Sharing Literacy

Students third grade academic performance can foreshadow setbacks that they may face in adulthood. Students who cannot proficiently read by the third grade are more likely to struggle in class, drop out of school and face incarceration. TutorMate, an Innovations for Learning program, helps to prepare students for success in school and in adulthood. The program uses technology to pair students with volunteers for remote tutoring sessions. During each 30-minute session, they read stories and play games together that build comprehension and fluency. The program has achieved replicable results, such as an 18-point reading score improvement in Chicago and 14-point reading score gain in Washington, DC. Volunteers from 27 cities representing more than 200 corporations, universities and governmental agencies participate in the program. Nearly 10,000 students benefit from their volunteerism. Amy Thomas, a customer service representative in Yardi’s Colorado Springs office, introduced the program to her colleagues in the summer of 2018. Ten volunteers were needed to kick off the effort – within a day, she had filled the signup roster. The team is working with a school in the Denver area. From their desks, Yardi employees give a half hour of their time once a week to connect with their students. “Reading is essential for success in the future, so this really makes a difference,” said Thomas, who became familiar with the program at a previous job. “Knowing that we’re making a difference in our community, and seeing the progress with your students each week – that’s great for both the employee and the student.” Connections with the first graders are easy and natural, she said. Stephanie Eide, associate technical account manager in Colorado Springs, is among the volunteers. “I have a daughter who is also learning to read so I wanted to help,” said Eide. “I loved reading as a kid, so I love that I can help other kids love it as well. Some kids need more practice and I love that I can offer that to them.” Eide knew that she was paired with the right student when she found out that they shared Halloween birthdays. “I don’t meet very many people that share my birthday. So you also get to be somewhat of a mentor to them as well!” During a typical session, Eide and her student buddy begin with flashcards. They then read a few short stories and complete comprehension questions. “There are also games we play,” said Eide. “Her favorite is tic tac toe. If you can read the word in the box you get an X or O. She usually beats me. It is so much fun. She is very smart and is gets better at reading every week!” Thomas is hoping to introduce other Yardi offices around the country to the nationwide program. For more information about how to participate, you can email her at amy.thomas@yardi.com Yardi is Energized for Good – and you can join in! TutorMate is accepting new volunteers. Groups can register to participate in upcoming...

On the Go Giving Dec08

On the Go Giving

Looking for a way to get more involved with the local community? Move for Hunger is a nonprofit that connects you, your residents, and your local food bank. Move for Hunger partners with the American Moving and Storage Association to get nonperishable food into the hands of those in need. Before relocating, residents coordinate with their moving company to deliver unwanted goods to local food banks. To date, the organization has transported more than 11,479, 245 pounds of food to food banks. The donations created 9,566,038 meals for people facing food insecurity. You and your residents can get in on the giving! Arranging a Move for Hunger Donation Setting up a Move for Hunger donation is incredibly simple. First, residents must find a participating professional mover. There are more than 1,000 to choose from across the United States. (And since residents are relocating, anyway, this step is super practical.) The residents and the mover will set up their moving date. While the residents are packing their belongings, they set aside the nonperishable items that they’d like to donate. On the day of the move, the mover will transport the nonperishable food to the nearest local food bank. Benefits for Residents Residents are looking for a way to quickly and easily clean out their unit. Move for Hunger helps them do just that. • All the food that they can’t eat before the move is relocated, rather than tossed in the trash. Donating the unwanted food requires no additional legwork for residents. • The food pick-up may potentially minimize the cost of the move! By donating items in the fridge, pantry, and cabinets there will be fewer boxes to move while residents are being charged. Benefits for You! By promoting Move for Hunger, you’re doing...

Food Bank CENC Dec06

Food Bank CENC

In September 2018, Hurricane Florence left disaster in its wake. Low-lying towns along the South Carolina and North Carolina coasts received the worst of the damages. In the months to come, the storm would unite the region in one of its darkest hours. Hurricane Florence dumped 30-36 inches of rain on the region in two days. The rainfall caused catastrophic flooding. Cape Fear River, which runs nearly 200 miles from the Atlantic to Wilsonville, crested 62 feet. Nearby rivers and creeks also flooded, submerging homes, destroying businesses and washing out two interstates. About 350, 000 people were without power in North Carolina. At least 43 people lost their lives in storm-related events. Following the bleak aftermath came a surge of hope. Assistance poured in from throughout the nation, with the strongest concentration of aid coming from neighboring states. Food, clothing, and supplies began to make their way to those in need. On the ground, Food Bank of Central & Eastern North Carolina (FBCENC) and its 100 partner agencies were among the first to channel the aid and help communities recover. Volunteer Services Coordinator Michael McKay said, “You see an outpouring of love at this time, during a disaster. It’s amazing that we see so many people here to help out.” FBCENC set up more than 85 contact points in the hardest hit areas. “We’re going to be here for you,” said Michael Cotten, Branch Director at FBCENC. “The Food Bank is a first responder and we’re going to be here in the long term.” Yardi corporate contributed funds to FBCENC to support relief programs. “While the efforts are far from over, we have been able to provide more than 5.5 million pounds of food and supplies to our neighbors over the past two months...

