Ray of Hope Jan27

Ray of Hope

Rick M. was starting to lose his eyesight. His optometrist missed the glaring signs of glaucoma. As a result, Rick was completely blind in one eye within two months of his appointment. The visual acuity in his other eye measures 20/60. The quick onset of the condition radically transformed his life. Rick, a university-educated and independent young man, was forced to quit his job at a major greeting card company. For several years, he was transferred between assisted care centers. He found The Lighthouse Supported Living 16 years ago. He has called it home ever since. No two clients at The Lighthouse are the same. Each person has a unique set of circumstances that have led to homelessness or poverty. To meet their singular needs, The Lighthouse offers a range of services to help clients obtain self-sufficiency whenever possible. About The Lighthouse The Lighthouse is more than an emergency shelter. It has evolved into a supported living and affordable housing provider that offers wellness services to people experiencing homelessness and poverty. Programming at The Lighthouse helps pursue achieve self-sufficiency, mental and physical health. Anna Pacik, fundraising and communications manager, was drawn to The Lighthouse because of its mission. “The mission of The Lighthouse is to take care of people holistically and help them to find a healthier, more positive path in life. I love this mission,” she explains. “The Lighthouse cares for people who are the hardest to keep safely housed.” These marginalized people may have mental health issues, intellectual and development disabilities, or “unseen disabilities” like FASD and head injuries. Clients also include trauma survivors who try to manage their pain with drugs and alcohol. Though each case is different, all are welcomed and treated with dignity. The non-profit organization aims to end...

Neuroscience in the Park Jan15

Neuroscience in the Park

The importance of childhood play has had anecdotal value for ages. In the 1960s, however, studies on rodents and brain development encouraged neuroscientists to formally explore the importance of play in childhood development. Their efforts have paved the way for programs like Start2Finish that improve childhood academic performance through physical activity. Acknowledging multi-dimensional complexity When it comes to academic success, literacy takes center stage. The ability to read improves academic performance in mathematics and other areas of study. But the benefits of education do not stop in the classroom. Multiple studies note the correlation between a nation’s literacy skills and the well-being of its inhabitants. Improving literacy depends on consistent exposure to literature. For Canada’s 1 million children living in poverty, exposure is inconsistent at best: limited access to libraries, few books at home, and single-parent households with tight resources are just a few contributing factors to childhood illiteracy. In public schools, governments fail to adequately and equally equip all school with resources. Teachers spend $143 million of their own money to buy reading materials for their students yet the gap remains. As a result, children living in poverty are about 4.5 times behind their peers in vocabulary development. The lack of literacy development then creates a snowball effect in other areas of study. A sedentary lifestyle adds to the complexity of children’s developmental hurdles. Children in low-income homes are twice as likely as children from middle class homes to live in a neighborhood where violence and drug-trafficking are everyday occurrences. Impoverished areas also have fewer parks. Neighborhood dangers and a lack of access to green spaces minimize youths’ exposure to natural environments and safe places to play. Low literacy and physical activity contribute to an under-stimulated hippocampus in children’s brains. Executive function, learning, and concentration are all adversely affected. Overcoming invisibility to promote change When playing for the Canadian Football League, Brian Warren would often participate in meet-and-greets with kids from area of complexity. The kids would watch a game, hear a few words of inspiration, receive an autographed ball, and then return home. Mr. Warren felt like it was not enough. He soon founded Start2Finish, a nonprofit organization that uses neuroscience techniques favored by athletic and business professionals to help children excel in school. Karen Pessoa-Warren, director of operations, explains the inspiration behind the organization. “Athletes get exclusive training in the connection between mind and body. Why couldn’t this work with the kid struggling in school and at home?” proposes Pessoa-Warren. “We find the kids are most vulnerable in the areas of executive control and focus, things athletes are trained in. We’ve married these very unlikely concepts, to stimulate the hippocampus with books and physical activity. A snowball effect then happens. Not only are they reading better, which even helps with math, but they’re better able to multi-task, stay focused, and manipulate thought.” Though the research was in place, it would take a change of perspective for the organization to succeed throughout the country. The Warrens first endeavoured to shine light on local childhood poverty, a topic that went largely unrecognized. “In Canada, people don’t think we have childhood poverty,” reflects Pessoa-Warren. “We don’t have an index for poverty, but one out of five kids live at or below the poverty line. We needed to let people know that poverty exists.” Secondly, they found themselves battling the notion that poverty and poor academic performance were character flaws rather than systemic problems. She adds, “We have a strong social net here, but kids still fall through. Without understanding of the data or the complexity surrounding their lives, people thought those who struggled in school weren’t bright or that it was a family issue.” Public education continues to be a part of the work at Start2Finish. Read, play, excel Children living in areas of complexity are facing an uphill battle. The team at Start2Finish has developed a creative plan...

