Ocean Reef Community Foundation Partners with CHI to Vaccinate Vulnerable Communities

Ocean Reef Community Foundation is an organization rooted in philanthropy and invested in meaningful charities throughout South Florida. Every year, the Foundation provides support via an annual grants program to distribute funds to nonprofit organizations serving the community. This year, the team at Ocean Reef Community Foundation went even further and partnered with Community Health of South Florida, Inc. (CHI) to address and facilitate COVID vaccination for the protection of our residents.

In order to be responsive to the needs caused by the pandemic, the Foundation created the COVID-19 Relief Fund, giving it the opportunity to expand its geographic limitations and include more neighbors than its annual program. For this, it needed a partner that was rooted in the community, so the Foundation reached out to CHI. The result: a $42,848 grant for COVID-19 vaccinations in south Miami-Dade and Monroe counties with a focus on vulnerable populations.

“CHI was the ideal partner for what we wanted to achieve with this particular vaccination grant. The many locations in the Keys and Homestead are perfectly aligned with our interest areas, and CHI is well-positioned to reach those most in need as a trusted messenger,” said Yurianna Mikolay, Executive Director of Ocean Reef Community Foundation. “While we were also funding larger mass vaccination efforts, CHI helped us to complement the big events by reaching those who couldn’t access them for a variety of reasons.”

CHI and Ocean Reef Community Foundation made COVID-19 vaccines available through a series of small to medium-scale vaccination events at Marathon, Tavernier, Florida City, Homestead, Naranja, Goulds, and Perrine. It is also collaborated with other organizations to ensure key neighborhoods are vaccinated. Ultimately, the project allowed CHI to administer 2,258 vaccines to individuals in need.

“The driving force behind this effort was our desire to help remove barriers and get as many people as possible vaccinated, leaving no one behind. No one is really safe until everyone is safe,” said Mikolay. “CHI helped provide the opportunity to many who would not have had it without this grant. We couldn’t ask for a better partner and we’re grateful for CHI’s expertise and reach.”