By Yurianna Mikolay
Executive Director, Ocean Reef Community Foundation

Thanks to the Ocean Reef community’s generosity, this year the Ocean Reef Community Foundation’s annual grants program will provide more than $2 million in funding to charities outside the gate for the first time. As always, we are completely transparent in sharing exactly where every dollar goes. Keep reading to see the complete list of 81 Community Grants to 73 non-profit organizations in the Upper Keys, Homestead and Florida City.

The Community Grants Program awards funding for projects in the interest areas of Education, Youth, Health & Family Services, and Community in the adjacent areas to the north and south each spring.  Including 2023 grants, the program will have awarded more than $16.3 million since the Foundation’s All Charities effort consolidating fundraising in the Ocean Reef community began in 2008.

After months of careful vetting of applications by a Grants Committee of your peers, the Foundation’s share of 2023 All Charities proceeds not reserved for larger Impact Fund projects will be distributed, combined with record private donations directly to the Community Grants Fund, as follows:

Grants to Upper Keys, Homestead, and Florida City Charities:

A Chance for Therapy (ACT4Me)-Therapy programs for Homestead/Florida City children with neurological and genetic disorders -$35,000

Adrienne Arsht Center for the Performing Arts-STEAM curriculum and live “Busy Bees Great Adventure” performance field trip for 7th graders in Homestead/Florida City Title I schools – $15,000

Advocate Program-Financial assistance program for veterans – $10,000

Alzheimer’s Association-Expansion of Alzheimer’s and dementia program to Keys – $12,644

Autism Society of the Keys-Technology and therapy for autistic youth-$10,000

Big Brothers Big Sisters-Expansion of youth mentoring program in the Upper Keys, Homestead/Florida City – $20,000

Branches Florida City

  • “Grow & Climb” teen leadership development and employment mentoring program-$35,000
  • “It’s a Money Thing” Financial Education program for students and families-$25,000

Bridge to Hope-Expansion of Homestead Healthy Food Distribution Hub services including food, nutrition education, access to health services, and career-focused computer literacy – $25,500

Burton Memorial United Methodist Church

  • Food Pantry: Refrigerated truck usage to enable pick up of perishable donations from local grocery stores and funds to purchase needed food items when not available by donation-$19,800
  • Child Development Center: Summer enrichment program-$10,000

Camillus House-CHEER educational initiative to assist formerly homeless children in attending school and catching up with peers-$15,000

Caring for Miami

  • Project Smile Mobile Dental Unit visits for the Upper Keys, Homestead/Florida City-$40,000
  • Contribution towards a new, additional Mobile Dental Unit for expansion – $25,000

Centro Campesino-Computers and curriculum software for youth programs – $26,800

Chapman Partnership- Mentoring program at the Parent Institute at the Family Resource Center for families transitioning from homelessness-$13,000

Chapters Health Foundation- Community support and outreach services, including Valor program for veterans and first-responders, for the only non-profit hospice and palliative care program in Monroe County-$50,000

Coral Shores High School

  • Athletic Department Hardship Assistance Fund-$15,000
  • AVID college readiness program training for teachers-11,200

Cox Science Center & Aquarium -Bringing the Science Passport educational program to Title 1 elementary schools in Homestead/Florida City and the Upper Keys-$25,000

DMF Employment Opportunities-Employment initiative for individuals with intellectual and development disabilities-$25,216

EnFAMILIA-STEAM curriculum for youth program – $6,500

Family Central-Expansion of the Benefits Enrollment Program to support vulnerable families in Homestead and Florida City-$25,000

Feeding South Florida-Food delivery and distribution to six partner pantries in Homestead, Florida City and the Upper Keys-$120,000

Florida Keys Area Health Education Centers (Keys AHEC)- In-school primary medical and dental services program in Upper Keys schools-$50,000

Florida Keys Children’s Shelter-Residential & Counseling Programs for at-risk youth-$50,000

Florida Keys Healthy Start Coalition-Upper Keys Child Safety Equipment and Early Childhood Education programs-$32,000

Florida Keys Outreach Coalition-“Quick Assist” program to prevent homelessness-$28,500

Florida Keys Soccer Club-Youth soccer league programs and equipment-$10,000

Gang Alternative-To equip the expansion of FabLab Miami STEAM program to Homestead and Florida City youth at Phichol Williams Community Center – $40,000

Genesis Hopeful Haven-Camp Independence program for youth in foster care-$40,000 (MATCH REQUIRED)

Girl Scout Council of Tropical Florida-To bring evidence-based Girl Scout Leadership Experience to 18 underserved Homestead/Florida City neighborhoods-$12,000

Good Health Clinic-Prescription assistance and medical supply program for Upper Keys residents-$20,740

Greater Miami Youth for Christ- “Teen Indigenous Leaders” development and employment mentoring program at West Homestead KIX-$50,000

Greater Miami Youth Symphony- Expansion of music lessons program to additional Homestead/Florida City schools-$10,000

Guidance/Care Center-Towards rebuild of The Heron assisted living facility for Keys residents with chronic mental illness-$25,000

