ORLANDO – As part of the Orlando Magic’s continuing commitment to the Central Florida community, the team distributed its first set of grants to 10 local nonprofits totaling $370,000 through the Orlando Magic Youth Foundation (OMYF). The first set of grants (summer grant cycle) were distributed in surprise visits August 15-17 to 10 nonprofit organizations in Orange and Seminole counties assisting at-risk youth in Central Florida. Magic Community Ambassadors Nick Anderson and Bo Outlaw presented the 10 organizations a bronze basketball keepsake and an OMYF novelty check with the amount they were granted at each of the visits.
The OMYF’s 10 summer grantee organizations, amount granted and program information:
Orange County School Readiness Coalition, DBA Early Learning Coalition of Orange County | Infant/Toddler Mentor Project, $50,000 – The Infant/Toddler Mentor Project provides in-classroom mentoring to new infant/toddler teachers to increase their understanding of quality infant/toddler care.
The Sharing Center | Families in Crisis, $25,000 – Families in Crisis (FIC) is a lifesaving resource for low-income Seminole County families on the brink of homelessness due to unforeseen financial difficulties.
Boys & Girls Clubs of Central Florida | Making Academic Gains In our Clubs (MAGIC) of Literacy Initiative, $50,000 – Dedicated Literacy Program Specialists & Director of Academic Success deliver daily small group & individual evidence-based reading interventions using five benchmarks of reading fluency, comprehension, phonemics, spelling & vocabulary.
Hearts, Hands, and Hope | Hearts, Hands, and Hope Food Bag Program, $25,000 – Hearts, Hands, and Hope is a solution to food insecurity with its proven Three Phase System. The three phases include providing 14 nutritious meals every week to children identified as food insecure; providing children and their families with resources, including access to health care, mental health services, and job placement services, breaking the cycle of poverty, and giving children support to live a healthy, successful life.
City Year | City Year Whole School Whole Child Program at Meadowbrook Middle School, $50,000 – Whole School Whole Child program is a proven strategy to improve academic and soft skills outcomes in schools that serve high concentrations of low-income families and students of color.
Shepherd’s Hope | Equitable Access to Healthcare and Wellness Initiatives for Uninsured & Underserved Children, $25,000 – Shepherd’s Hope aims to continue its efforts to address growing health disparities for uninsured and underserved children, youth and their families by providing access to free healthcare, wellness interventions and food security initiatives for at-risk populations specifically targeting children.
Hope CommUnity Center | 50 Years y MAS (More)!: CommUnity, Justice, and Education Through the Arts, $50,000 – MAS! uses visual and performance arts to help immigrant youth, pre-school thru high school, speak their truth and get support which improves emotional well-being and communication skills.
Boys Town Central Florida, Inc. | Intervention & Assessment Youth Shelter, $20,000 – As the only emergency adolescent shelter in Seminole County, Boys Town Central Florida, Inc. works to prevent homelessness by offering youth a safe living space, assessing their needs, and beginning to work toward family reunification or other permanent care.
JFS Orlando | Family Stabilization Program (FSP), $45,000 – The Family Stabilization Program (FSP) provides clients receive a unique combination of services tailored to meet their individual needs including case management, financial education, individual financial counseling, financial assistance for basic needs, employability skills training, life skills training, mental health counseling, food assistance, and legal guidance.
A Gift For Teaching, Inc. | A Gift For Music, $30,000 – A Gift For Music (AGFM) helps fill the gap of budget cuts to school music programs by providing high-quality, tuition-free string music education to students who likely could not afford it otherwise. AGFM provides after-school group violin classes at Title 1 Schools in the Orlando area for students in third through fifth grade. AGFM’s Saturday Strings program also provides a comprehensive orchestra program for students in third through 12th grade.
The Magic recently announced $1,000,000 in grants would be distributed through the OMYF in three ways – a summer grant cycle, a winter grant cycle and microgrants. The second set of grant recipients (winter grant cycle) will be announced in February 2024 through surprise visits as well. In addition, the Magic will award microgrants to smaller, up-and-coming local nonprofits to assist them in growing their organizations. Approximately $530,000 will be distributed to the second set of grantees (to be determined) in February along with $100,000 in microgrants for a total of $1 million to assist at-risk youth in Orange, Seminole, Brevard, Lake, Polk, Volusia, and Osceola counties.
This marks the 16th time the team has distributed at least $1 million to the community with the Magic granting more than $29 million over the past 34 years to local nonprofit community organizations through the OMYF.
The OMYF’s three-pronged granting cycle includes an extensive five-phase process, which began in June 2023 (for summer grant cycle) and will happen again in December 2023 (for winter grant cycle), with the beneficiaries all going through an approval process by the OMYF Board. In addition, the organizations selected for grants will all be honored during an OMYF Grant Reception at a Magic home game on March 3 this upcoming season.
Each year, the Magic gives more than $2 million to Central Florida by way of sponsorships of events, donated tickets, autographed merchandise and grants. At the heart of the Magic’s charitable efforts is the work done by the OMYF.
The OMYF is committed to helping children in Central Florida realize their full potential, especially those most at-risk, by supporting nonprofit organizations offering youth-based programs in the areas of education, housing/homelessness, the arts, and health and wellness programs. The OMYF raises community dollars annually through donations, auctions and events such as the OMYF Open Golf Tournament and the Orlando Wine Festival & Auction.
The Orlando Wine Festival and Auction, the signature fundraiser for the OMYF since 2019, will be held March 1-3, 2024 at the Four Seasons Resort Orlando. The weekend of events features exclusive vintner dinners, an outdoor festival with live music, live auction displays, an e-auction, local and celebrity chefs, wineries, and food pavilions, along with Magic players and coaches. Each guest will also receive an invitation to the OMYF Grant Reception on March 3, 2024 to honor the Magic’s new grantees, where all funds from the Orlando Wine Festival and Auction, along with other fundraising opportunities, are distributed to the local nonprofit organizations being honored that night.
In addition to the OMYF’s fundraising efforts, the DeVos Family Foundation donated a total of $3 million to 30 local nonprofit organizations throughout the 2022-23 seasons as part of the DeVos family’s 30 Grants for 30 Years initiative, which invests in people and projects impacting youth, essential needs for families, and community enrichment across Central Florida. The DeVos family also assisted the OMYF with fundraising efforts in 2021, providing $700,000 to the foundation to make up for the shortfall due to the pandemic and the OMYF not being able to hold its usual fundraising events. Through that donation, the OMYF was once again able to reach the $1 million milestone in 2021 to help at-risk youth and families in Central Florida.
For more information on the OMYF, visit www.omyf.org.