Positive Change Dec12

Positive Change

What if you could help to end family homelessness? Not just through a single meal or a temporary residence but through a life-changing and habit-altering program for determined adults? Yardi employees in San Diego were able to do just that by volunteering with Solutions for Change. Vista, California is home to Solutions for Change, one of the nation’s only full service programs to end homelessness. To date, the organization has empowered 850 families in the San Diego area including 2,200 children. Solutions University is the key to the program’s long-term success. The university integrates affordable housing, job training, education, and wellness services. Participants work, pay rent, and attend educational classes that reinforce self-sufficiency. In about 1,000 days, participants can complete the program and emerge ready to end homelessness in their families for good. It is an empowering and effective program that has changed lives since 1999. Yardi participated in a home preparation project for Solutions University graduates. Before the official on-site project, Yardi San Diego team members prepared by collecting donations of much needed items. Cleaning supplies composed most of the donations as well as gift cards for additional home supplies. Team members also donated gift cards for the residents that would allow them to better equip their new apartments. For the on-site event, Yardi employees Melissa Krautwald, Larry Galang, Karen Detmar, Kathy Bretado, Tyler Dalsted, Louie Arzaga, Melissa Krautwald, Jeremy Hoover and Dave Chmelka volunteered. The team helped to “turn units” in preparation for two Solutions University families. Volunteers scrubbed bathrooms, mopped floors, and cleaned windows, walls, doors and door jams. Solutions for Change provided new dishware that the volunteers cleaned and stored. The units went from drab to fab in about three hours. “It was powerful to see some of the families that...

Supporting Families

When Yardi employee Isabella Mitchell read our original story on Yardi Vasti Vikas Prakalp (YVVP), she pondered ways to get involved with health and sanitation efforts in impoverished in Pune, India. Months later, she and her daughter received the opportunity of a lifetime. Isabella’s daughter, Angelina Mitchell, is a registered EMT and pre-med major at Binghamton University.  Angelina wanted to volunteer abroad and felt called to support Vasti Vikas Prakalp as well. When her mother received a work assignment in Pune, Angelina asked to join her on the trip. While Isabella worked, Bharati Kotwal, Head of Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR) at Yardi in Pune, helped Angelina find ways to get involved. The college student toured several clinics and hospitals with doctors via YVVP. The doctors serve at special sites that offer care free of charge. Angelina focused on programs that assist women and children. “Dr. Genesh showed me one of the mobile clinics that bring the services to the women and children who are not able to travel. These clinics have a doctor on staff that does free check ups and provides the women of Pune with the appropriate contraceptives. This clinic sees about 50 patients a day, 21 days out of every month,” said Angelina. At District Hospital, Dr. Ashwin leads a unique two-week program to prevent and treat malnourishment. Mothers are educated on proper nutrition for their children. Their malnourished children are simultaneously treated with a soft mixture of natural foods to restore health. The mothers receive a small stipend to offset their time in the program away from their families and work. Poor nutrition and early, frequent motherhood contributes to low iron level in local young women. Angelina learned that a lack of footwear exacerbates malnutrition and anemia. Hookworm infects already vulnerable...

CSR, Part Two

Part two of a two-part feature. Read the first article. In 2014, real estate technology provider Yardi established The Yardi Foundation, which supports nonprofit organizations that are located near the company’s offices around the world. Yardi opted for a two-tier CSR model, dividing a seven-figure donation between them: one tier supports several small-scale projects. Yardi designates a sum for every office of more than 50 employees. The grants are allotted to local organizations that are nominated by employees and approved by peer committees. The second tier takes on an international challenge. Yardi launched Yardi Vasti Vikas Prakalp (YVVP) in Pune, India in 2006. It is one of Yardi’s largest CSR programs to date, providing financial support to 17 local non-governmental organizations (NGOs) and community-based organizations (CBOs). All partnering entities serve some of India’s most disadvantaged neighborhoods. Gordon Morrell, Executive Vice President, Yardi, works closely with The Yardi Foundation. “Our work there is focused within the urban poor communities that are just a short distance from the office. These projects include cleaning shared toilet blocks to improve sanitation, working in local schools and preschools, providing vocational training for young people, and funding a mobile medical unit specifically for women’s health issues. Some of the work is conducted by NGOs; in addition, Yardi has hired social workers to provide direct services in many of the areas,” Morrell said. Yardi uses multiple measures of success including impact surveys and reports directly from the NGOs and CBOs. As of 2016, YVVP provided health care services for 120,000 women and children; 500 sanitation units for poor urban communities; and career services for 1,480 teens and young adults. “We got involved in CSR because we simply wanted to give back to the communities that have supported our business and our...