Making History

Dorothy Day Place, owned and operated by Catholic Charities of St. Paul and Minneapolis, has made history. With 370 permanent supportive homes and 356 emergency and medical respite beds, it’s one of the largest affordable housing projects in the state. The project is also the largest public-private partnership involving housing in Minnesota history. Dorothy Day Place was made possible in part by a philanthropic collaboration between Catholic Charities and Yardi client, Dominium. New Phase, New Chapter in History Dorothy Day Place wasn’t planned as a record-breaking collaboration. With the first phase complete, Catholic Charities turned its attention to phase two in 2017. Leadership recognized that the ambitious second phase would benefit from the insight and expertise of an experienced developer. Catholic Charities contacted Dominium, one of the country’s largest affordable housing developers and a fellow Minnesota-based organization. The response of Paul Sween, managing partner of Dominium, took Catholic Charities by surprise. Sween offered to develop the second phase of Dorothy Day Place free of charge. Perhaps to Sween’s surprise, the initial request came from the bank. “We instinctively said ‘yes’ to helping with the project when our partner U.S. Bank asked us to do so simply because we knew how important it was to them,” Sween explained in an interview with Housing Finance. “We know the great work of Catholic Charities and how critical the transformation of the property would be to their mission.” Dorothy Day Place broadens the scope of Dominium’s work. Historically, the firm develops and manages affordable housing for people who earn at or below 60 percent of the area median income. The Dorothy Day Place project serves residents with incomes below 30 percent of the area median income. Jeff Huggett, vice president and project partner at Dominium explains, “Every unit...

Baked Goodness

You ever get a warm, fuzzy feeling when you do something good for someone else? It’s not that dissimilar to the first bite of your favorite dessert made by a loved one. Both are rich with compassion, joy, and the warmth of the holidays. Yardi Atlanta introduced its first annual Bake Off, a baking competition that honors the spirit of holiday giving. It has set the tone to be a favorite for years to come. Creating The Bake Off Yardi Atlanta’s first annual Bake Off was bittersweet. In the past, the office hosted a potluck for Thanksgiving. Yardi corporate provided the ham and turkey and all additional sides and desserts were made by employees. It was a fun and much anticipated event. Yet as the Yardi Atlanta team grew, volunteer coordination of the potluck became less feasible. A fantastic local caterer saved the day. Yet devoted bakers—as well as devoted eaters of homemade goodies—sought a creative way to continue the tradition. “The Bake Off now serves three purposes,” explains volunteer coordinator Kelsey Aslani, technical account manager, consulting practices at Yardi. “The Bake Off was formed because so many of the employees here really enjoy making food to share. This helps maintain the sense of community that Thanksgiving at Yardi has always garnered. Secondly, we were able to maintain a focus on corporate social responsibility by supporting local nonprofits.” With a smile, she adds, “Lastly, everyone loves a good competition.” Baking for Good: North Fulton Community Charities Proceeds from The Bake Off benefit North Fulton Community Charities (NFCC) and Atlanta Food Bank. Yardi contributes ongoing support to NFCC , a local nonprofit that serves more than 4,000 people. Families turn to NFCC for emergency aid and enrichment programs. Through the organization, they access resources to promote...

