constantly evolve and adapt our programs to better serve the people we support. We look forward to the next 50 years of making a difference in the lives of even more people with special needs and their loved ones.” The organization has also recently been awarded an RFP to provide five additional supportive homes for the state’s growing autistic population. “That brings us to 50 homes over 50 years,” Moreno said. “In addition, this year we will be launching a brand-new program and building called WORC FORCE, a multi-purpose community-based center that helps those with disabilities and learning challenges master in demand skills for the workplace and beyond.  Our mission is to build confidence and find purpose.” “The funds received from Yardi will be used to assist the individuals we support by enhancing their ability to access these programs,” Moreno explained. “We have purchased technology equipment to ensure connectivity for those individuals that were unable to attend in-person programs. We have also created new online classes for our program participants so that they can increase their skills.” Opportunities to volunteer Life’s WORC welcomes volunteers to assist with our special events throughout the year. On September 18, the organization will hold a Walk for WORC FORC and invites Yardi staff to contribute as participants and to assist with the event. Additionally, Life’s WORC participates in Bike to the Beach on September 24. Participants will ride 100, 50 or 25 miles for disabilities and autism. For more information on participation, contact Tina Moreno by email at [email protected] Learn more about Life’s WORC at https://lifesworc.org/, and find future non-profit profiles at...

Camp Twin Lakes May24

Camp Twin Lakes

Yardi is committed to supporting the community in every city where our offices are housed. Each year, the company distributes philanthropic aid to organizations selected by its employees. In 2021, Yardi offices supported more than 350 nonprofits worldwide. For the remainder of the year, we will be bringing you the stories of those organizations and insight into how they aid their communities. Today, get to know Camp Twin Lakes, a Georgia-based organization that addresses the need for youth development and wellness opportunities for children with special healthcare needs and life challenges. “We work with more than 60 other nonprofits each year to build programs that engage campers in hands-on, nature-based programs to improve their well-being, self-esteem, sense of belonging to a community, and confidence in their skills and abilities,” says Anna Hutchins, Director of Grants & Outcomes Measurement for the organization. The 2022 summer camp season begins in-person on May 28. “All of our activities are fully adaptive and medically supported. That means that kids of all mobility levels, and their families, can sail down the zip line, scale the rock wall, ride bikes, and get in the pool. We are also able to take care of our campers’ medical needs onsite, including chemo and dialysis.” Expanding to fill growing needs Twin Lakes began operations in 1991 and held its first summer programs in 1993. Its two current campuses are in Rutledge and Winder, Georgia. “Our current partners and larger community have been expressing the need for more – more programs, more family weekends, more child-only summer camps,” explained Hutchins. “To meet this need, we are building a third, year-round campus on additional land in Rutledge that will allow us to serve 3,500 more campers every year, including kids with Down Syndrome, pancreatitis, skin diseases, and mental health diagnoses.” The new campus is expected to open in early 2023, and Camp Twin Lakes expect to serve more than 12,000 campers next year across all three locations. Yardi has been a community partner with Camp Twin Lakes for more than fifteen years. “Yardi supported us through the pandemic, making therapeutic, educational, and recreational programs possible for hundreds of kids during a really difficult time. And with our new campus opening next year, your support will bring the joy of Camp to even more campers,” shared Hutchins. Camp Twin Lakes offers a donor-funded Camper Scholarship Program. It funds program supplies, onsite medical support, accessible onsite housing, and meals meeting specific dietary needs. Providing this support relieves the financial burden from camper families, making the transformative experience of Camp possible for thousands of kids every year. A sense of fitting in We asked Hutchins to share one the story of a camper who was positively impacted by their experience at Camp Twin Lakes. She shared Morgan’s story with us. “Morgan has Apert Syndrome, which affects facial features and limbs. Morgan shared that people often stare at her because she looks different, but Camp is different,” said Hutchins. “No one stares at me,” said Morgan of what it is like for youth attending Camp Twin Lakes. “No one treats me like I am a kid with Aperts, or a kid who was born without fingers and toes, or who cannot lift her arms above her head. Camp is a place where kids who are extraordinary can just be ordinary. It is my favorite place in the entire world. I wish the world were just like it – understanding, patient, caring, and fun.” After first attending camp at age 11, Morgan is now a volunteer counselor for the organization during the summer. As a counselor, Morgan says her goal is to “tell my campers that it is OK to be different. People are going to stare or wonder why you are doing something a certain way, but it is uniquely your way.” Opportunities for Yardi employees to volunteer There are many ways for Georgia...

