Community Foundation Awards over $300,000 to Keys Nonprofits

This Year’s Grantees from Upper, Middle, and Lower Keys Include New Recipients

The Community Foundation of the Florida Keys is awarding grants totaling $307,570 to 48 Keys nonprofits for collaborative projects that will directly benefit our residents, communities and environment.

“The Foundation is increasing our impact by increasing the dollars we grant out to the community,” said Jennifer McComb, President and CEO of the Community Foundation of the Florida Keys. This year’s awards are nearly $100,000 more the $215,266 granted to 35 organizations in 2021. The Community Foundation has more than doubled the $144,500 it granted to 27 organizations in 2020 through the annual competitive process.

The Community Foundation grants over $1.5 million a year in total but most of the funding is restricted to specific nonprofits, per the wishes of individual donors, McComb said.

Its Grants Committee, comprised of board and community members, scored the 2022 “Collaborating in Paradise for Good” requests from 501(c)(3) charitable nonprofits and school programs and selected the proposals for funding. Eligible applications were required to include a collaboration with another nonprofit or service-based organization.

Autism Society of the Keys sensory boxes

This year’s annual competitive grants were funded by generous donors representing the Ad Majorem Dei Gloriam Fund, the Ron and Joyce Burd Fund, the Michael Dively Social Justice and Diversity Fund, the Driftwood Fund, the Beverly and Bill Goldner Charitable Fund, the Brian and Maureen Harrison Fund, the William Monroe Fund of the Community Foundation of Greater Atlanta, and the Jack M. Paul Fund. Permanent legacy funds that contribute to the grants program every year are the Emily Boyd Lowe Music Fund, the Jack Baron Visual Grant Fund, the Florence Fox-Loeb Key West Music and Theatre Arts Endowment, and the William C. Euler Jr. and Andrew F. Oates Jr. Fund.

A Positive Step Idle Hands Summer Youth Employment Program

The 2022 grantees are:


Autism Society of the Keys, $10,000, to provide sensory boxes to families and first responders, in collaboration with the Monroe County Sheriff’s Office and Key West Police Department.

Catholic Charities of the Archdiocese of Miami, $10,000, to provide rental assistance to prevent homelessness of our growing immigrant population, in collaboration with The Salvation Army.

Florida Keys Council of the Arts, $3,000, to provide tickets for arts opportunities for working families, in collaboration with United Way of Collier & the Keys.

Florida Keys Healthy Start Coalition, $10,000, to fund its labor doula program for pregnant families, in collaboration with Community Health of South Florida.

International Woman’s Flag Football Association, $5,000, to purchase equipment for teams countywide, in collaboration with the Monroe County School District.

Key West Art and Historical Society, $7,000, to repurpose a Key West history documentary for classroom use, in collaboration with the Monroe County Education Foundation.

Kids Come First In the Florida Keys, $7,500 to provide clothing, shoes, and personal hygiene items to at-risk children, in collaboration with Samuel’s House.

Literacy Volunteers of America, $10,000, to provide training and resources to help students integrate into our Keys community and environment, in conjunction with multiple nonprofits.

Reef Environmental Education Foundation, $9,500, to provide Inclusion, Diversity, Equity and Accessibility trainings for leaders from multiple nonprofits.

Special Olympics Florida Monroe County, $10,000, to launch a school-based Bocce Ball program for youth with and without disabilities, in collaboration with the Monroe County School District.

Star of the Sea Foundation, $10,000, to provide 16 weeks of nutrition education to 200 fifth grade students, in collaboration with the Monroe County School District.


Active Disabled Americans, $2,500, to provide outings to those that would otherwise be excluded due to disability and financial hardship, in collaboration with Ocean Dreams Cancer Healing Center.

First Key in Paradise, $5,000, to help repair and refurbish the 40-foot Key Largo holiday community tree, in collaboration with the Rotary Club of Key Largo and Rotary Club Key Largo Sunset.

Florida Keys Children’s Shelter, $10,000, to fund recreational outings for at-risk youth participating in summer camp, in collaboration with MarineLab.

Good Health Clinic, $8,400, to help pay for a Licensed Mental Health Counselor in the office one day a week, in collaboration with Womankind and the Florida Keys Area Health Education Center.

Habitat for Humanity of the Upper Keys, $10,000, to fund materials and labor for a nine-unit housing project, collaborating with Habitat for Humanity of Key West and the Lower Florida Keys.

History of Diving Museum, $5,000, to create a series of cultural programs offered with its limited-time Sponge Hunters exhibit, collaborating with REEF and the Morada Way Arts & Culture District.

I.CARE, $3,000, to support volunteer divers’ expenses so they can help transplant and monitor coral fragments, in collaboration with Mote Marine Laboratory.

Key Largo School, $10,000, to establish a theater program and drama club, in collaboration with The Key Players.

Kids 4 Kids USA, $8,000, to train and certify local instructors in adaptive swim education, in collaboration with iCan Shine.

