Agencies We Support _______________________________________________
Since our inception in 2002, the Grand Harbor Community Outreach Program has been assisting deserving non-profit agencies in Indian River County. For the 2020-21 season, the Board of Directors is pleased to announce $405,898 in Grants have been awarded to 29 non-profit agency programs. In addition, $16,300 was donated in April 2020 to the United Way’s Matching Grant COVID-19 Community Response Fund. Our distribution of over $405,000 supports our mission to address unmet needs of groups and individuals in the area of health, education and human services in Indian River County with special attention our Gifford neighbors.
Among the reporting requests this year was a description of how each agency adapted services to address COVID-19 restrictions. While numbers of those served were down for some agencies, others scrambled to meet increased unmet needs. GHCOP Philanthropy committee members were impressed by the determination and creativity behind endeavors to keep offering as many resources as possible to our neighbors in need, whether through virtual meetings or home deliveries.
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 $168,570 _____________________________________________
Big Brothers Big Sisters: $8,500 to allow BBBS to serve more than 500 IRC children in school and site-based mentoring. Caring one-to-one mentors help kids learn, share new experiences and grow exponentially. The focus is on Pre-K through Grade 3.
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 the highest quality childhood development and education for economically challenged families.
Crossover Mission: $25,000 to sustain and grow their after-school program. Crossover Mission works to redirect at-risk youth ages 8-18 in IRC through a year-round community youth recreational activity enrichment program. Funds are used for general administrative expenses and educational support programs that foster collaboration between students, teachers, and guidance counselors.
Economic Opportunity Council: $10,000 to fund the Early Bird pre-school program for children aged 2 to 3 at St. Helen’s Head Start Center in Gifford. The Early Bird and Head Start classrooms remained open for in-person learning this school year. EOC was able to adhere to strict protocols to keep its students, teachers, and their families safe.
Education Foundation of IRC, Inc: $10,000 to support their Success Through Science Program to advance the IR Regional Science and Engineering Fair. The Education Foundation raises private funds to support teachers and students in the IRC public schools with training and supplies that are not otherwise available through the school district. Grand Harbor volunteers often act as judges at the Science Fair.
Gifford Youth Achievement Center: $32,000 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. This core program serves over 160 students.
Healthy Start Coalition: $6,500 to fund the purchase of books for the Language Nutrition Programs: Parents as Teachers and Healthy Families. Healthy Start’s Mission is to develop and maintain a support system of care to optimize the health of mothers, babies and their families in IRC.
Literacy Services of the Treasure Coast: $7,000 to support the 1-on-1 literacy tutoring program for local adults ages 16 and older. Literacy Services is the safety net for adults to improve their literacy skills and helps them get better jobs, engage in their children’s education and become active participants in the community.
The Learning Alliance: $26,250 to fund 2 programs:(1) K-2 Literacy Coach at Dodgertown Elementary School who supports teachers with literary instruction for grades K thru second. (2) The Kindergarten Readiness Collaborative Center in Gifford that funds the third-grade interventionist at Dodgertown Elementary School in Gifford. This initiative gives parents the knowledge and tools they need to raise healthy and productive children. With about 75% of students back to in-person and support for K-2, educators can serve both in-person and online learning.
Youth Guidance Donation Fund of IRC: $12,000 to fund the STEAM Mentoring Academy that prepares youth ages 5-15 who come from low-income, single parent homes and mentors to work together in groups. Group mentors are matched with small groups of children for a 7-week semester, meeting weekly. Several Grand Harbor residents volunteer as mentors.
To meet the needs of our children and families, this agency extended hours, while providing virtual support and meals when possible. This strategy provided local kids a safe place where they continued to learn and gave parents the opportunity to get the support they needed from the community.
Financial Stability $123,750________________________________________
Camp Haven: $13,000 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. They have a structured program of counseling in social and relationship skills, vocational and educational opportunities and reconnecting with their communities in a healthy, drug-free lifestyle.
Catholic Charities of the Diocese of Palm Beach, Inc./Samaritan Center: $13,000 to support the services of a mental health counselor who provides therapy and emotional support as well as parental training, medical and psychological referrals and life skills workshops. The Samaritan Center is a separate program in Vero Beach managed by Catholic Charities. Homeless families can stay up to two years where this highly structured program’s primary focus is on promoting healthy family values and employment discipline leading to economic independence.
Children’s Home Society: $12,500: to fund the Transitional Living Center in Vero Beach. The TLC is a residential program 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. CHS is the oldest private social services organization in FL providing a wide variety of services to children at-risk.