Patriot PAWS May20

Patriot PAWS

Yardi is committed to supporting the community in every city where our offices are housed. Each year, the company distributes philanthropic aid to organizations selected by its employees. In 2021, Yardi offices supported more than 350 nonprofits worldwide. For the remainder of the year, we will be bringing you the stories of those organizations and insight into how they aid their communities. Today, we are talking with Patriot PAWS, a Rockwall, Texas organization that since 2006 has provided fully trained service dogs of the highest quality to disabled American veterans at no cost to the veteran. Patriot PAWS was founded in 2006 by Lori Stevens, who observed several veterans attempting to train their own dogs to become service dogs. As a dog trainer with 30 years of experience, Stevens knew she could help. What started out as just Stevens and four volunteers has become a national organization with more than 380 service dog placements in 39 states and ongoing growth each year. Readying a service dog is a major undertaking.  Each Patriot PAWS service dog costs $35,000 to train and provide care for. “All funds will go towards continuing the mission of providing these life-saving dogs to our veterans in need,” said Marissa Pittman and Sarah Mathers, development coordinators for the organization. “Yardi’s generous support has helped us bring several dogs into training and place dogs not only as service dogs, but as in-home working dogs for our veterans as well. We truly could not do this without the support by amazing companies like Yardi,” Pittman and Mathers said. Freedom and Gus’ story Freedom, a U.S. Army Combat Medic, endured physical, mental, and emotional injuries because of her military service. While all these injuries impacted her life, she struggled most with debilitating Post-Traumatic Stress...

Commitment to Education May16

Commitment to Education

Continuing a longstanding focus on education, Yardi is pleased to announce the establishment of new scholarships at four Historically Black Colleges and Universities (HBCUs) in Atlanta and Raleigh, cities that are also home to Yardi offices. There are 107 colleges in the United States that are identified by the U.S. Department of Education as HBCUs. Most were established in the Southern U.S. prior to the Civil Rights Act of 1964 and were created to provide opportunities to Black Americans who were excluded from attending other higher education institutions during segregation. HBCUs are known for providing diverse and inclusive communities of scholarship, strong academic preparedness for post-college life and rewarding student and alumni experiences. HBCUs Morehouse College, Spelman College, North Carolina Central University and Shaw University will be home to four-year full tuition scholarships funded by Yardi that will begin in Fall 2022. Yardi already supports secondary education in its hometown of Santa Barbara, California through its support of the UC Santa Barbara School of Engineering, Santa Barbara City College, CSU Channel Islands, and the Santa Barbara Scholarship Foundation. Reflecting Yardi’s commitment to diversity and inclusion, Yardi’s executive team decided to support secondary education at HBCUs. A working group of Yardi employees, James Armour, Jackie Jones and Adrian Paul, led the effort to identify the best institutions to fund and the scope of the scholarships, supported by philanthropic leads Liana Rao and Arnie Brier. “Expanding our commitment to continuing education by funding full scholarships at HBCUs is incredibly important to the company,” said Rao. “These scholarships exemplify our corporate commitment to diversity and inclusion at Yardi. We hire talented folks from all four of these schools and are excited to expand our partnership with each university.” James Armour, Finance Director in Yardi’s Atlanta office, commented on the critical impact that support of HBCU students can provide. “In life, we have different starting lines and some people start ahead of others. I think this is just one step in moving that starting line for those who are at the back. I see this is as life changing for the recipients that will be receiving these scholarships. They will be that much closer to their goals,” Armour said. Jackie Jones, a Senior HR Manager in Yardi’s Raleigh office and a graduate of NCCU, described the significant impact attending an HBCU had on her college experience and life. “The HBCU experience, for me, was nurturing but also provided lessons at every turn,” Jones recalled. “I still attend homecoming events each year when I can. I made friends during college who are still among my best friends today.” Marcus Rutherford, a member of Yardi’s corporate training team, attended Johnson C. Smith University, an HBCU in North Carolina, said that his experience at the school has empowered his future. “It’s a legacy that I hold near and dear to my heart. As an alumnus I can encourage dreamers wanting to attend college to believe in their dreams. Don’t just reach for the stars. Be the star,” Rutherford said.Learn more about HBCUs and more about Yardi’s corporate philanthropy...

