United Way of Miami-Dade receives $200,000 COVID-19 vaccination grant from Ocean Reef Community Foundation

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United Way of Miami-Dade receives $200,000 COVID-19 vaccination grant from Ocean Reef Community Foundation

The grant aims to build awareness and inform the South Dade region while making COVID-19 vaccinations accessible

 MIAMI (July 9, 2021)Ocean Reef Community Foundation (ORCF) is awarding United Way of Miami-Dade a $200,000 grant focusing on two efforts: COVID-19 vaccination education, awareness and accessibility, and incentives to support a coordinated effort with nine partners. The goal is to reduce barriers to COVID-19 vaccinations for vulnerable communities in the Homestead and Florida City areas.

The campaign will be spearheaded by United Way in collaboration with community partners, including Branches, Epilepsy Florida, Redlands Christian Migrant Association (RCMA), South Dade Veterans Alliance and We Count. The initiative will be coordinated with an ORCF-funded effort by the University of Miami Health System and their partners, including Community Health of South Florida, Health Council of South Florida and MUJER, to reach and ultimately increase vaccination rates in South Dade. ORCF is providing a total of $450,000 to support the coordinated effort.

“As stakeholders in our community’s long-term recovery, we appreciate our neighbors at the Ocean Reef Community Foundation in making this effort possible,” Maria C. Alonso, president and CEO, United Way of Miami-Dade, said. “We have seen firsthand the hardships our community has and continues to face and this grant will provide accessibility as well as critical information, from trusted community voices, to those who need it most in our community.”

Through various efforts, United Way will provide community partners with the necessary materials developed by the Health Foundation of South Florida and the University of Miami Health System and co-host trainings with the YWCA to inform individuals and families about vaccinations, dispel myths and encourage vaccination for the health and safety of the community. Free transportation to vaccine sites will also be provided as needed through a partnership with Uber.

Homestead and Florida City are the two communities identified by ORCF and local partners who can benefit the most from vaccination awareness and accessibility. These two communities include low-to- moderate income populations, minority individuals, veterans and migrant farmworkers.

“We have already done a great job at vaccinating 70% of our residents. But, we still have 30% left.  Reaching them will required targeted community-based efforts”   said Dr. Olveen Carrasquillo, Chief of General Internal Medicine at University of Miami Miller School of Medicine who is helping lead the project. He also added, “We are thrilled to be working together with ORCF, the United Way and all of our outstanding community partners to help everyone get vaccinated”

For more information on COVID-19 resources, please visit unitedwaymiami.org/coronavirusresources.

About United Way of Miami-Dade
Since 1924, United Way of Miami-Dade has been an innovative force in the community, successfully responding to emerging needs and transforming people’s lives. Today our work is focused on education, financial stability and health – the building blocks for a good life. We invest in quality programs, advocate for better policies, engage people in the community and generate resources. To learn more, give, advocate or volunteer, visit unitedwaymiami.org, facebook.com/UnitedWayMiami, twitter.com/UnitedWayMiami or instagram/UnitedWayMiami.

About Ocean Reef Community Foundation
The Ocean Reef Community Foundation facilitates philanthropy by North Key Largo Florida’s Ocean Reef Club community. ORCF’s primary annual grants program has contributed more than $13 million to nonprofit organizations in neighboring areas of Monroe and Southern Miami-Dade Counties where the thousands employed in the private club community live. ORCF has distributed an additional $3.4 million in COVID-19 and Hurricane Irma relief in these areas and its numerous charitable funds have collectively granted more than $100 million since it was established in 1994. For more information, visit orfound.org and contact
305-367-4707 or foundation@oceanreef.com.