Justice for All Sep16

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. Fastforward seven years, and she is now the executive director of the organization. She and her team work to correct local myths about legal aid while providing vital 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 living 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 Jennifer. LAFSBC also partners with the Santa Barbara Superior Court to...

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...

Small Box, Big Impact...

The United Way of Greater Atlanta Shoebox Project is a creative way to provide more than 30,000 homeless people in greater metro Atlanta with daily necessities. Each year, Yardi Atlanta lends its creativity, time, and resources to help United Way fulfill its mission. This year was another success! The Shoebox Project United Way of Greater Atlanta is a nonprofit organization serving 13 counties in Georgia. These counties are home to nearly half a million children who live in communities with low or very low child well-being scores. Many of these children and their families may struggle with homelessness. In 2006, United Way of Greater Atlanta launched the Shoebox Project as a campaign to collect essential items for homeless populations. The organization reached out to individuals, families, and businesses to fill shoeboxes with toiletries for men, women and children. More than 13 years later, the Shoebox Project has been adopted by United Ways throughout the nation. Shoebox items include toiletries as well as first aid and enrichment items. Last year, the organization collected more than 35,200 shoeboxes with a value of more than $704,080.  Yardi + United Way Yardi’s preparation for the Shoebox Project is a year-round endeavor. Employees donate supplies such as undergarments, toiletries, hygiene products, first aid kits, and portable activities for children. Employees are encouraged to explore cost effective options by donating time or free items, such as complimentary goods from businesses. Near the end of spring, Yardi volunteers sort items, allocate them to shoeboxes, and then cover the boxes in gift wrap. This year, Yardi packed and wrapped over 75 boxes! The United Way collects its donations from volunteers throughout the metro Atlanta area. It then distributes the shoeboxes to local nonprofit agencies that serve homeless and low-income men, women and children....

Knitting Community Jun13

Knitting Community

The seniors at Silver Sky Assisted Living and Silver Sky at Deer Springs Assisted Living are putting their talents to work for those in need. The local knitting and crocheting clubs inspire hope in the hearts of fellow Las Vegans facing difficult times. About Silver Sky Properties, Nevada HAND Nevada HAND, a 501(c)(3) nonprofit and Yardi client, operates 34 properties serving 3,000 seniors and 4,200 adults and children. The organization provides the only two affordable assisted living communities in the state. Both properties have developed tight-knit communities that keep residents active and engaged within the neighborhood. Both affordable assisted living properties, Silver Sky and Silver Sky at Deer Springs, host knitting clubs for residents. What began as small initiatives to help residents socialize soon evolved into annual community service projects that touch the lives of hundreds of people. Knitting Club: More than a Hobby Silver Sky Knitting Clubs regularly meet on Fridays. Group sizes range from 10-20 residents at each site and include residents, their family members and staff. Participants of all ability levels are welcome. Knitting looms are available for beginners as well as advanced knitters facing dexterity challenges. The Knitting Clubs help to create a sense of inclusion for everyone involved. “The club began as a cookie social, and anyone who knitted or crocheted, or who wanted to learn, was encouraged to attend,” began activities coordinator at Silver Sky at Deer Springs Assisted Living, Barbara Phillips. “These residents get to know one another, meet regularly, and each meeting has a sense of purpose, which helps with cohesiveness and a sense of togetherness with the group.” Throughout the year, Club members work on knitting projects such as hats, scarves, mittens and lap blankets. In 2018, residents created more than 250 knit goods! Once...