Healthy Competition Nov26

Healthy Competition

The 6th Annual End Hunger Games is now underway! Foodbank of Santa Barbara County warmly welcomes you to mercilessly crush our competition. Only one organization will receive the Golden Turkey—will it be Yardi? Yardi SB is Up for the Challenge The End Hunger Games is a creative winter campaign that adds a competitive edge to fundraising. Local organizations are encouraged to out-donate one another in three categories: Pounds of Food Nonperishable items are essential but there is also need for fresh produce Funds Raised Monetary donations are allocated to programs with the highest need Volunteer Hours Help to collect, sort, distribute and more! Volunteers are the backbone of the foodbank The most generous organization will win the coveted Golden Turkey and receive bragging rights as Santa Barbara’s fiercest giver. Yardi Santa Barbara has participated in every End Hunger Games competition since the competition started six years ago. Several times, Yardi has emerged as the victor! Yardi team members are encouraged to show their support for the Foodbank of Santa Barbara County. Yardi employees can click here for details on how to accrue points. Increasing Need for Food in Santa Barbara County Natural disasters, the closure of other foodbanks, and economic hardship have increased the need for supplemental food services in Santa Barbara County. The foodbank has opened three new locations to meet the growing demand. The newest location recently opened at St. George Community Church at 1032 E. Mason Street. This distribution center will serve the lower east side and west side of the county. The St. George location opened shortly after the Westside Neighborhood Center and Catholic Charities sites. (Foodbank SB distribution occurs in conjunction with regularly scheduled Catholic Charities distributions.) Within the first week of opening the new locations, the Foodbank served more than...

Community Matters

Yardi Vancouver cherishes its sense of community. Employees participate in philanthropic outreach that benefits members of the local neighborhood, from the smallest pets to neighbours in their hours of need. Each year, Yardi Vancouver selects recipients for grants and group volunteer opportunities. Employees nominate non-profits that are effective, passionate, and engaging. This year, the four grant recipients include: British Columbia and Alberta Guide Dogs Want to know why Yardi Vancouver supported BC & Alberta Guide Dogs? Meeting Spoof may give you an idea. The playful and determined black lab puppy is working towards becoming a guide dog, autism support dog, or PTSD service dog. He demonstrates the discipline and compassion needed to fulfil his role in Guide Dog’s mission: to change the lives of the blind or visually impaired, individuals with autism, and military and RCMP Veterans. In addition to navigation support, Guide Dogs offer emotional support. With their assistance, people feel more comfortable and confident venturing out into their communities, making new friends, and living their lives to the fullest. “Important lesson: People with service dogs are just trying to get about their day. If you really want to greet the dog, greet the person first. Otherwise, you might just wind up getting patted on the head when the person wonders what their dog is up to,” smiles Edward Glen, General Manager, Yardi Vancouver. Aprons for Gloves Few would see the immediate connection between teenagers, boxing, food services and health care. But for Aprons for Gloves, it all works together. Aprons for Gloves Boxing Association is a non-profit organization focused on providing community outreach through the sport of boxing. Many participants are at-risk women, teens, and youth. They receive free mentorship, training, meals, social and health service. Yardi Vancouver visited a local gym...

Season of Warmth Nov03

Season of Warmth

The year’s end brings lower temperatures and cloudier skies. It’s the perfect time of year to cozy up under blankets or enjoy the warmth of a crackling fire. Not all families are so fortunate. Yet through acts of compassion, residents of north Metro Atlanta who are facing dire straits can stay warm this season. NFCC Coat Drive To support neighbors in need, Yardi Atlanta embarked on a mission to contribute new and gently used outerwear to North Fulton Community Charities (NFCC). For one month, employees shopped and Marie-Kondo’d their homes in search of warm gear. They brought their findings to work with them. Collection boxes throughout the office steadily filled with attire. Volunteers Lyndsay Griffin, Shela Johnson, Kayla Roth, and Marilyn Duffield helped to keep things organized. This week, organizers announced that the 2019 Yardi Atlanta Coat Drive was a success! Team members were able to deliver 120 coats to NFCC in addition to jackets, scarves, and gloves. Last year, NFCC was privileged to distribute approximately 1,400 winter coats, making Yardi’s donation about 10 percent of the nonprofit’s annual contribution. “These coats are hand delivered to the homeless and to our most in-need community members,” reports Marilyn Duffield, Residential Project Manager, Residential Client Services at Yardi. “We made a difference, and it was not trivial! I love this company!” Emergency Aid in North Fulton Each year, NFCC serves more than 4,000 families amongst North Fulton’s growing population of economically marginalized families. The nonprofit operates in cities north of Atlanta proper including Alpharetta, Johns Creek, Milton, Mountain Park, and Roswell. In these cities, the average wage needed to pay for a two-bedroom apartment is more than $21 per hour. The minimum wage is only $7.25. Through emergency aid and enrichment programs, NFCC builds self-sufficiency and prevents...