MarineLab, $5,000, to provide a mangrove ecology field trip for Upper Keys fifth graders, in collaboration with Monroe County School District.

MarrVelous Pet Rescues, $5,000, to help cover expenses for a Spay and No Balls Clinic to spay and neuter of feral cats, in collaboration with Whiskers and Paws Forever of Monroe County.

Ocean Dreams Cancer Healing Center, $2,500, to host educational classes about cancer prevention and caregiver development, in collaboration with multiple nonprofit organizations.

Plantation Key School, $4,800, to provide authentic artist instruction by linking art to curriculum, in collaboration with Our Place in Paradise.

Treasure Village Montessori School, $4,000, to enlarge its vertical rooftop garden, and to construct a solar-powered hydroponic system, in collaboration with First Baptist Church of Islamorada.


Habitat for Humanity of the Middle Keys, $10,000, to help fund building costs of “Bell Haven” (formerly known as 79th Street Homes for Hope), in collaboration with the Zonta Club of Marathon.

Marathon Garden Club, $1,000, to replace broken ceiling lights with more efficient lights, in collaboration with multiple nonprofits that use the facility.

Marathon Wild Bird Center, $4,000, to purchase pelican education signs and mount them at fishing cleaning stations, in collaboration with Crane Point Hammock.

Presents in Paradise, $5,000, to purchase clothing, shoes, and bedding available at “Rick’s Closet” for children in need throughout the year, in collaboration with multiple nonprofit organizations.


A Positive Step, $10,000, to fund a part-time career coach and summer jobs for at-risk Key West High School students, in collaboration with the City of Key West.

AH of Monroe County, $10,000, to help pay for an architectural blueprint for an affordable housing project on Duck Avenue, in collaboration with the Florida Keys Outreach Coalition.

Bahama Village Music Program, $10,000, to fund sets, costume design, personnel, and supplies for the Keys Kids Junior theatrical production, in collaboration with Horace O’Bryant School.

The Basilica School, $5,000, to provide counseling services for new mothers, before and after birth at Lower Keys Medical Center, in collaboration with the Florida Keys Healthy Start Coalition.

Florida Keys SPCA, $10,000, to care for animals of people experiencing violence, illness, and homelessness, many clients of the Domestic Abuse Shelter or Cornerstone Resource Alliance.

Habitat for Humanity of Key West and the Lower Florida Keys, $5,000, to purchase materials for minor home repairs for people in need, some referred by the Star of the Sea Foundation.

Key West Botanical Garden Society, $2,500, to purchase plants and supplies to create a new K-8th grade Living Lab program, in collaboration with the Lower Keys Zebra Longwing Project.

Key West Community Sailing Center, $6,000, to provide boating and picnic experiences for clients from the Monroe Association for Remarcable Citizens.

Key West Impromptu Classical Concerts, $3,870, to provide music education seminars for the Key West High School Band and students enrolled in the Bahama Village Music Program.

May Sands Montessori School, $5,000, to pay for staff, materials and supplies for a “History Comes Alive” program, in collaboration with the Key West Art & Historical Society.

Old Island Restoration Foundation, $2,000, to provide complimentary admission for low-income residents to learn about classic conch recipes, in collaboration with Williams Hall.

Red Barn Theatre, $3,000, to provide free show tickets to residents in financial need, collaborating with referrals from multiple human service partners.

Samuel’s House, $10,000, to construct a covered outdoor rejuvenation area at its shelter with benches, tables and plantings, in collaboration with Kids Come First.

Sister Season Fund, $10,000, to fund rent and utilities for hospitality and tourism employees, who have become temporarily out of work, in collaboration with The Key West Business Guild.

The Studios of Key West, $10,000, to retain the non-profit InHEIRitance Project to develop a new piece of theater written to address issues related to the sustainability of our island community.

Tropic Cinema, $5,000, to pay for film rights and help cover costs to offer the theater free of charge for local students to see film adaptations of books, in collaboration with Somerset Island Prep.

Unity of the Keys Spiritual Center, $1,000, to purchase clothing vouchers for people in need to shop at St. Peter’s Thrift Store.

University of Florida Endowment Corporation, $3,000, to help families learn to grow their own food by providing demonstrations, fact sheets and container gardens at Grimal Grove.

Zonta Club of Key West Foundation, $1,000, to provide scholarships for Samuel’s House clients to participate in GED and certificate programs to expand career opportunities.

The annual competitive grants program is the only opportunity for any 501(c)(3) nonprofit, faith-based organization or school in Monroe County to submit an application for consideration. The 2023 grant application will be available next year at

Your Community Foundation of the Florida Keys,In Paradise for Good, has granted over $32 million to benefit every resident from Key Largo to Key West, supporting arts and culture, beautification and preservation of the Keys, health and human services, disaster relief, scholarships, and youth programs. The Community Foundation helps individuals and families leave a legacy in the Keys by inspiring giving and by connecting people, resources and needs through philanthropy, The Foundation is well-known for its signature “Unsung Heroes” event which honors nonprofit volunteers. For more information, call 305-292-1502 or visit

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