Scripps Family Auction Raises Tens of Thousands for Transition Aged Foster Youth

Auction volunteers move a table to the winning bidder’s car. (Photo courtesy of Just in Time for Foster Youth)

At the uncommon intersection of philanthropy, real estate and community, a pair of nonprofits joined forces over the weekend to put on a unique fundraiser benefiting transition-aged foster youth and homeless families in San Diego County.

Just in Time for Foster Youth (JIT) and Humble Design teamed up with Pacific Sotheby’s International Realty to auction off more than 500 pieces of furniture and other home goods donated by the family of Bill and Kathy Scripps, longtime Southern California philanthropists.

While the final tally on funds raised is not yet in, JIT’s co-founder Diane Cox estimates the auction grossed approximately $60,000 to be shared between the two nonprofits.

“We’ve never done anything like this before,” Cox said. “In fact that was the part that was a little scary.” But, she said, “The stars all aligned and it really worked out great for our mission, for our youth.”

When the Scripps family decided to sell their 12,500-square-foot home in Rancho Santa Fe, an upscale suburb of San Diego, they chose to donate the furnishings to the two nonprofits. JIT helps transition-aged foster youth set up their first homes, and Humble Designs does similar work for homeless families making the move from shelters into permanent housing.

“Once they have a stable home base, it’s empowering,” a sentiment that rings true for both foster youth and homeless people, Cox said. “You feel like you’ve got something solid there that you can work from.”

Around 100 people from the community showed up to volunteer at the auction, and everyone from the estate appraiser to the moving company offered deep discounts to help the cause.

While both of the nonprofits collect gently used furniture to fill these new homes, the pieces coming out of the sprawling Scripps home were too big to fit inside apartments and smaller homes. The groups decided to auction off the items and split the proceeds, a plan that made more sense for their clients’ needs and had the added bonus of publicity and community engagement.

“What we were interested in was just spreading the word about our youth,” Cox said. “The challenges they face without family support, and how a community can really step in and make a difference.”

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Sara Tiano
About Sara Tiano 88 Articles
General assignment reporter for The Chronicle of Social Change