Hibiscus Children’s Center: $21,500 to support the Career Pathways to Independence Program at the Hibiscus Children’s Village in Vero Beach. This wrap-around education program provides individualized assistance to children whose traumatic experiences have virtually halted the educational process.As part of the career readiness training portion of Career Pathways, HCC incorporated the Graphic Design Impact Center and CULINARY components into Career Pathways to Independence.
This program helps foster teens increase attendance and engagement in school, make academic progress and graduate with skills, knowledge and exposure to pursue post secondary options or careers.
Habitat for Humanity of IRC: $8,750 to sponsor the construction of a new Grand Harbor Habitat home. Many Grand Harbor residents volunteer at the Habitat building site and the Re-Store.
Hope for Families: $20,000 to support a portion of the shelter budget focused on various activities identified specifically for children. Hope for Families has a simple mission to provide safe shelter, food and assistance in financial literacy: securing employment, saving money, and moving into permanent housing. 64% of their residents are children.
United Against Poverty: $25,000 to support the Success Training for Employment Program (STEP). STEP serves unemployed adults with barriers to employment such as little or no work history, substance abuse and/or mental health and criminal background issues. Through a three-phase program, participants are motivated and trained to find and keep a job. Nearly 1,000 families a day can access services at the new UP Center.
Veterans Council of Indian River County: $10,000 to fund the Upward American Veterans Program. The program provides basic emergency funds for qualified veterans and their families to help them with short-term needs. The Veterans Council is a collection of 24 veterans’ organizations in IRC and over 40 non-veterans entities that actively support veterans.
Health and Special Needs $113,578 _________________________________
Alzheimer & Parkinson Association of IRC: $18,000 to help support the Gifford Community Program that brings caregiver support, memory and movement programs and dementia education to Gifford residents free of charge.
Mental Health Association in Indian River County: $6,000 to help provide child and adolescent services. MHA started same day access for screening services and scheduled ongoing treatment via telehealth while continuing walk-in, same-day access for screenings and in-person scheduled visits.
Our Father’s Table: $5,000 to support an additional weekend meal, thereby enabling OFT to deliver meals for six days a week instead of five. OFT offers meals and clothing to local residents in need.
Senior Resource Center: $10,000 to the Meals On Wheels Waitlist Relief Program providing a vital daily hot meal and wellness check to low-income homebound seniors. SRA promotes independence and dignity in IRC by providing services to older adults and free countywide transportation to all. The pandemic opened the door for new services like SRA’s Grocery Shopping Assistance Program for all seniors.
Special Equestrians of the Treasure Coast, Inc: $6,578 to provide Horse Powered Reading and Equine Assisted Learning to first graders with learning challenges at Dodgertown Elementary School in Gifford. The children’s interest and motivation to ride are very high, which helps guarantee success for this program.
Substance Awareness: $8,000 to support the peer-based Recovery Assistance and Peer Program. These services are primarily through peer outreach programming at the Indian River County Jail and the Recovery Assistance Program homes serving many inmates as part of the re-entry process from incarceration. SA had to make sure its residents and the homes had adequate technology to support social connection during a time of social distancing. SA worked to increase the sense of community within the homes and helped clients think outside the box for social connection outdoors.
Sunshine Rehabilitation Center of IRC: $10,000 to support staff salaries and clinic overhead for the Sunshine Kids Program. This program provides free multi-disciplinary rehabilitation services for all children regardless of insurance status.
The ARC of IRC: $18,000 to fund upgrade of two outdated air conditioning systems. The ARC provides a broad array of service options to assist adults with intellectual and developmental disabilities in acquiring skills that lead to greater independence, more opportunities to make choices affecting their lives, and to become valued members in the communities in which they live. In any given year it provides supports and services to 230+ individuals with a variety of disabilities.
Tykes & Teens, Inc.: $20,000to support funding of two of this agency’s evidence-based programs that provide much-needed mental health services for Indian River County children and families: Healthy Families Indian River and Little TYKES (Teaching Young Kids Emotionally and Socially) Infant Mental Health. The need for these programs has never been greater as T&T faces the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic and the increased pressures it is having on the mental health of children and families.
VNA of IRC: $6,000 to provide home health care through the Medicaid –Eligible Patient Care Program. This program is the VNA’s critical safety net for an estimated 120 home health patients. These clients are under age 65 and either underinsured or without health insurance or funds to pay for their health care. The VNA provides compassionate, innovative care for patients needing home health, hospice and community services which the agency found ways to continue throughout the pandemic.