Reach for Excellence May13

Reach for Excellence

Yardi is committed to supporting the community in every city where our offices are housed. Each year, the company distributes philanthropic aid to organizations selected by its employees. In 2021, Yardi offices supported more than 350 nonprofits worldwide. For the remainder of the year, we will be bringing you the stories of those organizations and insight into how they aid their communities. Today, we are getting to know Reach for Excellence, an Atlanta-based nonprofit that serves middle-school children through educational enrichment. Founded in 2001, the mission of Reach for Excellence is to empower determined leaders and expand their possibilities in the classroom, in the community, and in life. Reach for Excellence is a tuition-free academic and leadership enrichment program that offers students of limited income a mix of academic, cultural, and community-based experiences that prepare them for the challenges of college-preparatory programs and high schools. Director of Development Matt McGee shares: “While there are many worthwhile educational enrichment programs in the Atlanta area, Reach for Excellence is one of the few that focuses on middle school-aged children. Research from ACT found that the academic achievement students attain by eighth grade significantly impacts college and career readiness. Therefore, it is critical for this age group to gain exposure to the academic and leadership skills necessary to succeed in high school, college, and beyond.” Program offerings Reach for Excellence keeps students focused on learning by engaging young scholars in academic and leadership enrichment classes over six weeks during the summer. The program continues throughout the school year with 16 Saturday sessions. Two hot meals are provided each day in the summer, and a hot lunch is provided on Saturdays, ensuring that students are well-fed and ready to learn. Reach for Excellence also provides transportation assistance. “The program requires hard work, commitment, and discipline, but the rewards can last a lifetime,” says McGee. He shared the story of Jocelyn Calvillo, a Reach for Excellence student who later became an attorney. “Jocelyn was eager to join Reach, but her parents were concerned about maintaining a commitment to attend classes on Saturdays and during the summer. She had three siblings, and both parents worked demanding schedules. Transportation to the program would be an issue. Her parents recognized the importance of education and worked with Reach and other families to negotiate Jocelyn’s transportation,” McGee shared. But once she was able to attend, “It was comfortable to be in an environment with kids from similar backgrounds, and she never felt like she was less than her peers. She recalls that there were always books available and visited Reach’s library often. She loved reading and was good at math, a big part of the Reach curriculum,” said McGee. Calvillo ultimately attended high school at Atlanta’s Marist School in Atlanta, Agnes Scott College, where she majored in political science and Spanish, and Mercer University’s Walter F. George School of Law. She now helps her community as an immigration attorney with Catholic Charities Atlanta, an organization that helps families to overcome barriers and achieve self-sufficiency. “Jocelyn believes that Reach for Excellence opens doors and helps students succeed despite all the barriers they face. Seeing all that her fellow Reach classmates have accomplished, she believes Reach students will change the world,” said McGee. Future goals In 2022 and 2023, Reach for Excellence is working to offset the impact of the pandemic on students’ academic growth. The pandemic has taken a particular toll on the education of children in low-income families. Research from Georgia State University recently found that many students in the Metro-Atlanta area experienced reductions in academic growth over the last two years. The math and reading achievement reductions were more significant among students who qualify for free or reduced lunch, students of color, and English language learners. All of Reach for Excellence students match these demographics and experienced more significant reductions in academic growth than their peers. “Additionally,...