Growing Goodwill

Many multifamily firms are turning to corporate social responsibility (CSR) to meet the needs of their communities beyond the walls of the homes that they develop, manage and support. CSR initiatives encompass a company’s efforts to promote positive societal, economic or environmental change. The initiatives are self-regulated, and the scope and scale of CSR programs can vary widely. The results, however, share common benefits. Four real estate firms shared their successful approaches to local and international CSR projects. Spreading local goodwill MC Residential of Arizona founded the Sharing the Good Life Foundation, the company’s non-profit, to make a positive difference in the communities where employees live, work, learn and play. Lesley Brice, President, has been involved since the nascent stages of the program. “We’ve raised hundreds of thousands of dollars over the past several years, most of which have been through payroll deductions and time off deductions or donations, as well as vendor matching activities,” Brice said. The Foundation has collected 715 volunteer hours, 42,036 employee PTO hours, and $55,617 in payroll contributions. The funds raised are directed towards local nonprofit organizations. The nonprofits are nominated by employees and selected by a peer grant committee. In recent years, MC Residential focused resources on two national organizations: Autism Speaks and the Southwest Autism Research and Resource Center (SARRC). “We found our niche in raising money for autism when we brought autism awareness to the Arizona Multihousing Association (AMA). We raised over $100,000, mostly through PTO donations. We created a program, hours4autism.com. That way, rather than reaching in their pocket, team members can donate hours of PTO time toward whatever charity we were getting behind at the time. Everyone got to participate in a little way that added up,” Brice said. MC Residential also encouraged vendor...

SAFE House

Junior League is a woman-operated nonprofit organization that is committed to developing the potential of women, promoting volunteerism, and community improvement. Junior League of Santa Barbara (JLSB), founded in 1924, continues the tradition of leadership and service in the central coast. Several Yardi team members are involved with LSB including Tori Fisher, Sustainer Melanie Calbow, and Kelly Johnson. Johnson has been with the organization for four years. “I joined JLSB because I have always had a passion for volunteering and wanted to find more ways to become involved with the community,” says Johnson. “Through trainings, I have learned to excel in a variety of areas outside of my current job role and am learning to be a better leader.” She adds, “While the international Junior League was first founded in 1901, I think it is more relevant today than ever before.  Our mission remains the same: promoting voluntarism, developing the potential of women and improving communities through the effective action and leadership of trained volunteers.” “We work towards making lasting improvements in the community, just as women did in the early 1900s,” Johnson continues. “Too often we hear about all of the negatives in the world and we need people coming together to make changes for the better.” The organization continues to be a positive force in the community. In 2016, JLSB raised more than $100,000 for local causes. Additionally, the Focus Area Committee at JLSB undertakes extensive research to select a Signature Project, the nonprofit’s most ambitious community service endeavor. One project can take several years. JLSB took on the renovation of Eastside Library as a former Signature Project. Phase one gave the teen space a modern and appealing update. Phase two transformed the basement of the library to a bright, fun, and welcoming space...