Empowering Learners

The second annual Santa Barbara Gives! (SB Gives!) is now underway. This holiday fundraiser and competition is a fun way to unite local donors and nonprofits. When their efforts are combined, Santa Barbara thrives. So, What’s This All About? SB Gives! aims to motivate philanthropy by highlighting innovative nonprofits. Readers can explore the nonprofits’ missions on the SB Gives! website. Once inspired, readers are encouraged to donate to their nonprofit(s) of choice. Of course, a little friendly competition keeps things interesting. SB Gives! features a leaderboard to show which nonprofit has raised the most funds to date. Donations are tracked in real time! What’s the Skinny on EqualiTech? Among the noteworthy nonprofits stands EqualiTech, the brain child of math teacher Danny Fitzgibbons. Through his studies and career, he learned of the disparity that occurs between children with early access to technology and those without. Learning gaps are evident as early as kindergarten. Fitzgibbons wanted to create a program that provided access to critical technologies regardless of socioeconomic status. Today, EqualiTech makes technology accessible to residents of Goleta and nearby neighborhoods. The organization aims to improve computer literacy by providing public computer access at Goleta Valley Tech Center. The site is staffed by a bilingual manager and instructor who is available to answer questions and work one on one with patrons who need help. At the center, students learn basic computer skills such as typing, navigating a computer, and creating and managing an email account. Students can also receive help with special projects like website design and resolving hardware issues. Students’ time at EqualiTech is meant to be fun and practical. Naturally, students learn how to keep in touch with loved ones via social media. Of equal importance, they learn tips and tricks on how to...

Supporting the Community Nov30

Supporting the Community

To jumpstart the giving season, Yardi Atlanta Charity Committee recently released an overview of the year’s philanthropic efforts. The grants demonstrate Yardi’s mission to “take care of our communities” in action! The following 15 nonprofits received support from Yardi Atlanta in 2018. March of Dimes March of Dimes programs educate medical professionals to ensure that moms and babies get the best care available. The organization also helps families with newborns who are facing medical challenges. Several Yardi Atlanta team members participated in the annual March for Babies walk, hosted by March of Dimes. Yardi corporate also matched donations made to the organization. Mimosa Elementary School Mimosa Elementary is a Title 1 school of about 800 students. Located within an Economic Opportunity Zone, nearly 95 percent of parents’ incomes fall below the poverty line. Despite its difficulties, the dedicated school staff and Yardi team members work together to help students succeed. Recent initiatives included a backpack drive and courtyard cleanup. This year’s donation focused on improving the reading levels of third graders. Studies suggest that third grade literacy increases high school graduation rates. Camp Twin Lakes Camp Twin Lakes is a nonprofit with locations in Rutledge, Winder, and Warm Springs, GA. Camp excursions and activities provide fun developmental opportunities for children facing serious illnesses and disabilities. Kids can also experience the fun through the Campers to Go program, which takes interactive experiences to children’s hospitals throughout the state. Camp Twin Lakes continues its strong relationship with Yardi Atlanta. Through the Camper Scholarship Program, Yardi empowered 27 kids to attend camp. Make-A-Wish Georgia Never underestimate the power of a dream fulfilled! The national Make-A-Wish Foundation grants wishes for children facing life-threatening illnesses. Granting a wish brings hope! And a positive attitude can help to battle illness and improve quality of life. Yardi’s donation enabled 406 critically ill children to watch their dreams come true. Atlanta Humane Society The Atlanta Humane Society, a no-kill shelter, serves about 30,000 animals each year. Animals receive medical assistance as well as the opportunity to find a forever home with local families. Yardi’s contribution paid for 5,000 surgeries for rescued animals. Atlanta Community Food Bank In northwest Georgia, 1 in 5 children face food insecurity. Atlanta Community Food Bank aims to end food insecurity for families in need. Yardi’s donation supported mobile units that meet immediate demand for nutritious food in homes and at schools. While on site, staff members help residents complete screenings for longer-term assistance programs. Marcus and Sharon Gunter Foundation (MSG Foundation) Hunger adversely affects health outcomes as well as a person’s quality of life. The MSG Foundation serves families, children and seniors facing hunger in Cumming, Ga. With Yardi’s support, recipients receive aid through a monthly grocery supplementation program. School-aged children are eligible for Bags of Love, which provides sack lunches to kids during school breaks. Atlanta Children’s Shelter Atlanta Children’s Shelter aims to end family homelessness in Georgia. The organization also offers therapeutic programming to facilitate recovery from trauma. Yardi Atlanta’s donation was allotted to the STEAM program, which helps homeless children reach developmental and academic milestones. Foster Care Support Foundation More than 8,000 children rely on foster services in Georgia.  Children can escape abuse and neglect through Foster Care Support Foundation. The organization supplies essential items for foster parents and their families. Yardi’s donation provided 90 children with necessities such as clothing, books and basic care items. The contribution minimizes financial strain for foster families. Yardi’s donation also supports the mentorship program that helps teens in foster care navigate their journey towards adulthood. Lost-n-Found Sexual minority youth compose more than 40 percent of homeless youth in Atlanta. Lost-n-Found Youth strives to end homelessness for young members of the LGBTQ community. The nonprofit offers housing and counseling services to those in need. In addition to financial donations such as Yardi’s, Lost-n-Found Youth provides services through thrift shop revenues. The Drake House...

