2019 Santa Barbara Impact Report
You make our impact possible
When we first stepped onto the real estate scene in 2005, our goal was simple: we wanted to make a difference. Not just a difference, an impact. We set out to invest in the lives of the clients we served, and in addition to providing excellent service and becoming a trusted partner, we sought to create a dynamic shift in the way a real estate team can leave a lasting mark on the world. That’s why I am excited to give you our Impact Report.
My hope is to give you a better understanding of the “Real Impact” behind our name. When you choose Zia Group to help you buy or sell your home, whether it be an estate in Montecito, a bungalow in
downtown Santa Barbara, or a ranch-style home in Goleta, you are facilitating real impact in our Santa Barbara community and abroad.
Zia Group volunteers real hours and real money to areas where vulnerable women and children are found. Our focus is within basic needs so we try to give to areas where health, shelter and education are given the main focus. All of this is only made possible because our clients keep choosing our team to represent them as Realtors in Santa Barbara County.
Thank you for coming alongside our mission of real impact. We are honored to be a part of your community.
Zia Group, Keller Williams Realty
Our Impact Model
How does Zia Group make an IMPACT? Through our time, talents and 25% of our annual profit. We focus on basic needs, so we try to give to areas where shelter, health and education are the top priorities.
“There is a reason people quote Ralph Waldo Emerson who once said ‘The purpose of life is not to be happy. It is to be useful, to be honorable, to be compassionate, to have it make some difference that you have lived and lived well.’ The quote may make a great poster, but I think it’s truly special that working with Zia Group gives the entire team the opportunity to be one step closer to living life well through giving back.”
“I’ve enjoyed being a part of something that is not myself or directly involved with something in my world.”
“From volunteering at Santa Barbara elementary schools to giving back to local charities, being a part of Zia Group’s impact has brought me closer than ever to my community.”
The United for Literacy initiative helps 10,500+ local students improve their reading by using online, individualized literacy tools in the classroom every day.
The Fun in the Sun program helps 300 at-risk students improve their literacy and math skills over the summer instead of losing academic progress.
The Kindergarten Success Institutes program helps 250+ pre-K kids improve their academic and social/behavior- al skills so that they are ready for kindergarten and beyond.
The United for Financial Empowerment initiative provides free tax preparation assistance to over 2,500 families, resulting in millions of $ in increased tax refunds.
The Dolly Parton Imagination Library program ensures that 1,200 children ages 0-5 receive a free book mailed to their home every month.
Ensuring a hopeful future for all
United Way creates partnerships and programs that improve education, health, and financial stability across Santa Barbara County. One of United Way’s education programs is Kindergarten Success Institutes (KSI). For more than 15 years now, KSI has been making a critical difference in the lives of low income 4-to-6 year olds by helping them get ready to succeed in school. Kids in this program have little or no educational experience and are often terrified of being away from home. They have extremely limited knowledge of letters, numbers, shapes, and colors, and they haven’t learned classroom behaviors like sitting quietly or sharing with others. If they don’t acquire these skills, their academic futures are at risk.
Every year, KSI helps local children like Alex. At the beginning of his KSI sessions, Alex was fearful of being away from home. He began most mornings during the early weeks in tears, and because free or affordable preschool is not available in many local neighborhoods, Alex had not yet learned to follow directions in a group or identify shapes and letters. Without individualized help, Alex was already behind his peers and at risk of staying behind. However, over the course of the program, Alex became comfortable with his new surroundings and discovered a love of reading. At the end of KSI, Alex was recognized as one of the star readers in his class and enjoyed celebrating with his teachers and classmates at Harding Elementary School. Alex now has the tools and confidence necessary to succeed in kindergarten and beyond. Alex is just one example of the 250+ children who are helped by United Way’s KSI program every year.
To get involved, visit UnitedWaySB.org
Provided 550,000 pounds of healthy food to local college students last year.
Provides 10 million pounds of healthy food to the community every year, 1⁄2 is fresh produce!
191,000 county residents received food from the Foodbank last year; 40% of those we serve are children.
1,600 volunteers gave 11,000 hours of their time last year.
We partner with 300+ nonprofit organizations to get healthy food to those who need it.
Providing healthy food and nutritional education
Liliana attended a Mobile Food Pantry on the west side with her mom to pick up food to keep her strong and healthy. When Liliana’s dad needed an unexpected operation and couldn’t work, the family couldn’t make ends meet and ensure that she had the food she needed to stay strong and healthy. While dad was out of work, and while the family got back on their feet afterward, the Foodbank kept Liliana healthy with fresh produce and nutritious groceries.
