As the local outreach arm of the Sierra Club Foundation, Inner City Outings Miami takes youth locked in urban surroundings on excursions into the pristine peace and exciting adventures of a natural environment. Youth aged 8–18 engage in 25–30 day trips every year, which include orienteering, hiking, snorkeling, and canoeing workshops and service projects such as tree planting and beach cleanups. On the trips, young people also learn about natural science, animal ecology, and protecting the environment. Inner City Outings Miami plans trips to locations within a few hours of the city, such as Everglades National Park, the Loxahatchee National Wildlife Refuge, and the Koreshan State Historic Site.
With a staff of 150 licensed dentists, hygienists, and dental assistants, Community Smiles conducts dental exams that aim to detect problems early and instruct youth on healthy brushing and eating habits. Examinations can also prevent more serious health conditions caused by cavities and gum disease, such as diabetes, respiratory diseases, and infection. Community Smiles has set the goal to provide free dental examinations for 80 children from low-income families, but the organization requires additional funding in order to complete this goal.
The Healing Factory instructs youth ages 5–17 on proper breathing, simple yoga stretches and poses, and meditation, and provides holistic instruction in art, dance, and nutrition. While practicing yoga and meditation, young participants learn to balance their physical bodies, their emotions, and the unwieldy scales of justice through specific exercises and deep-breathing techniques. Regular yoga practice can also enhance concentration and information retention, and meditation can help reduce violent urges and improve kids' abilities to resolve conflicts. La Luchi would like to purchase yoga mats for graduates of the Healing Factory program to encourage them to continue to nurture their newfound meditative practices at home.
As part of the organization's overall goals to bolster these youths' life skills, young people in the mentoring program can attend a daylong event hosted by Playing the Game of Life. Throughout the day, young people participate in a series of healthful-living sessions incorporating cooking lessons, yoga classes, guided meditation, nutritional education, and stress-reduction techniques. Playing the Game of Life's professional instructors use holistic teaching methods to demonstrate and encourage healthful-living habits to participants, and, ideally, will spark ongoing conversations between the youths and their mentors about healthful-living and healthful-eating habits. Mentors will also attend the event, but will cover their own costs.
In 1980, Harry and Darlene Kelton moved their houseboat to the Pelican Harbor Marina and discovered an injured brown pelican. Without the aid of animal-care experience, they removed a fishhook from his mouth and rehabilitated him. This led them to form the Pelican Harbor Seabird Station in their shed. With the help of volunteers and trained staff, the seabird station rescues, treats, and rehabilitates sick and injured wildlife, and promotes their preservation with educational programs and research efforts. The center specializes in brown pelicans, most of which are entangled in fishing tackle, but will treat any animal brought in for care. In 2007, they treated 87 bird species and 39 mammals, nonmigratory birds, reptiles, and amphibians.
The Big Heart Paddle challenges philanthropic paddleboarders with 3- and 5-mile races, the proceeds of which benefit Bravery Beads, an organization dedicated to serving children with cancer. A sprawling 3-mile course welcomes any type of standup board, which racers steer through the water using standard paddles or inflatable pool noodles. The competitive 5-mile race allows only 12.5-inch stock boards, supplying loaners to those who need them, and putting entrants of all experience levels on an even playing field in order to show off refined paddling techniques or the ability to leap from board to dolphin back. Kicking off with a prerace coffee and breakfast, the event extends into a party, boasting an array of energy boosters such as a DJ, photo booth, and free beer, with event sponsors including Kona Brewery, Fratelli La Bufala, Lime Fresh Mexican, Zico, and more. All participants and spectators can attend, taking the opportunity to witness the Most Stylish Paddle award and to swap anecdotes about besting Poseidon.