Meals for Kids Nov29

Meals for Kids

Each day, millions of kids rely on the National Breakfast and Lunch Programs. More than 11.6 million free breakfasts and 20 million free lunches help students reach their potential on school days. Such meal assistance is not available to kids in need on weekends. That’s when the Inter-faith Food Shuttle lends a helping hand. Transforming “Waste” Into Meals Inter-faith Food Shutter is an innovative nonprofit based in Raleigh, N.C. The organization disrupts the standard American food cycle, which is rife with waste. More than 40 percent of food that is grown and processed never makes it to families’ tables. Up to 75 percent of produce, for example, is sent to the trash simply because of its appearance. Rather than throwing away more 6 million pounds of local food, Inter-faith Foo d Shutter reroutes the groceries to homes in need. Food is procured from 350 donors including retail donations, volunteer food drives, commercial field gleaning, and the nonprofit’s teaching farm. Yardi Raleigh Preps Meals for Kids Backpack Buddies, an Inter-faith Food Shuttle program, uses rescued food to feed Raleigh’s youth. The program provides 10-12 pounds of food to children from low-income households. The nutritious food is intended to help children through the weekends when free school meals are not available. Each Backpack Buddies bag includes enough food for six meals and two snacks: two proteins, two vegetables, one fruit, two packs of noodles, two milks, one 100% fruit juice and two snacks. Local volunteers help to stuff the backpacks for delivery. Yardi Raleigh rose to the challenge. The Help Desk community service crew turned their team outing into a volunteer opportunity. Volunteers included Ashley Godshalk, Brian Baker, Doug Thompson, Elliott Arnold, Kelly Haygarth, Michelle Gardner, Nick Gennaro, Rashida Lassiter, Utica Cason and Yolanda Eaton. “Team work...

Our Big Kitchen

Earlier this month, Team Yardi Australia headed to Bondi in Sydney. Switching out their laptops and phones for kitchen knives and potato peelers, the team spent the afternoons volunteering at Our Big Kitchen (OBK). OBK is about more than food, it’s a community kitchen with a soul. Created in 2000, its designed to help those in need; whether they’re going through a hard time, need a hand getting started, or are just looking for a place that provides a warm and nurturing environment. It aims not just to provide a community to its volunteers, but to help look after the millions of Australians going hungry every day. Despite being “the lucky country,” 2.2 million people in Australia go without food every year. Of those, tens of thousands come from New South Wales. OBK is on a mission to help those people, working closely with organisations such as SecondBite and Foodbank to minimize food waste and turn fresh produce into a home cooked meal. These meals are then distributed to the homeless and to regional shelters, including refuges for women and children, domestic violence shelters, asylum seekers, and more. Last year, OBK distributed over 80,000 meals to those in need. “The experience  gave all the people involved a sense of reality of how good a lot of us have it in life. Giving a little bit of our time helped 200 people that day. I recommend everyone gives a little to people in need, just like we did. It was a truly uplifting experience,” said Brook Baker, regional director, Australia and New Zealand sales. For the Yardi team, the afternoons represented an opportunity to give back, whilst learning more about the darker side of the city they live in. George Karounis, founder of OBK,  shared...