Serving Seniors

No one said growing old was easy. Thankfully, you don’t have to go it alone. There’s a wealth of aging agencies and community-based organizations ready to help. In Santa Barbara, many of these local services come together every year for the Senior Expo, which provides a central location for seniors and their caregivers to find educational information, fitness activities, health care and more. This year’s fair took place in early October, and nearly 1,000 attendees and 125 vendors packed the showgrounds. The Senior Expo, now in its third decade, is hosted by the long-running Family Service Agency (FSA). Established over 100 years ago, FSA has continuously been one of Santa Barbara County’s most effective nonprofit organizations for families and individuals of all ages and diversities. They routinely provide food, shelter and other basic needs, as well as mentoring, case management and mental health programs, to create and preserve a healthy community. Yardi returned to the Senior Expo of Santa Barbara once again this year to give back. Nearly 20 employees from the Santa Barbara and Oxnard offices volunteered their time for the full event. “The seniors in our community love this event,” said Lyn Shirvanian, coordinator for the Senior Expo as well as FSA’s mental health awareness training. “And it is due not only to all the services provided that day, but all the young people that they interact with as they enjoy the festivities.” Serving the Santa Barbara senior community For such a big event, the Yardi volunteers split into teams to tackle setup, breakdown and everything in between. Groups arrived early for a quick on-site training before taking their posts. Some directed parking as guests arrived. Others unloaded cars and trucks for vendors, carting goods to their booths in the expo hall....

Paint the Town Pink

The AVE motto is live better, and the team there is truly committed to delivering the best living experience possible for their residents. Apartment floor plans are designed for comfort, amenities and services are programmed for convenience and wellness, and events and initiatives are offered for community engagement. Their latest campaign “AVE Goes Pink” partners up with Susan G. Komen Philadelphia® to support its mission to reduce the number of late-stage breast cancer diagnoses in the Philadelphia Area while continuing to provide education, resources, and access to services to those who are battling the disease. AVE Goes Pink “AVE Goes Pink” (link to www.aveliving.com/pink) launched October 1st to support Susan G. Komen Philadelphia®, a respected voice in breast cancer education. “We turned all our logos on our social media channels pink to raise awareness for the cause and to let those who are currently fighting breast cancer know our thoughts are with them,” says Lea Anne Welsh, COO of Korman Communities and president of its AVE brand. “Our teams at the properties will also be wearing pink throughout the month.” “Typically, we wear black or dark grey. When a resident sees me in pink, they ask and it starts up a conversation about breast cancer awareness,” says Lauren Brauer, Leasing Manager, AVE King of Prussia. She continues, “Breast cancer awareness really hits home for me. Having had family members and friends go through the struggles of breast cancer, I want to do all I can to support them, as well as all others who have gone through it and are currently battling it.” Lights for the Fight Much of the Philadelphia skyline is getting involved. Susan G. Komen Philadelphia® and CBS 3 manage “Lights for the Fight.” The duo coordinates with city landmarks to...