ShelterBox Spotlight

Since 2015, Yardi has been a supporter of ShelterBox, a crisis response non-profit that assists globally in natural disasters, war zones and other crises. Last month, Yardi awarded ShelterBox a $100,000 grant to support the organization’s response to the war in Ukraine. The funds are being put to immediate use on three vital projects. Read on to hear the non-profit’s story and learn about volunteer opportunities. ShelterBox responders coordinating distribution to refugees from Ukraine. Photo courtesy ShelterBox. An Organization Overview ShelterBox President Kerri Murray visited Poland, near the Ukrainian border, during the early weeks of the war and was struck by the outpouring of support for refugees from throughout Europe. Individuals were arriving in their own cars, having driven for hours, to offer transport and refuge in other countries. “It’s really profound, in the midst of all this heartache, to see things that make you really hopeful,” said Murray. “In the worst of times, you often see the best of humanity.” She was also struck by the sadness exuded from the refugees who had to leave loved ones, especially men of age to serve in the military (ages 18-60), behind in Ukraine. “I noticed that people were not relieved. Even though they were now safely in Poland, their families were ripped apart.” ShelterBox staff and volunteers are no strangers to these situations, as they have contributed support to more 2.5 million people during over 300 crises in nearly 100 countries since the non-profit was founded 22 years ago. “As a humanitarian aid organization that works globally, we’re trying to tackle one of the biggest issues that’s plaguing our world, and it’s the massive displacement of people,” Murray said. Including the conflict in Ukraine, more than 119 million people are currently considered displaced, more than any other time in recorded history. “These include victims of violent conflict situations, like we are seeing in Ukraine, civil war situations, and then disaster situations. It could be earthquakes, tsunamis, cyclones, hurricanes – any events that have forcibly displaced people from their homes,” Murray said. Prior to the war in Ukraine, ShelterBox was responding in the Philippines to the aftermath of Super Typhoon Rai, which decimated homes and displaced millions in December 2021. The organization was also continuing its ongoing response in war-ridden Syria, where it has served continuously since 2011. Recipients of a ShelterBox kit in Malawi after flooding there in 2015. Photo courtesy ShelterBox. “It’s this kind of quiet work in conflict situations that are the reason ShelterBox has now been twice nominated for the Nobel Peace Prize,” Murray said of the Syrian efforts. “The essential premise behind the organization is that we provide the things that you need to sustain your life if you lose everything in an instant, and you’re forced to flee your home.” Supporting Ukrainian Refugees The United Nations estimates that 12 million Ukrainians have been displaced because of the war, with 7.7 million remaining within the country’s borders. The organization was prepared for the conflict with advance assessment work, something they attempt to do in any country where there is a potential for conflict. Learning from its experiences in Syria and other conflict zones, ShelterBox knew that the most effective response strategies would be the most portable. Its three projects in Ukraine include the following: Mattress distribution to provide refugees on the move with a comfortable place to sleep. “These are for people who are cycling through the collective (refugee) centers, so they’re not sleeping on floors,” explained Murray. Thousands have been used over the last five weeks, and are returned after use so that they can be distributed again.Shelter-in-place kits for Ukrainian homes that have been damaged by bombs, customized to regional needs. These include tarpaulins to cover roof or wall damage, basic tools and building supplies, as well as solar lights, water carriers, thermal blankets, and hygiene kits. “It’s a very customized bespoke kit based...