Doing Good Jun07

Doing Good

Giving back to local and global communities is a central tenant of Yardi’s mission. At the recent AIM Conference, Yardi invited attendees to join our team in supporting two local Southern California charities. In the second part to our AIM Conference coverage, we spotlight our charitable partners, Community Action Partnership of Orange County (CAPOC) and the Orange County Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals (OCSPCA). Keep reading to learn more about Yardi’s selfless selfies donation drive and the work of these two inspiring nonprofits! Selfies for Charity AIM Conference attendees were invited to snap and post selfies at the RENTCafé kiosk with cuddly OCSPCA therapy dogs and fun props from CAPOC’s Orange County Food Bank. For every post shared to social media with the conference hashtag #AIMConf, Yardi donated one dollar to the day’s featured nonprofit. In total, AIM attendees helped raise $500 for each nonprofit with their selfless selfies. In addition to the social media donation drive, both nonprofits educated AIM attendees on their programs and volunteer opportunities. Community Action Partnership of Orange County The CAPOC has provided support services to address hunger and poverty in Orange County since 1965. Each year, CAPOC helps more than half a million people in need through its comprehensive program offerings. This includes the OC Food Bank, emergency utility assistance, financial empowerment education, family counseling services, and transitional housing. The goal of these programs is to empower healthy living, stabilize families and prevent the causes and effects of poverty. “Our goal is to ensure that the people we help have the tools and resources they need to not just survive, but also thrive! We meet people where they are at and help them achieve their personal goals so that they are safe, comfortable and living a life of well-being,” explained LaShanda Maze, Vice President of Philanthropy at CAPOC. Funds raised at AIM will support CAPOC’s Food Bank, which offers food and nutritional education for low-income children, families, seniors, veterans, and individuals with disabilities. Each year, the OC Food Bank distributes 19.5 million pounds of food to nearly 1 million at-risk residents, including one in five kids living in Orange County. Through its network of nearly 400 partner charities, the OC Food Bank provides 26,000 boxes of food each month to seniors at 70 sites throughout Orange County, and areas of Los Angeles County. According to Maze, “Whether it’s helping a family for the long holiday weekend who may need food from our OC Food Bank or seeing how our weatherization program can make a home safe and warm for a senior, we are impacting lives every day.” Get involved with the CAPOC at capoc.org. Find out more about CAPOC’s Hope for the Holidays Kick-Off Dinner, a unique culinary experience and fundraiser, on Sunday, October 13 at The Playground DTSA. You can learn more by visiting capoc.org/h4h. Orange County Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals Since its founding in 1984, the OCSPCA has been a leading animal welfare organization in Orange County. With a mission to save the lives of animals in the region, the nonprofit focuses on programs to strengthen the human-pet bond through proactive education, emergency resources, and networking. “What I enjoy the most about my job is receiving feedback from those who we have been able to assist when no one else would step in to help,” said Kevin Marlin, Executive Director at the OCSPCA. “Pets play such a vital companionship role in the lives of so many, and we are so glad to be able to promote that human-animal bond and to enable residents with the resources to keep their pets in their loving families.” As an ally to animals of all kinds, OCSPCA made a huge impact in 2018. The nonprofit delivered 63,250 pounds of pet food to families in need, funded life-saving medical services to 350 animals and assisted more than 6,000 Orange County residents and...

Future Techies Jun03

Future Techies

According to the European Commission, after 2020 over 90 percent of jobs will require digital skills. Moreover, 65 percent of children entering primary school today will work in jobs that don’t yet exist. To develop their skills for these future occupations, the next generation needs to start preparing as early as possible. Yardi Cluj teamed up with Dalia’s Book, non-governmental organization (NGO), to host Adopt-a-School!, an educational program that teaches coding skills to tomorrow’s programmers, engineers, support specialists and project managers. Yardi Cluj + Adopt-a-School! In 2016, Dalia’s Book set out on an ambitious mission to prepare Romania’s youth for future employment in the tech industry. The organization launched Adopt-a-School!, which pairs schools with local ITC companies like Yardi. In February of 2019, Yardi Cluj employees joined the Adopt-a-School! league of volunteers. About 30 employees offered to host weekly coding sessions at a local high school, teaching coding skills to three fourth grade classes. “I decided to volunteer because all future jobs will require a little bit of coding knowledge,” explained Emil Antoni, real estate market analyst at Yardi. “The easiest being Excel and the most complicated being in the field of DNA. Youth need to be prepared.” “I don’t think it’s essential for children to learn code,” said fellow volunteer Andreea Hosu, technical project leader at Yardi. “But I do believe this is that kind of activity that will open many opportunities in their lives. The children learn basic programming, and the funny thing is that they don’t even realize they’re learning something, because they think they are playing.” Many of the Yardi Cluj volunteers had not worked in education before. They approached the project with a blend of excitement, nervousness, and determination. “This was a first for me, so naturally, I was...

