ORANGE COUNTY, Fla. — Six years ago, when Sandra Fatmi-Hall started United Foundation of Central Florida, which provides after-school mentoring and college preparation for kids, finding money to grow the program was hard to come by.
Trying to raise money for a physical location to house the program was made all the more difficult by the pandemic.
Now thanks to a grant from the Orange County Sheriff’s Office, things are a bit easier.
“This funding will allow us to secure a location which I am extremely excited about,” Fatmi-Hall said.
Earlier this month, the sheriff’s office announced the recipients of the Orange County Sheriff’s Office Community Crime Prevention grant.
Many of those groups were on hand Thursday to accept their checks.
“We hope to make this program a recurring, annual resource that can touch those doing good work in our community,” Mina said.
The sheriff’s office created the program in February of 2020 and uses money from the Law Enforcement Trust fund, which is itself funded by money from the sale of items that have been seized in criminal investigations.
Last year, 15 grants totaling almost $100,000 were awarded to neighborhood and nonprofit groups to address things like drug abuse prevention and neighborhood safety.
Unlike most grant programs, OCSO’s Community Crime Prevention Grant program does not require applicants to provide matching funds.
This year, Orange County Commissioners approved the OCSO’s request to use the funds to support several local organizations.
This year’s recipients are:
$7,500 to the Keri Anne DeMott Foundation, which focuses on awareness and prevention of drunk, impaired and distracted driving.
$10,000 to the United Foundation of Central Florida Inc., which runs an after-school enrichment, mentoring and college preparation program in Pine Hills.
$6,000 to Embrace Families Community Based Care for support for siblings in foster care and support for older youth in foster care.
$10,000 to Fresh Breath International for its Boys2Men Mentoring program.
$3,800 to Wake Up Mentoring, Inc., for its Real Life Coaching program.
$5,000 to the Florida Songwriter’s Association for its So You Want Your Name In Lights youth mentoring program.
$4,000 to Hope City Refuge for its fast track program for convicted felons to re-enter society.
$7,000 to Tough Biker Corporation, which helps at-risk youth become skilled in mountain biking and provides them a creative form of recreation.
$10,000 to Butterfly Transformation Outreach Inc., for its Girls Mentoring Program.
$6,500 to the Mental Health Association of Central Florida, to purchase iPads to expand its virtual service to those in need of mental health counseling.
$5,000 to the Central Florida Writers and Publishers Guild for its Central Florida Young Writer’s Project.
$5,000 to Just Write Consulting Inc. for its Career Development program.
$5,000 for Informed Families/The Florida Family Partnership for its Lock Your Meds program.
$5,000 for The Perfect Journal for its Circle of Hope mentoring program.
$9,000 to MAN UP Mentoring Inc., for its Delinquency Prevention and Intervention Program.
More information on the Orange County Sheriff Community Crime Prevention Grants can be found here.