Power of Community Oct11

Power of Community

For over 30 years, Elsa Granados has worked diligently to help end sexual assault through advocacy and education. As the executive director of Standing Together to End Sexual Assault (STESA), Granados aims to expand the reach of the organization to ensure that a wider population can receive life-saving services and support. New Name, Broader Reach Standing Together to End Sexual Assault formerly operated as the Santa Barbara Rape Crisis Center. The organization opted for a rebranding as they encountered a growing number of community members who were unsure if they could receive help from the organization. “Some people weren’t sure if they could call our hotline because they weren’t in crisis,” explained Granados. “Also, the logo was also perceived as the silhouette of a woman, but we also have numerous boys, men, and members of the transgendered community that come forward. After several years of thinking of it, it was time for a change.” After a rigorous two-year polling process, the organization decided on the new name Standing Together to End Sexual Assault. The change has been well-received and staff members are already beginning to see results. Callers are more confident that they’ve contacted the right place when they need assistance or information. Moving Forward as a Community STESA aims to end sexual violence by addressing stereotypes and myths offering preventative education programs supporting survivors of sexual assault Common myths can actually make people more vulnerable to assault. “There is this myth, for example, that black men target white women. That’s not true. Assaults tend to occur in the same racial group,” said Granados. There are also misconceptions on the role of attire and alcohol. “Attire doesn’t matter at all. Yes, alcohol and drugs are involved in a significant amount of assaults. But perpetrators...

Safety and Support Oct08

Safety and Support

Nearly one in four women and one in seven men have experienced a violent or abusive relationship. It’s a stunning statistic, but despite the prevalence of domestic violence, the issue doesn’t get the attention and action it deserves. October is National Domestic Violence Month, and organizations across the country, Yardi included, are rededicating themselves to breaking the cycle of violence and raising awareness for the cause. In our Boise office, the team has taken a stand for local nonprofits who serve victims of abuse in their community. Every year, our offices select hundreds of nonprofits to support. The Boise team chose to partner with the Women and Children’s Alliance and Faces of Hope. In addition to sponsorships, employees have participated in tours, donated goods and volunteered their time. Women and Children’s Alliance Originally founded more than 100 years ago, the Women’s and Children’s Alliance (WCA) endeavors to build a community where individuals can thrive in safe, healthy relationships. Its crisis program offers plenty of services to women, men and their children who are healing from abuse, including 24-hour hotlines, shelter space, therapy and education. WCA staff recently visited our Boise office to host a “tour in a box,” where they gave a presentation on their mission and provided a virtual tour of their facility. Each employee left with a better understanding of domestic violence and the work WCA does for the community. In honor of National Domestic Violence Month, the Boise team also spent time putting together purple ribbons for WCA at a corporate event. While its origins are unclear, the purple ribbon has grown into a symbol of courage, survival and dedication to ending violence. The WCA will use the ribbons to help raise awareness during the month. Employees in Boise plan to...

The Drive to Succeed Sep25

The Drive to Succeed

Strong communities stick together to ensure that each member can thrive. Yardi Atlanta has forged an ongoing relationship with Mimosa Elementary School to help even the littlest community members become their best selves. Beating the Odds Mimosa Elementary School is a Title 1 school with about 800 students. As a school within an Economic Opportunity Zone, participating families often have incomes below the poverty line. As a result, approximately 95 percent of students qualify for free or reduced lunch rates. Economic difficulty has not stopped the community’s passion for quality education. The academic growth of Mimosa’s students is higher than 74 percent of schools in the state and higher than its district. About 34 percent of its third grade students read at or above the grade level target, an important milestone for youth. Mimosa Elementary School is Beating the Odds, meaning that it performs better than similar Title 1 schools. Yardi Atlanta Loves Friendly Competition The Roswell, Georgia community bands together to help Mimosa students prepare for class. Each year, Yardi team members collect the supplies that local kids need for confidence and success in school. Christie Daniel, Keiya Huguley, Shawn Walker, and Terence Walker of the Yardi Atlanta School Supply Drive Committee organized this year’s event. To tap into employees’ sense of friendly competition, organizers turn the supply drive into a game. Teams were challenged to be: the first to collect all the items on the school’s wish list. Winners received lunch on the house! the team that gathered more donations than all other teams. Winners receive an ice cream party! The first team to collect all items on the school supply list was the Classic and Genesis 2 team. The team to collect the most items was the Affordable Programming team. Congratulations to both hardworking and...

