Agency Award Recipients

Agencies We Support _______________________________________________

Grand Harbor Community Outreach Program (GHCOP)–since 2002–assisting deserving non-profit agencies in Indian River County:

This year, GHCOP’s Board of Directors is pleased to announce $486,471 in Grants to 29 non-profit agencies for 29 different programs.
The distributions focus on the unmet needs of groups and individuals in the areas of health, education, and human services in Indian River County, and whenever possible to support our Gifford neighbors.

A year-long effort – including vetting the agencies by our dedicated GHCOP volunteers:
• Summer of 2023: GHCOP Grant process begins. Philanthropy Committee invited 29 non-profits in IRC to submit a letter of intent for specified projects and programs. All were approved and they sent their applications end of November. Financial analysts then reviewed each agency’s financial report.
• January and February: Teams of volunteers carefully reviewed each application and most met on site (a small number of visits were made via Zoom) with senior management and board representatives of each agency.
• Philanthropy Committee made their final recommendation to the GHCOP Board in March for approval.
• Checks were delivered to agencies at the Awards Breakfast April 17. (See above photo of breakfast attendees.) The approved Grants fall into the three categories shown below.

The GHCOP grant process began in August of 2020 when the Philanthropy Committee Co-Chairs Lisa Alcock and Al Gallo began revising their approach to meet the difficult guidelines imposed by the pandemic. They started by inviting IRC non-profits to submit a grant application Letter of Intent. Grant applications were then submitted in mid-November. Over the winter and early spring, volunteers then carefully reviewed each application. Outreach volunteers met safely using Zoom technology with senior agency management and their BOD representatives to discuss applications and any special circumstances.
We were very fortunate this season to have several new, highly qualified volunteer financial analysts who reviewed the agency- and program-specific reports, along with experienced and new committee members conducting those always essential site visits. After rounds of internal committee deliberations, a final recommendation was presented to the GHCOP Board in May 2021 for approval. Due the ultimate success of GHCOP’s extraordinary fundraising efforts, we were able to award $45,000 more than the originally planned level funding. 

This season we discovered the generosity of the Grand Harbor and Oak Harbor communities despite the year’s hardships and uncertainties. We cannot stress enough how grateful we are for the support the community has shown Outreach. Because of your generosity we have an extraordinary chance to make a difference in the county we call home. More than half of our county residents live below the federal poverty line or are among the working poor. At our annual grant awards breakfast in April 2021, agencies received their grant monies and described deep appreciation, confirming what all our generous volunteers and donors already know: that these funds would have a meaningful impact on their programs and those they serve during this most difficult year.
Lisa Alcock and Al Gallo, Co-Chairs Philanthropy 2020-2021

Education $$184,720_____________________________________________

Big Brothers, Big Sisters: $8,500 provides a 1-to-1 reading mentor program for two target populations in Indian River County; at-risk four-year-olds who attend Voluntary Pre-Kindergarten (VPK) and low-performing Kindergarten-3rd grade students. The purpose of these school and site-based programs is to improve kindergarten readiness for VPK students while enhancing literacy skills. 

Childcare Resources: $31,320 to subsidize high quality childcare for working parents with incomes between 150% and 200% of the federal poverty level. This agency promotes childhood development and education for economically challenged families.

Crossover Mission: $30,000
provides funding for key operations expenses including administration (financial oversight, insurance) and costs to execute year-round, evidence-based programming for local youth, ages 9-18, in three, interrelated areas: one-to-one academic support, athletics training, and competition and life mentoring that supports and stabilizes student athletes’ social and emotional health.

Economics Opportunity Council: $10,000  to support the Early-Bird pre-school program for children aged 2 to 3 conducted in Gifford. 

Gifford Youth Achievement Center: $32,900 to support the After-School Education Program. This program provides homework assistance, tutoring, educational enrichment activities and cultural, social, and recreational opportunities to children of all ages during the school year.

Healthy Start of IRC: $13,000  to fund the purchase of books and teaching materials for the Language Nutrition Programs: Parents as Teachers and Healthy Families- The mission is to develop and maintain a support system of care to optimize the health of babies and families. 

Literacy Services of the Treasure Coast: $10,000 to support literacy programs for local adults 16 and older. Literacy Services is the safety net for adults to improve their literacy skills and help them get jobs or better jobs, engage in their children’s education, and become active participants in the community.

The Learning Alliance: $29,000 to support the Gifford community through providing families with children ages 0-5 years the necessary tools to be their child’s first teacher and build the literacy, social, and emotional skills of their children so that they are ready for kindergarten. This grant empowers K-2 educators to be able to support building the early literacy skills of students through effective coaching and professional development. There are two distinct programs: 1) $12,500 for the Moonshot Families work in Gifford and 2) $13,750 for a K-2 Literacy Coach at Dodgertown Elementary.

Youth Guidance Donation Fund: $20,000  to fund the mentoring program for youth ages 5-24 from low income and often single parent homes. The programs are conducted after school and during the summer in the mornings and focus on academic enrichment, life skills and vocational training.