Walk for Hope

The Yardi Raleigh TKO group recently participated in a notable local event to raise awareness and research funds for mental illness: the 30th annual Thad and Alice Eure Walk for Hope. Team members who walked for the cause were Blair Kramer, Sean Bryant, Pam Davison, Karen Gibson, Jim Hill, Mimi Hill, Trevor Hyde, Chuck Justice, Kimberly Wood, Victoria Parsons, Travis Taliaferro and Rich Stevenson. The group raised $2,583 to contribute to the Walk for Hope Foundation. Founded by a well-known Raleigh family after their son was diagnosed bipolar disorder, The Walk for Hope Foundation has awarded 139 scientific research grants totaling more than $5.7 million. These funds have leveraged an additional $145 million from the National Institute of Mental Health (NIH) and other federal agencies. The TKO team’s participation in the walk has a personal and professional connection. “We lost a co-worker to suicide and the office was stunned. No one knew there was a mental health issue. Since that time, we have worked hard to support one another and have found that supporting causes like the Walk for Hope and the Foundation of Hope is a great way to support our community and help reduce the stigma that is unfortunately still attached to mental illness,” explained Kimberly Wood, a P2P Consultant on the team. “We reach out to one another when we sense someone is struggling. The Walk for Hope is a fun event, but it is rooted in very strong memories of Tim Owens, who we still miss to this day.” Learn more about the Walk for Hope Foundation and their year round events to fundraise for mental illness research. Yard is Energized for Good! Learn more about the company’s philanthropic and volunteer efforts around the U.S. and the world...

SEE International

For 44 years, Santa Barbara-based Surgical Eye Expeditions (SEE) International has been providing restorative eyesight care around the globe. The non-profit organization, founded by local ophthalmologists in 1974, relies on volunteers, grants and donors to make its important work of reducing preventable blindness possible. And as it heads toward 50 years, SEE is endeavoring to treat more patients than ever before. “There are 36 million people in the world who are blind, up to 75 percent of those are blind from preventable conditions,” said Matt Wheeler, vice president of communications for SEE. “One of the major problems is that 80 percent of these people are living in areas of the world where access to care is not available.” Cataracts, one of the leading causes of blindness, can often easily be treated – but patients must have access to qualified ophthalmologists who can perform a simple surgery. Partnering with local ophthalmologists in every region where they work, SEE volunteers made 250 trips to over 40 countries this year, and performed 40,000 sight restoring surgeries. Volunteer doctors pay for all of their own travel and housing expenses and receive no pay for their work. By 2020, SEE aims to perform 100,000 surgeries a year. In the course of the organization’s existence, volunteers have conducted 4 million eye exams and performed a half million surgeries. Other work includes training regional doctors on cataract surgery techniques, providing supplies for clinics that don’t have access to proper materials, and conducting preventative eye exams in impoverished areas. In assessing the support it has received from corporate sponsors over the years, SEE staff realized that one Santa Barbara-based company was unique in terms of longevity and generosity of support – and happened to be a close neighbor, too. “Our leadership was...

Promoting Awareness Oct05

Promoting Awareness

October is Domestic Violence Awareness Month, and Santa Barbara County’s Domestic Violence Solutions (DVS) has planned weekly events to bring this societal epidemic out of the shadows and into the light.   Candlelight vigils to bring attention to the prevalence of domestic violence across America are set for Lompoc (Oct. 11), Santa Maria (Oct. 18) and Santa Barbara (Oct. 25). Since its start in 1977, DVS has aimed to educate the public while creating a pathway of hope for those who experience domestic abuse firsthand. It is Santa Barbara County’s only full-service domestic violence agency, committed to ending the cycle of domestic violence through prevention and intervention services. With support from state and federal funds, grants and corporate and private donations, DVS provides the county’s only 24-hour shelter service, as well as the county’s only transitional housing program for domestic violence survivors. To fully illustrate its impact and the need for such services in Santa Barbara County, in 2017 DVS: Answered almost 5,000 calls to its 24-hour crisis and information lines Provided 4,687 safe nights to victims of domestic violence Responded to over 472 calls from law enforcement and emergency rooms at the victims’ location Participated in 244 educational and outreach events throughout the community Sheltered as many children as adult victims of domestic violence The Yardi Foundation is a longtime support of DVS’ work to help domestic violence survivors and their families get back on their feet, and educate the community at large about how to stop the pervasive cycle of violence. “We’re very grateful for the support we’ve gotten from Yardi. They’re a wonderful Santa Barbara company and we truly appreciate their contributions,” said DVS executive director Jan Campbell, the former chief philanthropic officer of the Santa Barbara Foundation. Campbell, who took...