Yardi Dubai Sep18

Yardi Dubai

Yardi’s Dubai office has adopted a classroom at Al Noor Training Centre for children with special needs as a way of giving back to the community. Philanthropic and volunteer efforts are a key aspect of Yardi’s corporate mission in communities around the world. Al Noor Training Centre for Children with Special Needs is a non-profit organization. Established in 1981, Al Noor has been providing high quality of professional training to the special needs community in Dubai for over 30 years. Al Noor provides care and professional training to approximately 250 children from 35 different nationalities. The centre offers an exceptionally effective work placement unit that trains its students with a capability for employment, which helps the students join mainstream society after their training is complete. Yardi’s Dubai office will sponsor a classroom and contribute towards Al Noor Assistive Technology Department. This department allows the centre to provide holistic training through a range of professional disciplines. It makes use of assistive technology devices that help students play musical instruments, operate a computer, splash paint on canvas, design garments, switch on a kettle, handle a sandwich maker and even play video games. “We are delighted to work with Al Noor Center to acknowledge the efforts of the volunteers who help run the centre. We are proud to be a part of this great opportunity to support the community and look forward to contributing to next year’s event,” said Neal Gemassmer, vice president, international for Yardi. A team of 20 employees from Yardi Dubai office gave their own time on their recent visit to volunteer at the Al Noor Training Centre. It was a rewarding experience for all who participated. “Our team determined that we wanted to directly impact the life of these talented children and give...

Justice for All Sep10

Justice for All

When Jennifer Smith began working as a staff attorney with Legal Aid Foundation of Santa Barbara County (LAFSBC), it was a natural step. As the daughter of a social worker and an attorney, she always wanted to be involved with nonprofits and community service. Fast forward seven years, and Smith is now the executive director of the organization. She and her team work to correct local myths about legal aid while providing services to the community. Battling the Myths “There is a certain perception here,” Jennifer begins tentatively. “Yes, some residents are very wealthy. But Santa Barbara County has the second highest rate of poverty in the state when factoring in the cost of living. Because of that, it makes it difficult for individuals to get the help that they need when facing a legal situation.” “If you’re dealing with child custody matters with an abuser, or in need of a restraining order, there is no guaranteed right to an attorney in those processes. While the situations are critical, legal representation isn’t guaranteed. That’s why we step in and help. There is a huge justice gap. People can’t afford an attorney that is $500 per hour,” she explains. LAFSBC also offers a consumer protection program. If there is a financial scam of $10,000 or less, law enforcement often does not have the resources to get involved. For many Santa Barbara County residents, a $10,000 loss is the difference between safe housing and food security – or going without. “Our legal system presumes that both parties will be represented by an advocate. Legal issues are complicated for everyone. If you can’t get representation, you can imagine just how much more difficult it would be,” says Smith. LAFSBC also partners with the Santa Barbara Superior Court...

Access, Equity

If you see the picture on the right and think “wheelchair ramps,” you’ve only seen the tip of the iceberg. It’s also a stroller ramp, an aid for people with chronic joint pain, a ramp for tiny kids with tiny legs, and a blessing for CrossFitters on leg day. In short, all sorts of people appreciate a gradual transition between spaces. Toronto-based StopGap helps businesses and organizations make such transitions possible at low or no cost while broadening the conversations on access and equity. 1 or 1,000 Steps, Same Problem  Although Luke Anderson is an engineer, he had never paid much attention to the multitudinous businesses, places of worship, and public structures that used stairs to transition between spaces. Once Anderson began using a wheelchair daily, he noticed just how many buildings failed to offer barrier-free access to visitors and occupants. While such access is essential for wheelchair users, others would benefit from barrier-free entry as well. The “curb cut affect” defines that when something is made easier for one population, it often helps members of other populations. Ramps for wheelchair users would also benefit delivery persons, the elderly, and others who are hindered by stairs. Anderson, along with his friend and coworker Michael Hopkins, began to plan a way to bridge the gap between accessibility and the costs needed to improve accessibility. Addressing the Gap  Anderson is now the executive director and co-founder of StopGap, which aims to break down barriers one step at a time. StopGap Foundation works to create a world where every person can access every space. As a result, the non-profit is creating a world where everyone can live a life of independence, spontaneity, and ultimate fulfillment. But the organization didn’t begin with such grandiose plans. “I thought it...