Health and Special Needs $168,000_______________________________________

Alzheimer & Parkinson Association IRC: $20,000 to help support the Gifford Community Program that offers caregiver support, memory and movement programs and dementia education to Gifford residents free of charge. Activities focus on participant engagement which emphasizes social interaction and validation. 

Mental Health Association in Indian River County $9,000 to assist the Walk-in & Counseling Center which focuses on preventing harm from untreated mental health issues including suicidal ideation. Services include walk-in mental health screening and crisis intervention, information/referral, support groups, wellness classes, psychiatric care and individual, family/group psychotherapy.

Special Equestrians of the Treasure Coast: $8,000
to provide Horse Powered Reading with Equine Assisted Learning to first graders with learning challenges at Dodgertown Elementary School in Gifford. 

Substance Awareness: $12,000 supports housing and peer-based recovery support services primarily through a peer outreach program, Recovery Assistance Program (RAP) for substance users (RAP). These participants are often homeless or inmates who are re-entering society. The RAP homes provide a safe and structured alternative to life on the “street” or life in neighborhoods rampant with drug users.

Sunshine Rehabilitation Center of IRC: $13,000 to support free multi-disciplinary services (physical, occupational and speech therapy) for disabled and autistic children regardless of insurance status. Many of the patients are Medicaid clients and services are not otherwise available in IRC. 

The ARC of IRC $18,000 to help fund the acquisition of a wheelchair accessible van and costs associated with maintenance of their vehicle fleet. The ARC operates day facilities and residential group homes, provides employment training and job services, counseling, and transportation to over 230 adults with a variety of disabilities. 

The Source: $12,000 to support a new full-service program, “Dignity Wellness” (DW). The Dignity Wellness program will provide mental health and wellness services daily with its outreach, education and training for members, staff, and our community. 

Treasure Coast Community Health: $12,000 to provide behavioral health services to students at Dodgertown Elementary School. A counselor will conduct services at the school during the school day.

Tykes & Teens: $20,000 to support programs that use evidence-based interventions to mitigate the effects of trauma in young children, aged 0-5, and build the capacity of childcare staff and families to respond appropriately to young children exposed to trauma. This is the only facility in IRC focusing on this age group.

United Against Poverty: $25,000 to support the Success Training for Employment Program (STEP). STEP services unemployed adults with barriers to employment. Through a three-phase program, participants are motivated and trained to find and keep a job

Veterans Council of Indian River County: $12,000 to support the Upward American Veterans Program (UAV) by providing routine and emergency living expenses for military veterans and their families to assist them with short-term needs.

VNA of IRC: $7,000 to assist in providing health care through the Medicaid -Eligible Patient Care Program. This is a critical safety net for those patients.

Food Insecurity, Homelessness And Financial Stability: $133,750 _____________

Camp Haven: $15,000 to support professional counseling for clients in the Pathways to Purposeful Life, Financial Stability Program. Camp Haven provides a residential setting for homeless men to regain financial independence and self-esteem leading to full time employment. The counseling program is structured to focus on social and relationship skills, vocational and educational opportunities, and reconnecting with their communities in a healthy, drug-free lifestyle.

Catholic Charities/Samaritan Center: $14,250 to help support this residential facility for homeless families with program focusing on “Life Skills Development” (parenting, budgeting, and education). Through a professional Mental Health Counselor, the residents are guided in the promotion and development of healthy family values and issues likely to be encountered in the re-entry of homeless families into mainstream society.

Children’s Home Society: $10,000 to support the Transitional Living Center in Vero Beach. The Center is a residential site for homeless youth ages 18-23 who have aged out of foster care. The program provides a safe environment to complete high school or a GED, receive training in life skills and assistance in finding employment opportunities.

Habitat for Humanity of IRC: $12,000 to sponsor (in part) the construction of a new Grand Harbor Habitat home.

Hibiscus Children’s Center: $21,500  to support the Career Pathways to Independence Program at the Hibiscus Village in Vero Beach. This education program provides individualized assistance to children whose traumatic experiences have arrested their educational process. The program helps increase attendance and engagement in school, supports academic progress and increases exposure to skills and ability to pursue post-secondary school options or careers. 

Hope for Families: $25,000  for operating needs of this family homeless shelter. The mission of Hope for Families is to provide safe shelter, food and assistance in financial literacy and the goal is to build the foundation for long term independence and to break the cycle of homelessness for families. 

Our Father’s Table: $8,000 to help fund meals at their site and to provide delivery of meals to the elderly and homebound in Gifford six days a week.

Safe Families for Children: $10,000  to assist with the costs associated with connecting families in need with community resources including recruiting and training host families and facilitating family friend arrangements to support the children of families in crisis.

Senior Resource Association: $18,000 to the Meals on Wheels Program providing a vital daily hot meal and wellness check to low-income homebound seniors. SRA promotes independence and dignity by providing services to older adults, including free countywide transportation.