Inspire305, powered by United Way of Miami-Dade, a new initiative aimed at activating solutions for innovators, change-makers and philanthropic leaders in our community, showcased five nascent and innovative Miami nonprofits each working to help make our community stronger at its 2019 Grand Finale last month. The event hosted more than 100 guests at Akerman, in the heart of Brickell City Centre.
After initially putting out a call in March for local nonprofits doing new and innovative things in Miami, five inspiring nonprofits were selected by volunteers and put to an online vote.
A two-week voting period and two text-to-vote opportunities later, our 2019 Grand Innovator and Trailblazer winners were recognized for their work in our hometown and dedication to our community.
Strong Girls, Inc., the $25,000 Grand Innovator award winner, facilitates a free after school program designed to break the cycle of poverty by providing young girls the skills and support needed to stay focused on learning. The nonprofit operates in Title 1 schools and trains teachers to implement its evidence-based Social Emotional Learning curriculum during critical after school hours. The program begins in third grade and includes structured learning groups, academic support, gender specific programming, fitness and mindfulness.
Strong Girls, Inc. is using the Inspire305 grant to expand their Social Emotional Learning curriculum to two more Title 1 elementary schools.
As for the $10,000 Trailblazer award winner, ICU baby offers financial and emotional support to families with a premature or critically ill baby in the Neonatal Intensive Care Unit (NICU) of Holtz Children’s Hospital at UM/Jackson Memorial Medical Center and Baptist Health System’s South Miami Hospital. Each week in the NICU, ICU baby volunteers witness first hand that many babies are alone and one of the reasons is the high cost of transportation for parents to the hospital. ICU baby’s Transportation Assistance Program addresses this financial burden for families, enabling them to regularly visit their baby and participate in their baby’s NICU care.
ICU baby is using their Inspire305 grant to provide transportation stipends to low income families with a baby in the NICU in the form of bus passes, parking vouchers, gas cards and Uber rides.
In addition to recognizing our Grand Innovator and Trailblazer award winners, the Grand Finale also celebrated this year’s other finalists:
- Food Rescue US, a technology based, volunteer-driven platform that delivers fresh food from businesses that have too much to people that have too little.
- S.E.E.K Foundation, a nonprofit that provides equal access to science, technology, engineering and math (STEM) through mobile STEM programs in underserved communities.
- Students Care, a nonprofit dedicated to matching pediatric patients with college student volunteers who provide fun, friendship and support throughout their hospital stays.
Up next: Stay tuned for Inspire305’s upcoming volunteer event with Strong Girls, Inc. on July 13.
View photos from the Inspire305 Grand Finale here.