Walk for Hope 2017 Nov01

Walk for Hope 2017

The 29th Annual Thad & Alice Eure Walk for Hope united people from different paths for life for a single goal: discovering the causes of, and potential cures for, mental illness. More than 3,000 walkers participated this year including eleven Yardi team members. Greg Smith, Vice President, Client Services and Raleigh’s General Manager, shared why he has participated in the event for multiple years. “In 2011 our office was rocked by the suicide of one of our most fun and energetic team members, Tim Owens.  Tim’s death put a spotlight on depression and mental health for me. In the days and weeks after, our team members came together to support each other and share.” Mental illness affects as many as 1 in 5 American adults. It wasn’t until the death of Owens that Smith realized the scope of mental illnesses in the United States. “It’s not just depression,” Smith reflected. “There’s PTSD, postpartum depression, eating disorders, schizophrenia, anxiety – the list goes on and on. But unlike when someone has cancer or arthritis, there’s a stigma associated with mental health. People are embarrassed, even though these are real health problems that can be diagnosed and in many cases treated.  The result of that stigma is that people don’t get help.” “The Walk not only raises money for medical research, but it also raises awareness and gets conversations going,” said Smith. All of the funds raised by participants directly benefits local mental health research at the UNC-Chapel Hill Department of Psychiatry. To date, the organization has donated $5 million to 128 research grants. The grants leveraged an additional $145 million from the National Institute of Health. The nonprofit has also donated more than $320,000 to 36 local community service grants. Yardi team members that participated in the event included...

Feeding SB County

Members of the Yardi Marketing team gathered for a two-day conference in sunny Santa Barbara. As the conference drew to a close, the team celebrated with a volunteer service event at The Foodbank of Santa Barbara County (Foodbank SBC). Foodbank SBC is moving the community from hunger to health. The organization is “not only feeding but teaching how to fish.” Leslie Velez, Development Coordinator, explained, “Our motto means that the Foodbank helps clients move beyond a state of food insecurity through education and resources. With many of our programs, food distribution is offered alongside nutrition education, cooking instruction, exercise classes, and connection to support services like CalFresh and blood sugar testing. We want clients to have the tools they need to live healthy lives.” Foodbank SBC first works to ensure that clients have access to enough healthy food to feed a family. Of 10 million pounds of food distributed each year, half is fresh produce donated by groceries and local farms and gleaned from people’s homes. To continue the fishing metaphor, the organization has also created “the net,” a network of partners. Members include gardeners, many of who are Master Gardeners, who teach gardening classes year-round. Budgeting classes are led by a partner nonprofit to help people shop smart for food. The Foodbank also issues “fishing” tools, programs for growing food, preparing food, and using food in a way that improves food security. The Feed the Future initiative encompasses six educational programs geared towards youth and teens. Food Literacy in Preschool and Healthy School Pantry collaborate with local schools to promote access to fresh produce and provide an enhanced understanding of nutritional intake. Healthy School Pantry serves more than 8,000 clients. Kids Farmers Market gives kids an interactive experience with growing fruits and vegetables, selecting...

Pitching In

Nearly three dozen Yardi Atlanta team members and their loved ones recently volunteered for the Mimosa Elementary School Courtyard Cleanup. Their efforts transformed a neglected square into a welcoming space for students and faculty. A growing body of research confirms the importance of green space in communities. They foster physical and mental health, bolster energy, and even reduce crime rates. The myriad of benefits associated with green spaces highlights the significance of the elementary school courtyard. Winding walkways, a spacious deck, and raised garden beds made the courtyard a beautiful place for learning. School counselor Flynn Pustilnik explained, “Teachers can facilitate their reading or writing time outdoors and incorporate science curriculum into that time. Some teachers have incorporated project-based learning with our outdoor space and made habitats for the turtles out there. As the counselor, I like to use the outdoor space to eat lunch with students.” In recent years, however, weeds filled the garden beds and shrubs peaked near the gutters. In Georgia, school budgets do not include funds for landscaping other than grass mowing. A gardening club invested personal funds and time to maintain the space for years but the club eventually dissolved. The courtyard became a less inviting place. The two turtles—one of which is more than 14 years old—were the only ones who liked to linger in the courtyard. It was time for an overhaul. Yardi Atlanta stepped up to help the local school. The courtyard cleanup is one of many outreach collaborations between Yardi and Mimosa Elementary School, including a recent school supply drive. The morning of the event, rain drizzled as the volunteers arrived to the parking lot, unloading the gardening tools and cleaning supplies that they brought from home. Other volunteers arrived with supplies from Home Depot, purchased with gift...