Developing Leaders

For most kids, growing up is riddled with lessons in how to be a good follower. Follow the rules at home. Follow directions at school. Follow the norms of the community in which we live. Youth leadership, however, is widely accepted as a means of instilling responsibility, positive self-image and motivation in kids. Youth Empowering Parents reverses the mentorship dynamic to help kids uncover the leader within. Yardi caught up with Agazi Afewerki, co-founder and executive director of the nonprofit, to learn more about its successful and innovative programs. Millennial Style Agazi co-founded Youth Empowering Parents with his friend in classic . They saw two needs in their Regent Park, Toronto community: adults without access to professional development resources and kids without access to meaningful leadership opportunities. They looked around for support, but they didn’t find what they needed. They then proceeded to spearhead  the nonprofit themselves. Learning along the way would be part of the business plan. “It’s how I and a lot of other kids grew up,” says Agazi. “We helped our parents learn. It’s a natural dynamic. So we figured why not put that in a classroom setting? It’s a leadership opportunity for young people and a high quality education for adults and seniors.” With only 11 days of business development behind them, they launched their first class. Its success surprised (almost) everyone. Solving Multiple Problems with One Program On the surface, Youth Empowering Parents fills the gap between adults and the skills needed to thrive in a new world. Many adult participants are first generation immigrants that struggle to transfer their existing knowledge into a country with a new language and rapidly changing technologies. But that’s only one layer of the problems that the nonprofit addresses. Youth Empowering Parents provides personal...

Race for a Cause

Providing opportunities for children without homes and supporting those in need is important to Yardi employees around the globe. On July 18th, Yardi’s UK office participated in PropKart, a go-karting event hosted by PropSki with all proceeds benefitting LandAid and Maggie’s Centres. These two heart-warming charities prioritize emotional support and health support. Read on to learn about the exciting race and the special organizations benefitting from the event. PropKart A team of five Yardi employees proudly represented Yardi at PropKart, The Property Industry Karting Championships, at Buckmore Park Kart Circuit – the biggest professional go-karting track in Europe. In their first time participating in a PropSki event, “the team were raring to go! Enthusiasm got the better of one employee who spun out on the track, but all team members were excited by the event,” says Hannah Holmes, a Yardi marketing associate in Great Britain. Among the 23 property industry attendees were Vectos, Greenaway Architecture, and Buckler Environmental – the first, second, and third place winners. Yardi came in further on in the pack, but was most excited to help raise £5,000 for LandAid and Maggie’s Centres, two important and selfless organizations. LandAid LandAid brings businesses and individuals from across the property industry to change lives by working to end youth homelessness in the UK. According to LandAid,  around 86,000 people in the UK will be homeless. Through the nonprofit’s inspiring efforts, countless small-medium sized charities across the UK have received investments totaling over £2 million each year, which enables the construction of new buildings and renovation properties. In its work to end youth homelessness, LandAid follows up its funding with strategic advice and property expertise to each project. Last year, LandAid provided 472 homes for vulnerable young people, reaching their three-year target of...