Never Miss a Meal Apr28

Never Miss a Meal

Food insecurity can often go unnoticed. The imperceptible public health issue is the result of multiple systemic factors as well as unprecedented situations, such as COVID-19 job losses. In Ontario, Daily Bread Food Bank works to alleviate hunger through emergency aid and long-term sustainable change. The growing need for meal support in Toronto In 2021, Daily Bread witnessed a 61% increase in new clients. Of the new clients, about 44% did not eat for a whole day almost every month and 58% of existing clients had similar experiences. More than 30% of clients report going hungry at least once a week. The causes of food insecurity vary, but there are a few common threads: 2 in 5 food bank clients seek services because their income is too low. Recent studies reveal that 1 in 5 clients lost their job in the past year and 20% report that their employment will not last more than a year. The affordability crisis also plays a role in food insecurity. About 65% of clients live in private market rentals, not subsidized housing. The median monthly income for clients is $1,106 and they’re spending 68% of their income on housing. After paying rent and utilities, clients face an average of $9.17 per person for transportation, clothing, day-care, medications, and food. There simply isn’t enough money to go around for working families. The food budget is usually to first to get cut and 51% of clients forgo food to pay for other necessities. Of respondents, 80% are at high risk of homelessness. Daily Bread Food Bank promotes immediate and long term solutions In December 2021, visits to food banks increased by 47% compared to this point last year. To manage the need, Daily Bread Food Bank collaborates with 118 member...

UNICEF UPDATE Apr15

UNICEF UPDATE

Yardi received the below video from UNICEF Romania, which was recently the recipient of a portion of $1 million (U.S.) that the company contributed to efforts to support refugees fleeing the war in Ukraine. “Let me start by thanking you from the bottom of my heart for your generous contribution. Your contribution to UNICEF, which will help children and refugees coming from Ukraine,” says Pieter Bult, UNICEF representative Romania, in the video. Bult is speaking from one of UNICEF’s Romanian Blue Dot locations. Blue Dots offer integrated services in child friendly spaces with a focus on the most vulnerable refugees, as well as assistance with family reunification and communication, information/advice desks, dedicated mother and child areas, psychosocial aid, hygiene, first aid and more. Blankets, warm clothing, health and recreational kits along with hygiene products and baby food are available. “The Blue Dot is one of our symbols of child protection response. In this Blue Dot, the main service that is provided is the registration of children and the care that children need upon arrival here,” said Bult. “This registration is critical also to identify the most vulnerable children, who need special attention and special protection. When they are registered, they will go where needed in the National Child Protection System.” He continues: “There are other services here as well. Psychosocial services, to give attention to the stress that all the families are under, especially the children.” But the Blue Dots are also a refuge, a place where children can relax after their journey out of Ukraine and play with other kids, which is shown in the video. Meanwhile their mothers are receiving information about where to go next, including transportation and housing resources. “This Blue Dot is a critical part of a safety net...

Eva’s Initiatives

Nearly 10,000 youth in Toronto struggle with housing instability each year. On any given night, about 2,000 of them call the streets home. Eva’s Initiatives for Homeless Youth strives to prevent homelessness while facilitating a brighter future for homeless young people. Andrea Gunraj serves as the Senior Manager, Marketing and Communications at Eva’s. She bears testimony to the dire situations that drive people out of their homes. Many misunderstand the catalysts for homelessness. “They assume young people are not following the rules or they’re getting into things that they shouldn’t. It can be a blame approach,” reflects Gunraj. She continues, “I think one of the things that people often misunderstand is why young people become homeless in the first place. In Toronto, there is a high number of people who experience issues at home like abuse. With 70 percent of young people, they identify that as one of the reasons for leaving home. And it’s not easy to leave by any means when you don’t have money or support. Often, there are really dire situations that push people to leave.” There is also a misconception that mainly youth from economically disadvantaged families are at high risk of homelessness. About 50 percent of homeless young people come from middle- and upper-income families. Eva’s provides services for young people and their families to keep the household healthy and intact if possible. Two shelters and a transitional housing facility, plus education and job training services, are available to help them make the transition to independence. Yardi supports Eva’s Satellite, Eva’s Phoenix, and Eva’s Place. The three facilities are home to 123 homeless youth aged 16-24 every night. Residents receive basic necessities such as food, clothing, and hygiene items. Staff members assess the young persons’ mental, physical, and...