Guitars Over Guns Organization-Music instruction programs and mentors for at-risk Homestead/Florida City youth-$25,000

Habitat for Humanity of the Upper Keys-Towards building affordable housing units in Key Largo-$35,000 (MATCH REQUIRED)

Health Information Project-Peer-to-peer, comprehensive health education program at four Homestead and Monroe County high schools-$25,000

Homestead Youth Arts Center-Scholarships for “Advance Through Dance” after-school program – $10,000

ICU Baby-Comprehensive support for Upper Keys and Homestead/Florida City families with babies in NICUs at Miami hospitals-$22,925

Jacobs Aquatic Center–Restoration of the children’s water feature area at Key Largo Community Pool-$17,224

Jacob’s Shoes–“Sole Necessities” program to provide proper-fitting shoes to disadvantaged Homestead/Florida City children-$10,000

Key Largo School

  • AVID college readiness program, college trips and teacher training-$22,400
  • Summer Recreation program for up to 300 pre-K through 5th grade students – $35,000

Keys Community Concert Band-Music mentoring for youth and Pops in the Park concert series-$4,600

Kids 4 Kids USA – Red Cross Certified Water Safety Swim Program for children with disabilities-$11,500

Kristi House-Emergency support for child-victims of abuse and sex trafficking-$29,000

Ladies Empowerment & Action Program (LEAP)-Expansion of the Incarcerated Women’s Chance for Change Initiative-$25,000

Mexican-American Council– College & Career Readiness program for seniors from families of farm workers at Homestead high schools-$34,200

Miami Diaper Bank-Expansion of mobile diaper distributions to Homestead/Florida City – $12,500 (MATCH REQUIRED)

Miami Lighthouse for the Blind & Visually Impaired– Children’s Vision Program for 800 in both service areas-$10,000

Monroe Association for Remarcable Citizens (MARC House)–Healthy shopping, cooking and eating nutrition lunch program for developmentally disabled adults-$10,000

MUJER – Workshops and therapy for 60+ abused children and non-offending parents-$50,000

Ocean Studies Charter School-“Science in the Field” program for marine science-focused K-8 school-$23,651

PATCHES PPEC-Specially equipped van to transport medically vulnerable children -$42,500 (MATCH REQUIRED)

South Dade Women Veterans Alliance-Towards SDVA Women’s Initiative case management and support groups for female veterans-$15,000

South Florida After-School All-Stars–After-school enrichment programs for 60 middle school students at two Homestead schools-$10,000

South Florida Council of Boy Scouts–Scouting programs for disadvantaged youth in the Homestead area-$20,000                                                                                    

Special Olympics Florida Monroe County-Continued expansion of sports training and competitions for Upper Keys youth with intellectual disabilities-$22,000

St. Justin Martyr Catholic Church Child Development Center-Community Pavilion for outdoor community and school events and programs-$26,099 (MATCHED BY THE PROTESTANT CONGREGATION OF OCEAN REEF OUTREACH COMMITTEE)

Star of the Sea Foundation-Upper Keys Hunger Relief Program-$36,000

Start Off Smart

  • Homestead Police Department Community Policing “Violence Interruption Strategy” campaign for youth and families-$29,900
  • Two Police Academy Scholarships for locals committed to serving in the Homestead Police Department- $15,000

Take Stock in Children-College scholarships (matched by the Florida Pre-Paid College Foundation) for Upper Keys youth mentoring program-$75,000

The ARC of South Florida – Renovation of decades-old bathrooms at the ACE Academy school for children with disabilities in Florida City-$45,200

The Children’s Voice Chorus-To expand choral programs at Branches Florida City to additional children-$10,000

The College of the Florida Keys-Cameras required to qualify testing lab as a Pearson Vue Testing Site-$12,000

The Motivational Edge – Youth Engagement & Empowerment Program for at-risk youth-$20,000

The Salvation Army –“Pathway to Hope” social services and financial assistance program for Upper Keys residents-$10,000

TIPS– Florida Keys Youth Basketball League-$7,000

Touching Miami with Love (West Homestead Site)

  • Youth development job training program-$35,604
  • Adult Literacy Empowerment program-$25,535

United Way of Collier and the Keys-Upper Keys “Success by Six” School Readiness program-$15,900

Upper Keys Baseball Development Foundation– “Steady Bats” baseball program serving 75 youth-$8,500

Veteran Sailing-Basic Keel Boat to Coastal Cruising Sailing Certification for active-duty military and honorably discharged veterans – $10,000

Voices for Florida Keys Children–Children’s Welfare Program to assist families through the 16th Judicial Court Guardian Ad Litem-$11,000

Wellspring Counseling-Homestead & Upper Keys Counseling Financial Aid Program -$26,000

YMCA of South Florida

  • Homestead After-school Program scholarships-$20,000
  • Key Largo Summer Camp and After-school Program scholarships-$55,000

Total 2023 Community Grants:  $2,000,138

To learn more about the Community Grants program and 2023 Co-Investment Opportunities to complement partial grants, please email, call (305) 367-4707 or visit our office in the Ocean Reef Business Center.