Transition House

There is something special about nonprofit galas: the glitz, the big names, and the buzz of fellowship in the air. But how special would it feel if the gala didn’t exist at all? What if all of a nonprofit’s funds were directed to the people who need it most? Transition House explores the no-ball fundraiser concept with Help-a-Kid No-Ball. Transition House in Santa Barbara provides housing and services for families facing housing insecurity. Heather Stevenson, Grants Manager at Transition House, has seen hardworking families lose everything. “In Santa Barbara, the cost of living is so high that people without a safety net or family support can lose everything when an unexpected crisis occurs,” she said.  “A job loss or a medical emergency might be all that stands between a family that is already poor and homelessness.” She recalls a family that arrived to transition house several years ago. The father, a roofer, was unable to earn pay during one rainy winter month. Though he had part of his rent payment for the next month, he lacked $430. The family lost their apartment as well as all of their possessions. Transition House was there to help. The non-profit offers emergency shelter, transitional and permanent housing, as well as homelessness prevention services to promote long term stability. Each family obtains the essentials such as three meals each day, clothing and reliable shelter. Case managers and a career development specialist work together with heads of household to improve money management skills, education, and employment preparation. Since the organization exclusively serves families with children, about 60 percent of its residents are under the age of 18. When children enter Transition House, they are able to participate in uplifting programs and interventions that may provide the care and stability...

Austin Cap 10K

When it comes to celebrating the importance of parks, there is no better place to gather than a local park on a balmy spring day. Ideal weather helped to make Vic Mathias Shores Park the perfect backdrop for the 2017 Austin Cap 10K, a benefit race for local nonprofits. The Austin Cap 10K race winds 6.2 miles through the city and is accompanied by a two-day health and fitness expo. Participants are encouraged to come dressed as their favorite superhero or sport t-shirts from their favorite business or organization. Several Yardi Austin team members participated in the race including Dan Woodhead, Joshua Dwyer, Kelly Wolf, Ann Vejsa, Will Manns, Daniel Cook, Nicole Benavidez, Ashley Musso, and Robyn Chavez. Chavez, a five-time race participant, describes the morning of the event. “The weather was perfect! I was a little nervous but overall excited. There were more than 20,000 people who ran it this year and the crowd was amazing!” Participants are encouraged to walk, jog, or run the course. The race leads registrants through several popular landmarks in the city, which makes for terrific sightseeing at a slower pace. There are just enough hills to make the race a fun challenge for experienced runners. “I like to stay active as much as possible,” says Chavez. “Since I’ve done this race in the past, I like to continue with my yearly tradition and try to beat my time from the previous year.” Chaves beat last year’s time by two minutes. Post-race events take place at Vic Mathias Shores Main Lawn overlooking the Lady Bird Lake waterfront. Participants receive massages, free prizes and swag from vendors. Food trucks, live music, and interactive exhibits create a festive atmosphere for hours after the race has ended. What makes the Austin...

Yardi United Sep27

Yardi United

In the wake of Hurricane Harvey, Yardi quickly established relief resources for clients and a donation platform for employees. To date, Yardi employees have contributed thousands of dollars to disaster relief efforts. The Yardi Foundation will match these employee contributions. Thurs far, Yardi has donated a significant chunk of its $1 million foundation pledge to the following organizations: ShelterBox USA specializes in emergency, temporary shelter for families displaced by natural disasters and conflict. The organization estimates that about 85 million people around the world have been made homeless by adverse natural and political conditions. Houston Food Bank leads the fight against hunger by facilitating food access for all. Last fiscal year, the Houston Food Bank distributed 83,000,000 nutritious meals through local organizations. Nearly 20 counties benefit from Houston Food Bank services. OneStar Foundation has partnered with the Michael and Susan Dell Foundation to rebuild Texas. The organizations set a goal to raise $100 million through concerts, special events, and other fundraisers. To date, the Rebuild Texas Fund has received $68.6 million to help with Hurricane Harvey recovery efforts. Southeast Texas Food Bank partners with over 130 non-profit agencies in eight counties. The non-profits provide approximately 90,000 meals to people in need each month. Greater Houston Community Foundation is one of the largest grant makers in the region. The Foundation helps donor direct their contributions towards causes that will have profound impact. One grant, the Mayor Turner and County Judge Emmett Establish Hurricane Harvey Relief Fund, has raised more than $67,400,400. Coastal Bend Food Banks, formerly Food Bank of Corpus Christi, offers two family programs and three programs that are targeted towards kids and teens. In addition to food security, the organization focuses on nutrition education. St. Bernard Project shrinks the time between disaster and recovery. The...