Aid for Refugees

Yardi will contribute $1 million to the relief efforts of non-profit humanitarian aid organizations working to assist and support Ukrainian nationals displaced by the war between Russia and Ukraine. “We are heartbroken to see the events happening in Ukraine, and as we hope for swift peace, we will be doing everything we can to help our neighbors,” said Bianca Geomolean, director of human resources at Yardi Romania. The United Nations estimates that over 3.7 million people have left the country because of the conflict, and up to 10 million are displaced within Ukraine. Many evacuees are attempting to reach neighboring countries, including Poland, Romania, Hungary and others. The United States announced today it would accept 100,000 refugees. Funds donated by Yardi will be distributed between the following organizations: UNICEF, the Romanian Red Cross, Direct Relief, ShelterBox, and five NGOs that are based in Romania: Fundația Regală Margareta a României, Dăruiește Viață, CERT Transilvania, Beard Brothers, and O Masă Caldă. “One of Yardi’s core values is to take care of the communities where our teams live and work. This time, this extends beyond the borders of our country,” Geomolean said. “We stand by Ukraine and its people, we stand with humanity, with freedom and with peace. We wish that our contribution will bring relief and a bit of hope to those in desperate need of it. Together, we are #EnergizedForGood!” UNICEF focuses on vulnerable refugees In Romania, UNICEF is supporting the Romanian Government, local authorities, UN agencies and non-government organizations to monitor the inflow of Ukrainian refugees and offer immediate support for urgent needs. UNICEF’s response focuses on establishing and operationalizing Blue Dots at the border crossings. Blue Dot locations are dedicated refugee children and family support hubs. They represent an integrated model that will provide support for the most immediate needs of children and women. Blue Dots will offer integrated services in child friendly spaces with a focus on the most vulnerable refugees, as well as assistance with family reunification and communication, information/advice desks, dedicated mother and child areas, psychosocial aid, hygiene, first aid and more. Blankets, warm clothing, health and recreational kits along with hygiene products and baby food will be available in Blue Dots as well. “UNICEF is working day and night to scale-up support for children and women affected by the escalating conflict. There are already three Blue Dots functional at Sighetu Marmatiei, Siret and Isaccea providing support to those crossing the border to Romania. Other Blue Dots will be operationalized in the following days,” said Pieter Bult, UNICEF Representative to Romania. UNICEF in Romania has launched an online appeal to raise funds for children’s needs affected by conflict in Ukraine. Personal donations can be made here. A portal for corporate donations is also available. ShelterBox sends humanitarian supplies ShelterBox, another organization Yardi has previously supported, is working on three projects – two within Ukraine and one to support refugees fleeing to neighboring countries. ShelterBox USA President Kerri Murray recently traveled to Poland’s border with Ukraine and met with refugees. Photo courtesy ShelterBox. Refugees from Ukraine in a temporary shelter. “ShelterBox USA is deeply grateful for Yardi’s contribution,” Murray said. “This charitable support will enable us to deliver critical relief supplies to Ukrainians who need them most. When I was working in Poland on the Ukraine border, I met with women and children who had to travel for days by foot, bus, and train flee the violence, many of whom had to leave members of their family behind to fight. Yardi’s support is critical to helping us provide essential aid to those families.” “Yardi values our long-term partnership with ShelterBox, a fellow Santa Barbara organization with a strong commitment and proven track record for assistance in disaster relief around the world,” said Arnie Brier, Yardi senior vice president. “We are reassured to see ShelterBox involved in supporting Ukrainian refugees during this devastating crisis.” ShelterBox provides humanitarian aid in...