This Summer the Zia Group focused our impact on local and international youth. Members from our team had an incredible time in Ethiopia and here in Santa Barbara interacting with and supporting kids. Here’s a little of what we did!
United Way Santa Barbara
This July the Zia Group participated in United Way Santa Barbara’s Fun in the Sun Lunch Bunch program, a program that collaborates with various working men and women from around the community to join children at elementary schools in the area for lunch and recess. We enjoyed the opportunity to get out of the office, but especially loved connecting with the children, eating a meal with them, and getting competitive on the four-square court!
According to United Way Santa Barbara’s president and CEO, G. Paul Didier, the Fun in the Sun program (FITS) works “to reduce and reverse summer learning loss and narrow the achievement gap between low income students and their higher-income peers” in the summer months. This year more than 300 students and their families were impacted by the work of United Way. We are excited to continue conversations with United Way about how the Zia Group can keep impacting the Santa Barbara community, youth, and education.
Click here to learn more about how you can contribute to United Way.
In our last two newsletters we have highlighted Ian’s regular trips to Addis Ababa, Ethiopia where he used to live with his family. His sons, Parker and Clay, joined him for his most recent trip in July. In addition to the work he does with vulnerable women and children, Ian and his sons also partnered with Ethiopia Skate.
Ethiopia Skate uses the sport and skating culture as a means to empower youth. They recently built Ethiopia’s first public (and free) skatepark in Addis Ababa, where Ian and his sons visited. Ian’s son’s reached out to some local skateboard companies to see if they could get skateboard equipment donated, and they ended up getting more than 25 skateboards donated to deliver to Ethiopia. Ian says the highlight was watching his sons reconnect with boys they knew a few years ago, and watching the Ethiopian boys light up as they received the gift of a new board. It’s amazing to watch youth support each other on a local and international level.
Ian and his family’s work in Ethiopia was recently featured in LORE (Lives of Real Estate). Click here to read more about their journey, vision, and mission.
Santa Barbara Young Life
The Zia Group is excited to continue partnering with Santa Barbara Young Life because of the powerful and positive impact it has on Santa Barbara youth. Recently we sponsored Young Life’s Big Swing, a fundraising golf tournament. Daniel and Ian also had an incredible time competing in the tournament. Bethany ran a 5K with Santa Barbara Young Life to raise funds to send students to Young Life summer camp as well, and this year around 200 kids and leaders were able to go to camp.
Young Life at it’s best is a community of caring adults who build communities around our local middle schools and High Schools. Our hope is that by building great friendships with kids we will be able to share with them God’s great love story.
Santa Barbara Young Life leaders have spent countless hours this past year: coaching football, lacrosse, and soccer; helping with homework; chaperoning dances; cheering at every sporting event you can think of; attending school plays and concerts; showing up at juvenile court hearings and parole meetings; and just being present as a visitor at a school lunch.
Dave Peterson, Area Director of Santa Barbara Young Life