Helping After Irma Sep15

Helping After Irma

When Hurricane Irma devastated a string of Caribbean islands and loomed off the coast of Florida, it had been less than two weeks since Hurricane Harvey made landfall in southeast Texas, displacing thousands of people from their homes. Irma was the strongest Atlantic basin hurricane ever recorded. It triggered evacuation orders for 5.6 million people and made two landfalls before being downgraded to a tropical storm on Monday, September 11. For a second time this summer, our team members mobilized for a natural disaster response. Having recently created a housing website to help those affected by Harvey find temporary and permanent homes, we used this experience to quickly launch another dedicated housing registry to assist residents displaced by Irma. Leveraging our RENTCafé property marketing and leasing platform, RENTCafe.com/HurricaneIrma allows displaced residents to find new housing. It also makes it possible for housing providers with properties in the affected and surrounding areas to quickly and easily list available units, some with special concessions. There is no charge for companies to list their properties on the website or for residents to use it. There is also a toll-free hotline that evacuees can call seeking housing assistance if internet is not available. The hotline can be reached at (844) 363-6317. With many clients in the affected areas, we’re offering disaster response assistance for clients affected by either hurricane, including additional program support and tools to help clients communicate with their residents during the aftermath. Taking care of our clients is a critical part of the Yardi mission statement, and representatives are reaching out now to offer these and other services at no charge. “The best-case scenario for everyone is that our disaster response efforts remain untested, but we have them in place so that we can aid...

Storyteller SB Sep12

Storyteller SB

Since 1988, Storyteller Children’s Center has helped Santa Barbara’s homeless and at-risk toddlers achieve kindergarten readiness. Therapeutic preschool and support services provide students will the skills needed to beat the odds and excel. Since our previous article, Storyteller has grown. The second location and its staff are thriving. Even with the second location, the center has a waitlist for enrollments. In 2014, the waitlist averaged 80 families. This year, the waitlist has 144 families. The demand for Storyteller services continues to rise as local families struggle with homelessness, food security, and access to fundamental necessities. More than 90 percent of families serviced live below the 2017 Federal Poverty Guideline of $24,600 for a family of four. Delene Bliss, Director of Development at Storyteller, understands the conditions in which many students live. “That’s not a livable wage,” Bliss said. “That’s just the federal poverty guideline but that wage makes living very, very difficult in Santa Barbara.” About 56 percent of Storyteller families are single income, single parent households. Shelters or crowded, shared residences are what 53 percent of students call home. In addition to precarious living conditions, 43 percent of children strive to learn while managing developmental delays or disabilities. Without the help of Storyteller, these children would risk falling farther behind than their peers. The small classroom settings and one-on-one attention that students receive at Storyteller increase students’ chances for success. Yet in spite of the odds, Storyteller students are flourishing. Storyteller collaborated with the University of California, Channel Island and the University of California, Santa Barbara to conduct a study of Storyteller graduates. Dr. Michael Furlong of the University of California, Santa Barbara’s Counseling Clinical and School Psychology program led a team of researchers on a quest to determine the long-term effects of...

