Volunteer Opportunity Set for Early April

By Yurianna Mikolay
Executive Director, Ocean Reef Community Foundation

ICU baby

ICU baby volunteers “packing packs”

The Foundation will host a Community Outreach volunteer opportunity on the afternoon of Tuesday, April 9. Our Community Outreach projects were started in 2018 in response to the many in the community who want to be more actively involved with non-profit organizations beyond the gates.  Each is led by a member of the Foundation’s Grants Committee to assist charities the group has evaluated and funded. Projects have often been off The Reef excursions to surrounding communities, but our latest opportunity will take place on The Reef.

Our thanks to Grants Committee member Cindy Brammer and past committee member Patty Davidson who are co-organizing the April event which will benefit ICU baby (yes, “baby” is meant to be lowercase).  ICU baby has received ORCF Community Grants for the past four years to support Upper Keys, Homestead and Florida City families whose babies are in the closest NICUs, which are actually the rather distant Baptist Health System’s South Miami Hospital and Holtz Children’s Hospital at UM/Jackson Memorial Medical Center.

ICU baby

ICU baby volunteer delivering a pack to NICU family

Each year ICU baby hand delivers roughly 500 NICU Packs to all families whose baby has an expected stay in the NICU of two weeks or more.  The packs are carrying totes for trips back-and-forth from the family’s home to the NICU.  Each pack is filled with essential items that help the family care for their baby while admitted.

The April 9 Pack-a-Pack Party is an opportunity for individuals from the community to assemble the NICU Packs.  First, volunteers will prepare the items that are set up at different stations and write a personalized note of encouragement for the families. Once all the stations are complete, volunteers will then pack the tote bags with all the items.

Interested members are invited to sign up for our special distribution list for those who want to receive information about volunteering opportunities.  Those on the list get to learn about and have the opportunity to sign-up for the sometimes-limited events first.  To add your name and get first dibs on volunteering opportunities, please e-mail foundation@oceanreef.com with “Community Outreach” in the subject line.

Members who give through the All Charities effort or directly through our Community Grants Fund 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 ymikolay@oceanreef.com to learn more.