Brady likes the Foodbank Kids’ Farmers Market days at his after-school program. Foodbank educators teach cooking, share recipes and talk about the nutritional value of the Farmers’ Pick produce of the month. Brady said he hated cabbage until he tried the cabbage tacos they made. When he came for thirds, he said, “I didn’t realize I loved cabbage so much! It’s crunchy!”
Refugio was diagnosed with cancer last year. While she was undergoing treatment, she received fresh fruits and veggies from the Foodbank that helped her heal and provided healthy nutrition for her kids while she was unable to work. Now, she volunteers at the Foodbank warehouse doing whatever is needed, from administrative support to packing and sorting food.
Throughout Santa Barbara County, the Foodbank provides essential nutrition and education to ensure everyone in our community has enough to eat and the good health needed to thrive.
Through food distribution, nutrition education for learners of all ages, disaster preparedness initiatives, partnership with more than 300 nonprofit organizations, and plentiful, diverse volunteer opportunities for individuals, businesses and families, the Foodbank engages every member of the community.
To donate or volunteer, visit FoodBankSBC.org
Sheltering vulnerable women
“Sex trafficking is the fastest-growing, criminal industry in the USA and the average age of entry is 12 years old,” says co-founder Sally Cook. When Chuck and I heard those facts back in 2012 and pondered my young nieces and the sweet 12-year-old girl next door getting ensnared into this, nothing in our world was the same again. Our comfort zone got challenged as this darkness on our own doorstep was unveiled, our hearts got wrecked and the lion and lioness in us arose and roared “No way, not our vulnerable ones, not on our watch!’. It’s not that we felt incredibly brave or ready to fight, it was more that we knew we couldn’t do nothing!
Shortly thereafter, my husband and I partnered with Bob Ryan who had come across a retreat property for sale in the hills of Santa Barbara. We convinced the owners to use the property to address the rescue housing crisis and provide a trauma-informed recovery program on-site and Hope Refuge was born. I remember the day they handed us the keys and said “Let’s see what you can do.” It was terrifying and exhilarating all at the same time.
It is estimated that 325,000 children a year are being sexually exploited nationally and in 2013, one study found that there were only 511 beds with a program specifically catered to the population of commercial sexually exploited children. This highlights the issue that every city has found itself facing—a shortage of resources to meet the complex needs of rescued survivors
Hope Refuge is responding to this crisis by offering a therapeutic, trauma-informed program for up to 24 survivors. Under the guidance of highly qualified individuals, survivors are provided with a wealth of resources and activities, all offered on-site, including a medical clinic, a school, music, and art therapy, equine therapy, organic gardening, bible study, worship events, animal husbandry, swimming—just to name a few.
Hope Refuge’s location offers a unique and protected environment for survivors. On the secluded mountain facility, survivors are far from traffickers and the pimp who they have become attached to. The facility includes staff housing, three resident cottages, a cafeteria, classrooms, an administrative building, a film room, a music room, an art studio, and a pool house.
To learn more and get involved, visit HopeRefuge.org
22 New Homes Built
85 people housed (including 49 children)
Over 150 homes repaired. 2,000 Volunteers
42,000 tons of Mud & Debris Removed from Montecito
Supporting affordable housing
Habitat Santa Barbara eliminates substandard housing through constructing, rehabilitating, and preserving homes; by advocating for fair and just housing policies; and by providing access to resources and training to help individuals and families improve their housing conditions.
This year Habitat Santa Barbara continues to focus on new home construction, while also investing in our Neighborhood Revitalization Program. Habitat offers home repairs to help low-income homeowners remain safely in their homes as well as neighborhood projects ranging from supporting community nonprofits with capital improvements to beautifying public spaces and parks. Through the Critical Home Repair and A Brush with Kindness programs, Habitat Santa Barbara collaborates with low-income homeowners to maintain a safe and decent place to live.
We do this work by mobilizing volunteers and partners to improve both private homes and public spaces—ranging from exterior painting, or home repairs for accessibility modifications—to improving public spaces through cleanup or beautification initiatives.
Mike (pictured) has been a homeowner in Carpinteria for more than 20 years, but he has been unable to reach or navigate essential areas of his home due to the dimensions of his wheelchair. With the support of volunteers and donors, Habitat Santa Barbara partnered with Mike to repair and upgrade parts of his home, improving his safety and quality of life.
Through Habitat Santa Barbara’s Neighborhood Revitalization program, investing in home improvements can mean paving a path for a different future, for residents like Mike. He describes the repairs as a “relief” and applauds Habitat Santa Barbara for lifting people out of bad situations by offering hope.
To donate or volunteer, visit SbHabitat.org