Helping After Harvey Sep11

Helping After Harvey

On August 25, 2017, Hurricane Harvey made landfall in southeast Texas. The devastating tropical storm dumped more than 50 inches of rain and killed more than 50 people during its four-day rampage. Due to flooding caused by the hurricane, more than 30,000 people were displaced from their homes in Texas and Louisiana. The evacuees staying in shelters or with friends and relatives included many renters. Yardi software helps manage a significant percentage of the Houston multifamily housing market. Yardi committed $1 million to support nonprofit organizations in the rebuilding of the areas affected by the hurricane, and will match employee donations to the hurricane relief fund. But there was also an opportunity to assist those in need of temporary or permanent housing due to floodwater damage. “The state of Texas is about to undergo one of the largest recovery-housing missions that the nation has ever seen,” FEMA Administrator Brock Long said at a news conference Monday. “It’s a long process. Housing is going to be very frustrating in Texas.” Following in the footsteps of an effort to create a housing clearinghouse for Canadians who lost their homes in the May 2016 Fort McMurray wildfire, our RENTCafé development team sprang into action. Using the RENTCafé property marketing and leasing platform, they quickly built a housing website that will help displaced residents find temporary and permanent homes. The website (RENTCafe.com/HurricaneHarvey) allows housing providers to post available units and for displaced residents to search for housing.  Housing providers can visit the site to list properties at no charge. “We had experience with this kind of rush site build from our work on a housing registry website for the fire victims in Canada last spring,” said Chris Ulep, vice president of multifamily development at Yardi. “A collaborative effort got the website ready in just a couple of days. We hope that hurricane evacuees will find it useful as they search for new homes.” Yardi has also launched a hotline that evacuees looking for housing can call for housing assistance. The toll-free number is (844) 363-6317. Additionally, Yardi is offering disaster response assistance for clients on the RENTCafé platform, including nudge messaging, voice messaging and call automation to help clients communicate with their residents during the aftermath. Yardi representatives are reaching out to clients in the affected area to explain and offer these and other services at no charge. “We have many valued clients in the affected area, and it is important to us to assist those clients as well as their residents who may have been displaced. Thousands of people have lost their housing due to this devastating natural disaster, and we want to help in any way we can,” said Anant Yardi, president and founder of Yardi. The efforts to help were appreciated by those in the affected area. “Our industry is committed to housing and providing needed services like online housing portals and other resources to assist those in need.  We applaud the efforts of our supplier partners to assist those impacted by the hurricane,” said Chris Newton, executive vice president of the Texas Apartment Association. Additional resources for Yardi clients in the region include: The Texas Apartment Association has links to relevant documents and policies that may affect Houston property owners and managers. Policies for tax credit properties during federally declared disasters. An Emergency and Disaster Library from the National Apartment Association, with Hurricane Harvey content. For those who would like to help or support agencies working on the recovery effort in Texas, there are many ways to do so. A few resources include: Relief organizations assisting with evacuee support: Red Cross: donate online or by text REDCROSS to 90999 to give $10 to American Red Cross Disaster Relief. The United Way Salvation Army – Text STORM to 51555 GlobalGiving Hurricane Harvey Relief Fund Greater Houston Community Foundation – Hurricane Harvey Relief Fund The Way Home Portlight Charity Navigator compiled a...

Stronger + Smarter Sep07

Stronger + Smarter

Local students are back in class, and that means back to awesome after school activities for the young ladies who participate in Girls Inc. of Greater Santa Barbara’s afternoon programming. Yardi is a longtime philanthropic supporter of Girls Inc.’s efforts in the community. For the second year, this fall a partnership with UCSB’s Gevirtz Graduate School of Education will expose several dozen fourth to sixth grade girls to career opportunities in science, technology, engineering and math (STEM). The program is called the Curie-osity Project (after trailblazing female scientist Marie Curie), and it was a runaway success when it started in Winter 2017. “The girls are exposed to women who are in the STEM profession. They are experiencing hands on STEM projects and having the opportunity to really dive in and and learn about those areas,” said Kristina Webster, director of programs for Girls Inc. The success of the program highlights two of the things the non-profit organization excels at: creating meaningful community partnerships, and enlisting the support of dedicated volunteers. 12 female UCSB scientists donated their time to welcome the Girls Inc. students to their laboratories and offices last year – a similar number will do the same this fall and winter. “We wanted to create a program that combined literacy and science for girls,” said Danielle Harlow, an associate professor of education, in a UCSB press release. Harlow and colleague Diana Arya were the leaders on the UCSB side of the project. “We specifically wanted the girls to come to UCSB’s campus because research tells us that children who spend time on university campuses see college campuses as places they belong and are more likely to pursue higher education,” Harlow said. Last year, the girls in the program learned about how computer programs...