Yardi Cleveland

Since 2013, the Yardi Cleveland office has hosted an annual food drive called the “Fight Hunger Games” as part of the Greater Cleveland Food Bank’s Harvest for Hunger.  Harvest for Hunger is a collaborative effort covering services in six counties. Food collected and funds raised make it possible to provide nutritious meals to local residents in need. For those struggling to make ends meet, the burden of hunger can be a difficult distraction at all times of year – not just the Thanksgiving to Christmas season, when much attention is focused on food charities. Hardworking families and seniors on fixed incomes across Northeast Ohio face tough choices – put food on the table or pay for other basic essentials such as medicine, utilities or transportation. One in five children in the greater Cleveland area is food insecure.  Yardi’s Cleveland office knew they could help make a difference through the Fight Hunger Games. The rules of the Games are thus: Yardi-Cleveland employees are divided into Team Districts.  The teams collect food and supplies. One representative from each team is selected (or appointed as some of them have experienced) to participate in the Hunger Games. Points are awarded to the winners of the games. Points are also added to the teams according to the number of donations the team has collected. Award ribbons are presented to the top three teams. There  a snack system to collect money to purchase donations for the Greater Cleveland Food Bank. Snacks are available at each suite. They are purchased by hungry Yardi employees and all profits are used to purchase items to be donated to the Food Bank. Friendly competitions for the Hunger Games included tower building with cans of food, a guessing game to promote office name retention, ball...

Youth Interactive May21

Youth Interactive

Cecilia Campos is 20 years old and managing a State Street storefront in downtown Santa Barbara, across from the community’s art museum and the Granada Theatre. The Youth Interactive store, which features the work of young artists and businesses formed as part of the art and business non-profit, is a dream come true for the group. And it feels like home to Cecilia, who found her voice as a Youth Interactive participant. “Because of Youth Interactive I really am a different person,” Cecilia said. “This program gave me the chance to be who I can be without succumbing to any of the obstacles that were in my path.” When she joined Youth Interactive at 14, Cecilia describes herself as being paralyzed with shyness and extremely uncomfortable speaking in front of any audience. She knew she had an interest in fashion, design and other creative pursuits, but wasn’t sure how to channel that energy in a constructive fashion. Youth Interactive, she says, provided all of that. It also gave her the chance to participate in an international youth startup business competition at Oxford University in England, an experience that she describes as both intimidating but formative. Six years later she is a confident adult, taking a gap year from SBCC, who looks forward to a promising future in art-based business. “I never expected to be general manager of a store at 20 years old,” she said. “But I’ve always loved leading a team and being a part of something bigger than myself, so this has been a really cool experience that has helped me grow.” Cecilia’s mother, Estrella Campos, also had a life-changing experience as the result of her daughter’s involvement with Youth Interactive. After watching her daughter’s positive experience with the program over the...

Team Springs

It’s a well known fact that the senior living industry has struggled to identify and retained talented personnel. Yardi client The Living Springs has found a way to nourish its talented employees through programs that promote personal and professional advancement. Through its efforts, the organization—and the overall industry—can cultivate a stronger support staff and enhance resident care. Creative Problem Solving Three years ago, Lisa Maynard, director of people and process at The Springs Living, noticed a trend. Employees were eager for professional advancement, mostly in the nursing field. Yet they lacked the resources to make their dreams into a reality. Simultaneously, care providers strategized ways to attract and maintain talent, often in vain. Maynard and the team at The Springs Living realized that both issues could be addressed at once: a scholarship that empowered employees to pursue higher education. Through the Team Springs Scholarship fund, the brand could build loyalty with current employees. Those same employees would gain the education needed to provide higher quality care for residents. “Generally, we find employees want to gain more knowledge with the goal to return and help out our residents in a higher-level capacity,” explained Maynard. The scholarship fund is not limited to long-term care or health care, Maynard says. But that isn’t a deterrent. “We do have a mission to change the way people, think, feel and experience working in senior living.  If we can get our younger generations to see the career opportunities, we think they will come back in some form or fashion.  Even if it is just referring us to another talented friend or family member.” The Springs Living also invented the Shine Academy. The in-house program assists with on-boarding, on the job training, and continuing education.  The Shine Academy encourages staff to...

Ash Kicking Continues May17

Ash Kicking Continues

Editor’s note: With the mobile command unit on site at Yardi corporate headquarters today, we wanted to share this blog from August 2018 with our audience, which details the history of the command center project and Yardi’s contributions to emergency response in the Santa Barbara area. August, 2018 – 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...