Meals that Heal Aug11

Meals that Heal

It all started with football. In the early 70s, Philadelphia Eagles player Fred Hill spent many days in hospitals with his daughter as she underwent treatment for leukemia. The merciless straight-back chairs, lack of beds, limited and unhealthy food options were trivial problems compared to the cost of care and accommodations during treatment. It was a formidable challenge even for an NFL salary. Hill realized that something needed to be done to help families. The concept for Ronald McDonald House (RMH) soon took form. How McDonalds Got Into Health Services How the fast food mega chain, McDonalds, developed its health services nonprofit is an unlikely story. The Eagles raised money for the first house on their own, passing a bucket at a home game. They gathered more than $10,000 in donations at a single game! Team representatives then approached McDonalds. They asked if $0.25 of profits from The Original Shamrock Shake promotion could be donated to buy a property. McDonalds decided to dedicate all proceeds from the shakes to the property fund in exchange for naming the house after the company. The first Ronald McDonald House was purchased with $100,000 in donations from sports fans and milkshake lovers. Yardi Atlanta Volunteers with Ronald McDonald House, Peachtree-Dunwoody Ronald McDonald Houses rely on volunteers to make the houses into homes. Volunteers regularly offer support, entertain kids, and provide meals for families. Yardi Atlanta stepped up to the plate to pitch in. Volunteers included Shawn Walker, Jay Troxel, Craig Giattino, Amanda Leake, Keiya Huguley, Janese Walker, Tonika Law, Erica Rascon, Thomas Barker, and Stephen Malone. The volunteer event began with a tour of the facility lead by Scott Mills, evening manager. Yardi employees learned the history of RMH Atlanta and explore the building which included resident rooms,...

Empowered to Serve Jul26

Empowered to Serve

There are a lot of amazing people on this planet doing some fantastic work in their communities. These people are the heartbeats of nonprofits.  Each year, Yardi offices around the globe embark on a mission to support such organizations, their staff members and volunteers. Employees often nominate nonprofits that hold a special place in their heart. Yardi UK is proud to support the following nonprofits in their efforts to create a more just, peaceful, and equitable world. Follow any of the links below to show your support. MK Food Bank– Milton Keynes has experienced its share of economic success. But like all metropolitan areas, many residents struggle with poverty and occasional crisis. With the help of referral agencies, Milton Keynes Food Bank identifies families and individuals facing food insecurity. The non-profit then provides nutritious, essential food items throughout the year. MK Food Bank is fully funded by donations and operated by volunteers. MIND BLMK– Did you know that 1 in 4 people will experience a mental health issue each year? About 1 in 6 will experience a mental health issue at some point in their lives. MIND BLMK wants to ensure that no-one has to face a mental health problem alone. The non-profit offers aid through peer support groups, mentoring, counselling, and corporate programs for clients of all ages in Bedfordshire, Luton and Milton Keynes. Age UK Milton Keynes– Many seniors face isolation and a lack of support. Age UK provides an array of services for older adults in need. Through the organization, seniors can receive counselling and social activities as well as services like cleaning, technology support, and vetted trade recommendations. Keech Hospice– Keech is one of very few organizations that provide free care for adults and children facing life-limiting and terminal illnesses....

Parade of Playhouses Jul25

Parade of Playhouses

Each summer for the last 24 years, a special event benefiting a great cause sets up shop at the NorthPark Center shopping mall in Dallas. It’s the Parade of Playhouses benefitting Dallas Court Appointed Special Advocates (CASA), and it raises much-needed funds for this important non-profit organization. CASA supports abused and neglected children in the Dallas area in 1979. The nationwide organization helps children in need gain safe, permanent homes. Last year, 1,300 CASA volunteers helped 3,100 Dallas kids. Their efforts are made possible by year-round fundraising and donations. For the Parade of Playhouses, Dallas architects, builders, businesses and individuals donate time, design and supplies to construct tiny houses, which are unique, creative, and might make a grown-up wish they could go back in time. Each is on a 10×12 foundation footprint. Some are modern and artistic, others whimsical, all just cool. Who wouldn’t love a backyard escape with a rock-climbing wall on the outside? Or how about a replica tiny travel trailer for summer backyard campouts? Families purchase raffle tickets for $5 each and enter to win the playhouse of their choice. CASA benefits from the funds raised, and a handful of lucky donors end up with a very special addition to their backyards. “My daughter is 11, and every year she loves to look at all the playhouses to decide which raffle we’re going to enter. When we don’t win, she wants Daddy to try to build it for her,” said Michael Sheaffer, senior director of client services in Yardi’s Dallas office. This year, Yardi employees played an important role in helping the fundraiser run smoothly by donating time to volunteer at the 17-day event. A total of 30 employees from the Dallas office were able to make time to help CASA, one...