Picnic in the Park Aug25

Picnic in the Park

Millions of kids across the United States rely on school lunch as their affordable, nutritious daytime meal throughout the school year. But what happens when school is out? For many kids, hunger is a tragic condition associated with summer break. Foodbanks across the country are working to end summer hunger. The coordinated effort of nonprofit staff and volunteers serves millions of healthy meals all summer long at locations easily accessible to kids. Parks and playgrounds are prime locations to reach kids in need. Judith Smith-Meyer, marketing communications manager for the Foodbank of Santa Barbara County describes the Picnic in the Park program, which served more than 30,000 lunches in 2017 to kids across the region. “Lunches always include vegetables, fruit, milk, protein and carbohydrates. We serve everything from chef salad, tuna salad, turkey and cheese sandwiches, to plums, apples, yogurt and hardboiled eggs,” said Judith. The lunch menu can often depend on what the Foodbank has in stock. However, the notoriously fickle taste buds of children can also play a big part in crafting the menu. “We found that in certain parks the kids really did not like tuna salad sandwiches. We were thankful for that feedback and switched tuna out for peanut butter and jelly the next time we were there. At another park, the kids were really not fond of Caesar salad dressing. Our local Walmart donated another type of dressing which we served the next time we were in that park, which was a lot more successful,” said Judith. Foodbank volunteers are strategic about when and where they plan lunch services to coincide with the financial needs of neighborhoods and to not overlap with similar programs run by other organizations. “This is a big county with a lot of varying demographics....

Sizzling Summer Luau

Did you know that 48 percent of California’s seniors lack sufficient income to cover housing and meals? That means two out of every five seniors have to choose between paying rent and having enough money for food. Serving Seniors is a 501c3 nonprofit that minimizes the financial burden faced by thousands of San Diego seniors. Since 1970, Serving Seniors has offered vital services including food, health care, housing, social and educational opportunities. It is the only organization of its kind in the county, and one of few in the country, to provide for the fundamental needs of seniors. Food and housing top the organization’s list of priorities. Seniors ages 60 and older are eligible for congregate meals and physical, mental, and social health services. Seniors 62 and older are eligible for those services as well as permanent affordable housing at the organization’s communities in East Village and City Heights. There is also a transitional housing program for seniors facing housing insecurity. “Meals and affordable housing are the most-needed services we offer,” says Shannon Fogg, Communications and Special Events Manager at Serving Seniors. “San Diegans can always volunteer to help serve meals or lead classes. Any kind of class is typically interesting to our curious seniors.” Serving Seniors understands that clients have needs beyond the necessities. Learning and socialization opportunities give seniors a chance to make new friends, learn new skills and develop existing abilities. To maintain mental and physical agility, seniors participate in classes for low or no costs. Yoga, Tai Chi, interactive games, art, crafts, and health education classes are just of few opportunities for mature adult learners. The Civic Engagement league empowers low-income seniors to address challenges that impact their community. They participate in volunteer opportunities, brainstorm and execute solutions to community issues....

