Saturday, February 24 , 2018, 12:33 pm | Fair 58º

 
 
 

Laurel Abbott: Santa Barbara Realtors Far Surpass Fundraising Goal for Unity Shoppe

Last Saturday at the 27th Annual Unity Telethon, the Santa Barbara Association of Realtors presented the results of a yearlong contribution campaign from our members to this wonderful local cause.

The mission statement of the Unity Shoppe on its website includes the theory that if there is help with basic needs, it can prevent homelessness and welfare dependency: "The Unity Shoppe also teaches volunteers office and computer skills, merchandising, inventory control and customer relations as we prepare people for future job opportunities. More than 22,000 people are referred yearly by more than 300 nonprofit agencies, churches, schools and hospitals. By providing a central distribution facility available to all nonprofits we can eliminate duplication and save countless dollars."

Unity Shoppe operates a year-round “free” grocery and clothing store so people can shop with dignity for their basic needs. More than 1,700 volunteers help a small staff of 15. More than $2 million in merchandise is distributed annually.

This year marked the 25th year of Unity support from the real estate community, and it was our 20th year conducting a silent and live fundraising auction in December. This year, we formed an SBAOR committee to help focus year-round support for the Unity Shoppe led by chair Eddie Madrigal, co-chair Alyson Spann and hardworking committee members Dana Hansen, Roxanne Nomura, Scott Lindberg, Jim Caldwell, Ed  Fuller and Alec Bruice.

I was convinced that some of the members were living at the association, given all the hours they put in coordinating the auction items and fundraising events. Last year, we were able to contribute $13,500, a number we were proud of from our December auction. We launched a campaign to raise $20,000 to reflect our 20th year of coordinated support of the great work this organization performs locally.

In addition to the wildly successful Unity auction this year, we had monthly individual donations from Realtors and our first Unity Howl Halloween party. There were matching and substantial $5,000 donations from Village Properties and Sotheby's for the cause and contributions from Fidelity and Chicago Title companies as well as Broadview Mortgage. Most of the real estate offices and affiliate community as well as individuals donated gift certificates, baskets, raffle items and money for Unity.

We are proud to announce that we smashed our goal and presented a current fundraising amount to Unity of $34,175 and growing. These funds will help Unity honor "Our Heroes, Our Friends, Our Neighbors, Our Community." Click here for more information, or contact SBAOR to see how you can help.

Special thanks to the joyful Jennie Hannon, the events coordinator at SBAOR, for organizing the silent and live auction and providing office support to the committee.

Laurel Abbott is a real estate agent with Berkshire Hathaway California Properties and president of the Santa Barbara Association of Realtors. Contact her at [email protected] or 805.879.8050. The opinions expressed are her own.

  • Ask
  • Vote
  • Investigate
  • Answer

Noozhawk Asks: What’s Your Question?

Welcome to Noozhawk Asks, a new feature in which you ask the questions, you help decide what Noozhawk investigates, and you work with us to find the answers.

Here’s how it works: You share your questions with us in the nearby box. In some cases, we may work with you to find the answers. In others, we may ask you to vote on your top choices to help us narrow the scope. And we’ll be regularly asking you for your feedback on a specific issue or topic.

We also expect to work together with the reader who asked the winning questions to find the answer together. Noozhawk’s objective is to come at questions from a place of curiosity and openness, and we believe a transparent collaboration is the key to achieve it.

The results of our investigation will be published here in this Noozhawk Asks section. Once or twice a month, we plan to do a review of what was asked and answered.

Thanks for asking!

Click here to get started >

Support Noozhawk Today

You are an important ally in our mission to deliver clear, objective, high-quality professional news reporting for Santa Barbara, Goleta and the rest of Santa Barbara County. Join the Hawks Club today to help keep Noozhawk soaring.

We offer four membership levels: $5 a month, $10 a month, $25 a month or $1 a week. Payments can be made through PayPal below, or click here for information on recurring credit-card payments.

Thank you for your vital support.



Reader Comments

Noozhawk is no longer accepting reader comments on our articles. Click here for the announcement. Readers are instead invited to submit letters to the editor by emailing them to [email protected]. Please provide your full name and community, as well as contact information for verification purposes only.

Daily Noozhawk

Subscribe to Noozhawk's A.M. Report, our free e-Bulletin sent out every day at 4:15 a.m. with Noozhawk's top stories, hand-picked by the editors.

Sign Up Now >