SANTA MONICA/VENICE — With two young children at home and a new business to run, Tami Pardee doesn’t have the time to volunteer for local nonprofits like she did in the past.
But not one to give up on helping others, Pardee decided to make a contribution by doing what she does every day — sell real estate.
Pardee, who started her own realty business Pardee Properties in January, has been donating 10 percent of the net proceeds on each sale since the beginning of June to nonprofits like local homeless services provider OPCC. A total of six nonprofits on the Westside have benefited from the program called Giving Back, a fixture of Pardee’s company. All six received a portion of the nearly $8,000 raised through real estate sales.
“It’s a thing we should all be doing,” said Pardee, who feels Giving Back is an obvious extension of her six years as a realtor and her already active nonprofit volunteering, having served as an event planner at the Venice Family Clinic. “Right now these organizations really need the money. And look what we’ve been able to give in just [a few] months. Think about that.”
Donna Miller, associate development director of OPCC, said that receiving a general donation like Pardee’s helps because they can use it where they need it most. OPCC has a number of programs that service domestic abuse victims and homeless youth, families and adults. Right now, the center is dealing with an increase in homeless families, and at the same time their government funding for their domestic abuse programming has been cut.
“We are looking to private sources to help compensate for the loss in public funding,” Miller said. “Everything helps us to meet the budgetary needs. We cannot take a single funding source for granted.”
Pardee, who lives on the border of Venice and Marina del Rey, has volunteered as an event planner with the Venice Family Clinic and a fundraiser for the First Years Preschool in Venice. She has also raised money for multiple sclerosis for the past five years, an important effort in her family as both she and her husband’s fathers have MS, an auto-immune disease that affects the central nervous system.
But between the development of Pardee Properties and the attention needed at home by her two daughters, 6-year-old Taylor and 2-year-old Bailey, she has not had as much time to volunteer. Giving Back was created as a way to do good without sacrificing time with work and family.
“What Tami is doing is unique,” said Alison Dockray, the associate development director for Venice Family Clinic. “She made it her personal mission to equate sales with keeping the clinic in mind.”
Ansar Stan Muhammad, executive director of Venice 2000, said he wishes more businesses would give time or money to local nonprofits.
“It’s always a blessing and an honor when a local business not only recognizes the cause, but are willing to donate and give to that cause,” Muhammad said.
Pardee’s goal is to raise $70,000 by next June, and eventually work up to donating $200,000 a year.
The nonprofits that receive donations through Giving Back are ultimately chosen by the seller of the property, although Pardee will offer suggestions if requested. When Linda and John Vaughan sold their home in Marina del Rey, Pardee suggested they donate to local schools in Venice, since they moved to the neighborhood, are interested in education and are looking to start a family.
Pardee said she would consider giving to larger, national organizations, but her focus with Giving Back is to support the community her clientele are living in. And, she admits, it also helps support her business, since a strong community is one people want to move to.
OPCC’s Miller said she appreciated a community member stepping up to help the center.
“It’s nice when people give, but very nice when they give in the local community, and we definitely need it,” she said.
So far, Giving Back has given donations to: OPCC, Venice 2000, Venice Family Clinic, Saint Mark School in Venice, Friends of Coeur d’Alene Elementary School, First Years Preschool’s Scholarship Trust and Friends of the Venice Library.
But with a goal of donating about $62,000 more in the next nine months, it is likely more organizations will be graced by a visit from Pardee.