Food for Thought

Yardi’s corporate culture includes a focus on community service. In the Yardi Boise office, a team of employees focused professionally on the senior living product suite decided to bring that value to life by participating in two local efforts aimed at combating hunger. First, staff partnered with Metro Meals on Wheels to serve 80 seniors in the community. Since many of the elders that benefit from Meals on Wheels are homebound and unable to prepare their own food, they rely on meal delivery as their primary source of nutrition. The Boise office team was happy to help with distributing food, cleaning, and socializing with seniors. Metro Meals on Wheels serves meals to nearly 1,000 Boise senior citizens each weekday and over 700 each weekend. Inspired by their work with Meals on Wheels, the team sought a new philanthropic challenge, this time joining with the Idaho Foodbank. The independent non-profit organization is entirely donor supported and is the largest food bank and distributor of free food assistance in Idaho. One in seven Idahoans are in need, and the food bank is making strides to not only provide meals but to promote healthy, locally-sourced foods. In fact, three quarters of the food distributed by the Idaho Foodbank is fresh or fresh frozen versus shelf stable, up from just fifty percent six years ago. So when the organization was hosting a food drive, the Yardi staff was excited to participate. This time, they volunteered to put together meals for the federally sponsored Seniors’ program and gathered donations of juice, cereal, milk and eggs into individual meal boxes. In all, the 60 employees assembled 15 palettes of meals, estimated to contain an amazing 14,000 pounds of food, to be distributed to local seniors. That’s more than enough to...

Food Bank Fridays Sep05

Food Bank Fridays

Staff at the Yardi Milton Keynes office are cleaning out their home pantries. But they’re not checking for expiration dates—they’re collecting items for the Milton Keynes Food Bank. Located in Buckinghamshire, about an hour northwest of London, the Yardi UK office employs over sixty team members, and they hope to make a big impact. As part of Yardi’s philanthropy program, the UK team started a charity committee. They sent out a survey to gather feedback and decide which charities to support as a team. The group wanted to keep things local and at first chose a handful of organizations to contribute to. But after the initial charity drive, members of the team had a desire to get involved with something a bit more hands-on. Hannah Holmes and Martin Gedny from the marketing team took a trip to the local food bank. Both learned a great deal about the types of people who benefit from the organization. “It was such an insightful experience that we decided to get involved, and at the very least, set up a donation box,” said Hannah Holmes, marketing associate. “The collection has been a massive hit, and it’s just a start. We want to also encourage team members to get down there and volunteer as well,” said Martin Gedny, senior manager, EMEA marketing. The Milton Keynes Food Bank, recipient of the Queen’s Award for Voluntary Service, aims to educate locals about the realities of hunger in the area. Long believed to be an issue only in developing countries, hunger is a very real threat; even in prosperous communities, many families live on the edge of poverty. And since the food bank relies entirely on contributions from local schools, churches and businesses, every donation counts. Each week, the team checks the...

