By Yurianna Mikolay
Executive Director, Ocean Reef Community Foundation

For the first time since the start of the pandemic, the Foundation is hosting one of our Community Outreach volunteer opportunities this week.  Our Grants Committee is excited to resume this important program developed for the many in the community who want to be more actively involved beyond the gates.  Several off The Reef excursions led by Grants Committee members will once again take place each season to assist with special projects at charities the group has evaluated and funded.

The Foundation keeps a special distribution list for those who want to receive information about volunteering opportunities, and we hope to add any folks with an interest we may have missed during the pandemic hiatus.  Those on the list get to learn about and have the opportunity to sign-up for the sometimes-limited events first, ahead of any broader outreach.  To add your name and get first dibs on volunteering opportunities, please e-mail with “Community Outreach” or “Volunteering” in the subject line.

Our latest opportunity will take place on The Reef led by Grants Committee member Cindy Brammer in collaboration with past committee member and project organizer Patty Davidson.  Interested members are invited to sign-up for the personal hygiene kit “packing party” starting at 1:30 pm on Tuesday, March 7, in the Ocean Reef Cultural Center Heritage Room by emailing

Tuesday’s project benefits grantee Star of the Sea (SOS), which provides healthy groceries and meals to over 11,000 individuals each year in partnership with 35 agencies serving families, veterans, seniors, and the homeless across Monroe County.  SOS has been a key partner of the Foundation in establishing a Key Largo food pantry and as part of our Hurricane Irma and COVID-19 relief efforts.

Members who give through the All Charities effort are already supporting the non-profit beneficiaries in the Upper Keys, Homestead and Florida City, and we encourage you to take part in our Community Outreach projects and Charity Tours to learn more about the good work you are funding.

The Foundation has relationships with hundreds of charities in Miami-Dade and Monroe Counties and virtually all offer a variety of ways to volunteer for both individuals and groups.  I am always happy to research prospects for a donor’s particular interest area and to connect donors with charities, as we often do for our Donor Advised Funds.   Please feel free to contact me at to learn more.