ATL March of Dimes

Atlanta summers are known for their sweltering heat and ruthless humidity. Those conditions were no match for Yardi Atlanta. The team of eight braved the heat to show their support for babies during the March of Dimes March for Babies. Supported by donations from fellow team members, their efforts helped to give hope and support to babies and their families. March of Dimes was born as the National Foundation for Infantile Paralysis, a response to President Franklin Roosevelt’s personal struggle with polio and his desire to see the disease eradicated. The organization fought and achieved its mission to end polio in the United States before turning its attention to broader services. The nonprofit now supports March of Dimes Prematurity Research Center in its fight for healthy babies. The center leads in groundbreaking research on the genetic causes of birth defects, screening methods, as well as pregnancy education for medical professionals and the general public. March of Dimes and the Prematurity Research Center have experienced major breakthroughs. The teams created and improved surfactant therapy to treat respiratory distress. The new Folic Acid Campaign successfully reduces incidences of neural tube defects and birth defects of the brain and spine. The organizations also founded a system of regional neonatal intensive care centers for premature and sick babies. To continue the good work, March of Dimes relies on March for Babies as its primary fundraiser. There are thousands of marches across the United States each year, each one uniting teams of family members, coworkers, and friends on a journey towards a future for healthy babies. Yardi Atlanta team members Heather Humrich, Monique Benson, Ken Romero, Kami Reid, Wendy Caffrey, Shana Winbush, Charity Williams, and Elizabeth Daniels participated in the march. They represented Yardi on the walk of the...

Back to School

Back-to-school season can be a stressful time. New schedules, new responsibilities, and seemingly endless errands can be overwhelming for families. For some, obtaining school supplies is a major stressor. Yardi Atlanta made back-to-school preparations a bit brighter for several local families. Yardi Atlanta adopted Mimosa Elementary School, a Title 1 school with about 800 students. The school lies within an Economic Opportunity Zone, an area where many families have lower incomes. Nearly 95 percent of students at the school qualify for free or reduced lunch rates, meaning that their parents’ income falls below the poverty line. The Atlanta team leads several projects to assist the school and its hardworking families. Heather Humrich, Administrative Assistant, G&A, works closely with school counselor Flynn Pustilnik. Together, they find ways to get essential resources to the kids who need them most. “I love being a school counselor,” says Pustilnik. “I enjoy helping students resolve problems that may arise and overcome barriers to learning so that they can achieve academic success.” In early August, the Atlanta team completed a School Supply Drive. Yardi employees purchased brand new school supplies and left their donations in decorative boxes throughout the office. Some employees bought paper, pencils, markers, backpacks, and similar supplies for the elementary school students. Their donations filled three large boxes. Other employees donated money for the purchase of school materials, totaling $147. Those funds contributed to four over-stuffed backpacks full of school necessities for students. Pustilnik estimates that Yardi’s donation will serve about 100 students. “The donated goods help our students start the year school prepared and ready for learning.  They can focus more on academics knowing that their basic needs have been met and that they have the materials that they will need to be successful in the classroom,”...

Raleigh Food Bank Aug09

Raleigh Food Bank

The Corporate Training Team recently convened for its annual conference. Participants dedicated one morning of the event to volunteering at the Raleigh branch of the Food Bank of Central and Eastern North Carolina (Food Bank CENC). “For my team, since we’re spread through the U.S., we only get together once a year,” says Debbie Lamberson, Team Leader, Corporate Training at Yardi. “We spend much of that time learning but this year we wanted to do team building. Everybody wants to do it again next year! It was hard work but it was exciting to know how much what we were doing was going to help seniors.” Yardi Employees Lamberson, Jamie Hall, Jon Hodgkin, Julie Taylor, Lacey Petch, Laura Guerrero, Lina Castanon, Marcus Rutherford, Patty Evans, and Steve Harris participated in the event. Cary Middle School Future Business Leaders joined Yardi employees that morning, adding a fun dynamic to the group. The team of 25 sorted and assembled packages that would be distributed to smaller food banks in the area. With their efforts combined, the volunteers completed 484 boxes for seniors in three hours, beating the organization’s record average of 450 boxes per shift. The boxes contained about 14,360 lbs of food. “The Food Bank figures 19 ounces for an average senior meal, so we created 12,101 meals,” says Lamberson. The Raleigh branch of Food Bank CENC provides relief for the vulnerable populations of 13 counties. In this region, the United States Census Bureau reports that 27.9 percent of the local population earns an income that falls below the poverty level. Food Bank CENC estimates that more than 45,500 seniors in its region live in poverty, and thousands more struggle to survive on a fixed income. Food donation packaging is just one of the many...