Ash Kicking Continues Aug31

Ash Kicking Continues

Yardi was recognized for its contributions this week as the lead corporate sponsor for the Kick ASH Bash, which raised $1.3 million for distribution to local first responder agencies. Among the purchases with those funds are three new mobile command units to be used during onsite response to events like fires, floods and other public safety crises. The first MCU has been received by the Santa Barbara County Fire Department and was on display at a press conference this week. According to Eric Peterson, Fire Chief for the Department, the unit has already been put to good use. “The trailer had its maiden voyage during the recent Holiday Fire.  It provided a perfect place for the team to work, and allowed a level of collaboration that we have not had before. Having a place to work and discuss tactics and planning immediately during an incident makes a huge difference,” Peterson said. The Kick ASH Bash was the largest local philanthropic event held in the aftermath of the Thomas Fire last December and deadly Montecito mudslides that followed the fire in January. In addition to financial support, many Yardi employees served as volunteers at the event, held in February at the Nesbitt Bella Vista Estate in Summerland. Yardi and Executive Vice President Gordon Morrell were singled out for their efforts in supporting the fundraising efforts. “(Yardi) jumped up big time from day one. We really appreciate their support,” said Eric Phillips, co-chair of the event. Funds are being distributed through the non-profit Santa Barbara County Firefighters Alliance, an organization that raises money for public safety equipment that is outside of departmental budgets. “Our goal is to protect the firefighters’ safety, just as they protect our safety every day,” said Susan Petrovich, president of the Alliance. “We want to ensure that they have safe, start-of-the-art, high tech equipment so that they can do their jobs.” Petrovich said that it had been the goal of the Alliance to provide a mobile command unit for some time, but wasn’t sure where the funds would come from. “This is amazing for us. We are so grateful for this event and for the proceeds.” “These units will benefit every single resident in Santa Barbara County. Wherever there is an emergency, this will help our first responders collaborate and communicate more effectively,” said Richard Weston-Smith, an executive board member of ONE 805, the organizing force behind the fundraiser. “Our first responders don’t just need support occasionally. They need it year in and year out.” Learn more about ONE 805 and their efforts to help Santa Barbara County first responders here. Learn more about Yardi’s philanthropic and volunteer efforts...

Supporting Foster Kids Aug29

Supporting Foster Kids

The Yardi Marketing Department recently gathered for its second annual summer conference in Goleta, Calif, and the event concluded with a community service activity that was especially meaningful to two members of the team. Marketing Department Members used their creativity and empathy to decorate duffel bags for Santa Barbara County children in the process of being removed from their current homes and taken to foster care by social workers or law enforcement. The bags were filled with items like stuffed toys, a blanket, hygiene supplies, coloring books and more and picked up that afternoon by the non-profit organization Together We Rise, a national effort to support foster youth. Included were supportive cards made by the marketing team with positive and inspiring messages. Transitioning to foster care is a stressful process that can be traumatic for the kids. Foster dad Nick Koonce, manager of web services for marketing, knows this due to the experience of his foster daughter, who is now a successful college student. “Her parents were unable to care for her, due to their substance abuse, mental health issues and frequent incarceration. She had been raised by her elderly grandparents, who passed away and she was left with no one able to be responsible for her. She came to us wanting for nothing of material value. All she needed was a stable foundation, encouragement, understanding and love,” Koonce recalled. But as part of the experience of leaving her former home, the belongings she needed to take with her were tossed into a garbage bag. “A suitcase or duffle bag would have spared our daughter some psychological damage during a very traumatic transition. Placing her possessions in a garbage bag sent her the message that she and her belongings were disposable,” noted Koonce. He did some research and learned more about the realities such programs face. “California’s Department of Social Services and their Child Protective Services wing, is a very challenged bureaucracy that lacks the funding to provide such luxuries as a duffle bag. Luckily, the foster youth they serve, receive a lot of support from local non-profit organizations. As an aside, I’ve been inspired to form a supporting non-profit and you can learn more on the website Ruff-start.org.” The volunteer activity was organized by Lexi Beausoleil, a marketing campaigns specialist in Santa Barbara who volunteers in her free time as a Court Appointed Special Advocate (CASA) for children in foster care. “In Santa Barbara County alone, we have about 50 abused or neglected children that enter foster care every month. The removal can be very traumatic as little ones don’t always understand what’s happening. Children of any age can feel like they are the ones being punished and like they and their feelings don’t matter,” Beausoleil said. “And in most cases when a child is removed they are given just a garbage bag to quickly gather a few clothes and personal items. That’s why I am so pleased that organizations like Together We Rise have recognized this opportunity to do more to support these kids by providing the duffel bags that we decorated with cheerful images and messages and filled with items designed to bring comfort and reassurance. The blanket that’s included is even wrapped with the message, ‘You matter.’” Given her own experiences with the CASA program, Beausoleil knows that a duffle bag might seem like a small gift, but it is likely to make a big difference. And those homemade cards might provide words of comfort when they are needed most. “Thinking back on the kids I’ve worked with and how hard those first few weeks were for them, it makes me so happy to know that now there will be some kids who have a little bit better experience, whose day is just a little less hard because of the gift of these bags that we made for them here at Yardi.  I also hope...

