Universal Orlando Foundation celebrated a longtime partnership with local charitable organizations recently. Many people associate the holiday season with giving to others. Universal Orlando Foundation showed some holiday spirit in terms of giving. The foundation presented more than a million dollars in grants to 30 charitable organizations. The gifts will help provide support for a variety of worthwhile community needs. Some examples would be after-school programs and care for the youth support services.
The Universal Orlando Foundation started back in 1989. Since then, the foundation has provided more than $30 million in grants to organizations helping local children and families. Universal Orlando has also created innovative programs and partnerships with the community. They started Art of Tomorrow, designed for younger students interested in the arts. In addition, they started Bites, Camera, Action, a mobile food pantry. Also, Universal Orlando Team Members are on track to volunteer more than 35,000 hours, including company-supported events, at dozens of local organizations this year.
The grants were announced at the first-ever “Celebration of Giving” event. The Foundation gathered 30 community partners at this event. Universal Orlando intends this event to become an annual celebration of giving.
John Sprouls, Executive Vice President and Chief Administrative Officer of Universal Parks & Resorts and President of the Universal Orlando Foundation, said, “Central Florida is home for our company and for our 25,000 team members and we care about our community,” He also said, “We are inspired by the vision and mission of all the community groups we partner with, and we are thrilled for this opportunity to recognize their great work.”
The list of grants provides looks like this:
Camp Boggy Creek – $100,000 to support their Innovation Station, a new initiative to provide free camp experiences for children whose primary diagnosis is directly tied to their mental health. Funding will cover costs associated with a weekend session in Spring 2023 to expand this opportunity to summer sessions.
Children’s Home Society – $100,000 to support their Community Partnership School Expansion and Stabilization, which will support current programming at Eccleston and help expand services to Carver Middle School. Funding will stabilize existing critical expanded learning services for Eccleston and expand wellness services to Carver Middle to ensure students do not have a break in services.
A Gift for Teaching (AGFT) – $100,000 to support their 25 for 25 — Supplying Student Success program. A portion of this grant will cover costs associated with gifting Surprise Class Packs of school supplies to 25 teachers in the highest-need Orange County schools each month throughout the 2023-2024 school year. The remaining portion will overhaul and refresh AGFT’s box truck to ensure reliable procurement and delivery of supplies.
Coalition for the Homeless of Central Florida- $100,000 to support their Early Childhood Development Center, which serves Center for Women and Families shelter guests and participants in its Rapid Rehousing programs. Funding will cover costs associated with a technology upgrade, Health and Wellness staffing, Field Trip Bus driver, and a parent fund to help parents struggling to meet day-to-day needs.
Habitat for Humanity Greater Orlando & Osceola County – $100,000 to support a new program that addresses the currently dire struggles of lower-income households to preserve their homes and prevent foreclosure. The program would enable homeowners to reduce their home insurance costs, uncover roof issues, steer them to repair assistance, and coach them on the most critical home preservation and insurance obstacles people confront. Grant will cover costs associated with staffing as well as roof inspections.
Zebra Coalition – $100,000 to support renovation and operations of a new space secured to serve youth. The site will house meeting space, rooms for therapy, a stage for drama workshops, and allow the organization to return to regular service hours.
Boys & Girls Clubs of Central Florida – $100,000 to support their STEAM Enhancement program, which provides high-quality STEAM programming after school to underserved tweens and teens in Central Florida. Funding will support direct services—staff time, STEAM contractors, art/ STEM software, supplies, and materials.
After School All Stars – $75,000 to support their Echoes Project, which would expand their commitment to equip underserved students with the tools and knowledge to make a lasting impact in their communities and life through performing arts and theatre. Funding will support staffing, curriculum, facilities, and materials for programming at Memorial and Carver Middle Schools.
onePULSE Foundation – $50,000 in support of education programs to advance human equity.
Recipients of $10,000 grants:
Canine Companions for Independence
City Year Orlando
Foundation for Seminole State College
The Orlando Fringe
Give Kids the World Village
Homeless Services Network of Central Florida
Holocaust Center of Florida
Junior Achievement™ of Central Florida
Lighthouse Central Florida
Make-A-Wish® Central and Northern Florida
Foundation for Orange County Public Schools
Orlando Health Foundation
The Orlando Repertory Theatre
Orlando Science Center
Second Harvest Food Bank of Central Florida
Special Olympics Florida
UCP of Central Florida
United Arts of Central Florida
Valencia College Foundation
For more information about Universal Orlando Foundation, please consult their website at https://www.universalorlandofoundation.org/web-foundation/.
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