Monarch School May13

Monarch School

The safety of home provides children with a foundation for personal, academic, and professional success. When youth face housing insecurity, the odds are stacked against them. Monarch School provides young minds with the stability and resources needed to thrive against all odds. About Monarch School More than 30 years ago, Monarch School began as a one-room education center in San Diego. Today, it has expanded into a K-12 comprehensive school designed to educate homeless youth. The need is great. San Diego County has an estimated 23,000 students facing housing insecurity. Homelessness is a predecessor to many challenges, including but not limited to psychological problems and academic struggles. Roughly 75 percent of homeless students never earn a high school diploma. As a result, homeless youth face barriers to professional and personal success. They are also more likely to face housing insecurity as adults. Monarch School equips students with the skills and tools needed to beat those odds. “Monarch School provides stability and a quality education during the most difficult time of their family’s life: homelessness,” explains Tyler Dalsted, technical account manager, consulting practices at Yardi. “One student said, in the evening when they faced gangs, violence, and uncertainty, they were able to find stability and confidence in their education from breakfast through dinner at Monarch School. Yardi made a difference in supporting this wonderful cause.” Raise Up for Monarch Dalsted, along with fellow Yardi employee Kevin Yim, attended Raise Up for Monarch. The annual event raises funds for school programming. Raise Up for Monarch begins with a self-guided tour of classrooms where guests can view student projects, artwork, and other curricula. Guest can then tour the Butterfly Boutique, a store environment where the students are given vouchers to acquire new and gently used clothes, shoes...

Cooking Up Dreams May09

Cooking Up Dreams

The annual Cooking Up Dreams fundraiser was a sweet success! Participants enjoyed a night of dining, dancing, and fun prizes. Most importantly, Family Service Agency (FSA) received the support needed to continue serving at-risk children, families and seniors. Each year, Cooking Up Dreams invites guests and celebrity judges to sample dishes prepared by Santa Barbara’s hottest chefs and restaurants. After the tastings, the best dishes are awarded People’s Choice or Judges’ Choice awards. Geneva Ives, manager of marketing content for Yardi, served as a guest judge. Ives regularly writes about the local food and wine scene to support restaurateurs and food producers. She freelances for USA Today’s “10 Best” column and recently published the book, “Eats and Eateries of Santa Barbara.” Ives recalled what she looked for in noteworthy bites. “When I’m eating, I look for food that satisfies but also intrigues. A perfect bite is like a perfect glass of wine. You’re looking for aromas, flavors and textures that are distinct but blend together perfectly.” She added, “There were quite a few tasty bites at Cooking Up Dreams, but the two that stand out in my memory are the Dungeness crab-topped Kennebec potato chip from Finch & Fork and the ponzu scallops on the half shell from Bluewater Grill.” Peter Cham of Finch & Fork ultimately took home the The Judges’ Choice Award for crustacean dip. People’s Choice Winner was Damien Giliberti of The Outpost at the Goodland. Attendants raved over his Pork Belly Bao Buns. “I always love participating in events that celebrate and explore Santa Barbara’s thriving food culture. The fact that this event was hosted by the FSA to help children, families and seniors in need made it even more worthwhile,” said Ives. While flavors danced on their taste buds,...

Earth Works

Each year, Yardi Vancouver participates in a spring Earth Day event at Maplewood Flats, a popular bird watching park along Burrard Inlet. Located in North Vancouver, there are more than 200 hundred unique bird species have been spotted in the park. Yardi Vancouver is a founding member of EarthWork Day (EWD), an annual collaboration with three other environmentally-minded companies. Each group takes on unique projects each year. This year’s efforts included a stream restoration project, free bike tuning for bike commuters, refilling and repairing social housing planters, and helping out at a non-profit grocery store reducing food waste. The EWD participants gather at the end of the day to share the results of their efforts and network. “Being part of a bigger group really helps with expanding the impact we can have as a small office,” said Edward Glen, general manager of the Yardi Vancouver office. Every year as part of their EWD efforts, the Yardi team participates in a different project that assists with habitat restoration and conservation at Maplewood Flats. “We work on removing invasive species, replacing them with native plants that support the local wildlife, and spreading mulch to help keep the invaders at bay,” Glen said.  “The primary removal target is the Himalayan Blackberry, delicious berries but with tenacious root bulbs and vigorously spreading roots that must be completely removed to eradicate. We started counting how many we were removing, but gave up after getting to 50 root bulbs in the first 15 minutes.” Because the team has been going to Maplewood Flats consistently for so long (read a previous blog post about their 2017 efforts here, it’s possible to see the progress that has been made over time. “I was excited to review some of the areas we’ve worked on over the last four years I’ve participating in these efforts. Most of the plants from last year are thriving though some didn’t make it through the dry summer,” Glen said. “One of the patches of cow parsnip we worked on three years ago, which supports the Anise Swallowtail butterfly, is doing spectacularly well and spreading on its own now. We weren’t able to access our work site from two years ago due to not wishing to disturb the off trail areas, but from a distance it looked to be doing okay.” The benefits of the work extend beyond habitat restoration. “It’s great to connect with each other outside of the office but even more it’s great to talk with the community. From the volunteers that run the society to the visitors of the conservation area, most will stop to thank us for the work we’re doing and have a little chat,” Glen said. “It’s fantastic to see all the visitors (human and otherwise) to the area while we work and know that we’re having a direct impact. Another nice connection for the Vancouver office is that a number of the staff in Vancouver work on Yardi’s energy offering, Yardi Pulse, whose goal of energy use reduction pairs well with the associated environmental benefits.” Yardi employees are Energized for Good! Learn more on the Giving...