Oak City Soccer Aug19

Oak City Soccer

Established in 2016, Oak City Soccer provides active, hands-on programming to help children with autism, ADHD, sensory processing disorder, and anxiety. Through activities, particularly soccer,  youth improve motor functions, establish social skills, and experience fun and acceptance in a team setting. The program has changed the lives of hundreds of children living in Cary and Wake Forest, North Carolina. Yardi Raleigh recently formed a relationship with Oak City Soccer that has been inspiring and uplifting Answering the Call The relationship began during the Yardi Cares Committee’s annual request for grant nominations. Each year, Yardi offices around the world receive a sum of funds to allocate the local non-profit organizations. “When the Yardi Cares Committee asked for suggestions for organizations to support, I immediately thought of Oak City Soccer,” says Thomas Duncan, Technical Account Manager, Residential NC – Consulting Practice 2 at Yardi. “They are also local to our Yardi Raleigh office and I really wanted to help out some local charities in addition to larger, state-wide charities.” After reviewing the nomination and researching the organization, the committee casted its votes. Oak City Soccer joined the league of grant recipients for the year! Yardi’s donation supported the expansion of Oak City Soccer to a second location, expanding from Cary to Wake Forest. Additionally, the funds provided scholarships to low-income families, as well as the replacement of worn out supplies such as soccer balls, new therapeutic tools, and visual cues. Roxy Shelley, Executive Director of Oak City Soccer, received the donation on behalf of Oak City Soccer. “Thanks so much to Thomas for the nomination, and Yardi for the amazing support this past year. We are truly grateful!” More than a Game Shelley has witnessed the way that the Oak City Soccer impacts kids on a...

Lending a Hand

The YMCA had a positive impact on Michael Berton’s life when he was growing up, as a place where he attended both day care and summer camp. As an adult, the Yardi proposal writer has found multiple ways to give back to the community nonprofit. As a part time development specialist for the organization, Berton has raised more than $150,000 in grant funding for the Lompoc branch of the YMCA. Most recently, he arranged for Yardi’s corporate headquarters to contribute several used computers for a new Teen Study Hall. For families without computers or Wi-Fi in their homes, options for access are limited to the school library on campus at Lompoc High or the local public library, which closes at 7pm. “The YMCA identified a need when teens asked for a safe place to complete their homework and to study,” Berton explained. “Teens will use the computers to access research sites for term papers and reports, complete homework assignments, and apply for grants, scholarships, FASFA, colleges, and jobs. The branch is located right next to the high school and will provide teens with a safe place to study that is close to their homes.” Yardi was pleased to be able to donate several gently used computers for the new Study Hall. In his capacity as a grant writer for the organization, Berton helps facilitate access to programs and membership services by securing funds through grants from foundations and businesses. “The Lompoc YMCA is in a unique situation, lacking support from major corporations, foundations, and individuals with large philanthropic means. Therefore, raising funds for the Y’s mission through foundations and grant writing is key to raising funds for the branch, which has 40% of their members on scholarships,” he explained. At Yardi, Berton has worked...

Building Futures Aug02

Building Futures

Women’s Economic Ventures (WEV) offers microenterprise development services to female entrepreneurs in California’s Central Coast. Trainees receive self-employment training through a proprietary curriculum and loans that enrich the diversity of businesses and opportunities in the area. WEV has helped more than 6,500 clients jump start 4,000 businesses. More than $4 million in loans have supported the dreams of borrowers who do not qualify for conventional products. These combined forces have created about 8,000 local jobs. In addition to WEV’s work in the Santa Barbara area, the organization has extended some of its services to women in Texas, Hungary, Nepal, Amman, and Jordan. While great strides have been made since the inception of WEV in 1991, there is still a lot of work to be done to reach economic parity. WEV’s Business Recovery Specialist Nicki Pharr explains, “Women currently own about 38 percent of all businesses, but they generate only 25 percent of the annual revenues as their male counterparts. 71 percent of woman-owned businesses generate less than $25,000 in annual receipts and only 1.8 percent reach a million dollars in annual sales.” Research suggests that confidence and access to capital are two of the main reasons why women fall behind. Pharr says, “Women start businesses with roughly half the capital as men. A growing body of research indicates that confidence is as important as competence as a determinant of success and women exhibit much less confidence than men. We need to close the confidence gap so women don’t opt out of competitive but lucrative opportunities to start scalable businesses in male-dominated fields, and we need to continue to help women acquire the business acumen and skills they need to grow bigger businesses.” WEV in Action Pharr has known that she wanted to connect with WEV ever since...

