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Branches, Inc. Partners with Ocean Reef Community Foundation on Innovative Programs
Date:1/1/2016

Branches, Inc. has been partnering with the Ocean Reef Community Foundation for over 7 years, and has received more than $290,000 in grant funding to support their work.

Most recently, Branches, Inc. was awarded a grant by the Foundation of $50,150 to support both its Grow & Climb children and youth program, as well as its Achieve financial stability program. $25,000 is designated for the Grow & Climb Guides project which will train, equip and employ several low-income Branches youth as Grow Guides and Summer Shade Guides at the Branches Florida City location. The Grow Guides work with elementary students after school during the school year, and the Summer Shade Guides served as camp counselors and lead summer programming, along with staff. $25,150 is designated for the Finance for Families in Crisis project which has been serving low-income families, specifically clients of the Food Pantry at the First United Methodist Church of Homestead. Branches staff has been providing these families with financial stability coaching and trainings to help them get back on track and succeed in the long-term. Innovation is at the forefront of both of these programs; employing youth when youth unemployment is at an all-time high, as well as serving food pantry clients and trying to solve the root cause of their problems, often financial, and to help them “get out of line”.

Branches is a local non-profit organization based in Miami and primarily focuses on student services and financial stability. Its Grow Program serves elementary students, preparing them for lifelong success through enrichment of their minds, bodies and hearts. The Climb Program serves middle and high school students, focusing on the development of their individual assets in order to maximize opportunities to become better students and better people. Branches’ Achieve Programs target the well-being of the entire community through services fostering financial stability and long term success. Services include the ASSETS small business solutions program, the Ways to Work car loan program for working families, free VITA tax preparation and hunger relief. Branches is also proud to house and operate the United Way Center for Financial Stability (UWCFS).

“We are honored to partner with the Ocean Reef Community Foundation. The Foundation is truly making an incredible impact in our South Dade community,” said Brent McLaughlin, Executive Director of Branches, Inc. “We are excited to bring innovative programming and services to the children, youth and families in our communities and to help them succeed in the long-term.”

About Branches
For over 40 years, Branches has made a positive impact in the community by delivering on its mission to serve, educate and inspire people through student, family and financial stability services. Branches provides long-term, holistic services for motivated individuals and families. We help people grow deeper and climb higher in life by building a foundation through education so they can achieve their goals and fulfill their potential. For additional information about Branches, please call 305.442.8306 or visit http://www.branchesfl.org.

About the Ocean Reef Community Foundation
The Ocean Reef Community Foundation Community Grants Program awards funding to dozens of charities supporting education, youth, community and health and family services in Upper Monroe and South Miami-Dade Counties each spring. This program has donated more than $4.3 million in these communities since the Ocean Reef community consolidated fundraising efforts in 2008.
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Read the full story at http://www.prweb.com/releases/2015/12/prweb13143525.htm.


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