BackYARDI Games May01

BackYARDI Games

Each year, Yardi offices around the world select regional non-profits to receive corporate donations that reflect the company’s motto: “take care of our clients, take care of our employees, take care of our communities, stay focused, and grow.” In 2019, the Long Island, New York Yardi office has taken that effort one step further, and is endeavoring to get each of its 134 employees involved with one of the non-profits that the Melville office supported in 2018. “A goal for our office to get all of our employees involved in one volunteer project in 2019,” explained Christine Gleason, HR manager for the Melville Yardi office. “After presenting our checks to the selected non-profits last year, we reached out to each to determine whether there might be available volunteer opportunities for our employees.” One of the non-profits supported by Yardi Melville in 2018 was the BackYard Players & Friends, a unique Long Island non-profit that focuses its efforts on providing social outlets for adults with developmental disabilities. “The group’s organizers realized that once children with disabilities conclude their high school years, there are limited opportunities for social engagement. So they started this wonderful organization to fill that void,” Gleason said. The BackYard Players meet regularly for activities like arts classes, movies, bowling, game days and more. The BackYard Players gathered at the Melville office for a mid-afternoon session of game show style trivia fun, and teamed up with Yardi employee volunteers on friendly – but very competitive – small teams for the first ever BackYARDI Games. “This was such a positive experience for everyone involved,” Gleason said. “The BackYardi Players had a a great time, our employees had a great time, and we had a lot of people who just came in and watched and cheered for all of the participants.” From the perspective of the Backyard Players, the event was also a huge success. “We were able to bring over 30 BackYard Players to meet and compete in fun games like Jeopardy and Family Feud with the Yardi employees,” said a BackYard Players spokeswoman. “When a community involved organization like Yardi, reaches out to a small local non-profit like BackYard Players & Friends. The connection helps to support and empower us to continue our like-minded missions of love in community.” Yardi Melville volunteers will also be supporting Long Island’s regional food bank, a charity walk for Angela’s House and have previously volunteered at Ronald McDonald House. But Gleason said they also hope to welcome the BackYard Players back for fun game rematch. As the Players spokeswoman put it: “This is the good in the world!” Want to know more about how Yardi is Energized for Good? Learn more on our Giving...

Atlanta Pride Run Apr25

Atlanta Pride Run

Associate technical account manager Thomas Barker is a talented distance runner who competed in college and has coached All American runners. He’s also running his first full marathon at the New York City Marathon this fall. But Barker is not just a runner who is concerned with his own race results and training plans. He’s actively involved in the Atlanta running community as the president of the local Front Runners chapter. Front Runners is an international organization that promotes running, walking and related athletic activities for gays, lesbians, bisexuals, transgenders and their supporters. “In Atlanta, Front Runners has been an active running group for 29 years. It’s a great way for new runners to get introduced to the sport, and a healthy environment for the LGBT community to gather that’s not in a bar environment,” Barker explained. The chapter produces an annual running event, the Atlanta Pride Run, which will take place this year on June 15. Yardi is the Pride Run’s title corporate sponsor this year. Many other local businesses are assisting with fundraising to support the run and its cause, including local restaurants and bars. “June 2019 is the 50th anniversary of the Stonewall Riots in New York City, which really kicked off the civil rights movement for the LGBT community,” Barker said. “It brought international awareness to the gay rights movement in the U.S. and worldwide.  The first Pride parade in New York City was held on the anniversary of the riots, and now Pride is celebrated every year around the world.” Yardi employees will participate in the run, which is a fundraiser for the Atlanta non-profit Joining Hearts. The mission of Joining Hearts is to raise awareness, and funds to support prevention, care, and housing assistance to those impacted by...