CAPSA Cares Jul30

CAPSA Cares

When James Boyd joined the staff of CAPSA (Citizens Against Physical & Sexual Abuse) in Utah’s Cache Valley and began wearing a nametag that publicly declared his affiliation with the organization, he learned a distressing truth: far more people than he could ever imagined had suffered rape, sexual abuse or domestic violence. People he knew as friends, neighbors, even members of his own family suddenly felt safe to share their experiences with him. “It happens way more than we realize. Statistics say one in four women and one in seven men will experience a violent or abusive relationship in their lifetimes. The incident rates are that high, and no one ever talks about it,” said Boyd, who serves as development director for the organization. Founded in the 1970s and based in Logan, Utah, CAPSA has a long history of acting as a support and advocacy network for abuse victims. The organization originated with a focus helping those who had been victims of rape. Today, awareness and assistance is most frequently needed for those suffering domestic violence. “Each year we help almost 1,500 individuals, shelter as many as 400 children, men and women. Our services include things like emergency shelter to get out of a dangerous situation, or short-term housing while they find a job and a new place to live. We have therapists who specialize in healing from the trauma associated with domestic violence and abuse. Our advocates who go to court with our clients. Our goal as an organization is to help people get out of dangerous situations and start the healing process,” Boyd said. The organization is very proud to be the first shelter in Utah to never turn away victims seeking a place to stay due to violence at home. If...

End Hunger Games Jun26

End Hunger Games

The End Hunger Games have been a Foodbank of Santa Barbara County tradition for five years. This winter holiday campaign adds a dose of friendly competition to local corporate philanthropy. Each year, 10-15 corporate teams compete to be crowned as the biggest givers. Yardi has participated in the End Hunger Games since its inception. “We use Yardi activities as examples to inspire the other teams to go above and beyond,” says Nathalie Keller, Corporate Giving Manager at the Foodbank of Santa Barbara County. “They have several teams within the company. They volunteer regularly, donate food, post on social channels, and plan events like their holiday boutique and company party to benefit the Foodbank.” Yardi emerged as the victor of the fifth annual End Hunger Games, followed closely by other fine local organizations: First place: Yardi – Total Points: 1466 Second place: Evidation Health  – Total points: 1457 Third place: FastSpring – Total Points: 1327 The vast outpouring of corporate support, coupled with donations from the community, could not have come at a better time. The Thomas Fire, one of the largest and costly in the state’s history, caused widespread dislocation and loss of property. For the Foodbank, the efforts to provide for daily community food needs were made even more challenging by this disaster. Keller explains, “Children and families experienced increased food insecurity during this time of crisis. Many were unable to work because businesses had shut down or reduced work hours during the emergency. This meant that hourly employees faced sudden loss of wages. Owners of businesses connected to tourism and recreation, along with service providers and vendors, experienced immediate loss of income.” As soon as the UCSB American Red Cross shelter opened, the Foodbank began providing food, water and snacks to evacuees. Two...

Yardi Boston

Yardi Boston recently participated in a Garden Party project at Somerville Village that will bring therapeutic and educational resources to young women in transitional housing. The project reflects how humble beginnings can be transformed into spectacular endings. About Somerville Village Somerville Village is a collaboration between Focus and The Home for Little Wanderers. The former is a Massachusetts-based non-profit that advocates and supports affordable housing as well as services for its residents. The latter offers programming to strengthen vulnerable families and keep children safe in their communities. Together, the organizations launched Somerville Village, transitional housing and programing to help young women who have aged-out of The Home for Little Wanderers yet need additional assistance to pursue higher education. Somerville Village is a two-story house with 15 bedrooms, five bathrooms, a kitchen and several communal spaces. Residents have easy access to public transportation, allowing them to commute to their post-secondary classes. In addition to housing, Somerville Village also provides access to therapeutic and educational support for residents as they take additional steps towards independence. The Garden Party When Yardi Boston team members arrived at Somerville Village, they found a lovely home with one aesthetic flaw: an underused side yard in serious need of attention. The organization wanted to transform the space into an educational and functional garden. Yardi was there to help. Rick Houpt, Development, The Home for Little Wanderers, explains, “The Yardi team absolutely transformed a dreary, black-padded side-yard into a cheerful educational and therapeutic space: a garden of raised beds for vegetables, herbs, and flowers.” The garden is an educational opportunity because the women of Somerville Village will have the chance to learn about nutrition, gardening, and growing food. The resource can help them take better care of bodies and minds, reaping the...