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 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 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.
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.
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. Kicking off with a prerace coffee and breakfast, the event is an all-day bash, boasting an array of energy boosters such as a DJ, photo booth, and unlimited free beer from Kona Brewing Company. Party-goers can also nosh on an all-you-can-eat salsa bar from Lime Fresh Mexican Grill and brick-oven pizzas from Fratelli La Bufala. Guests can also watch racers on the sprawling 5-mile course using different types of standup boards, which they'll steer through the water using standard paddles or inflatable pool noodles. Cheer on the 3-mile race, which allows only 12.5-inch stock boards, putting entrants of all experience levels on an even playing field to show off refined paddling techniques or the ability to leap from board to dolphin back.
After Dr. Angel Perez passed away due to kidney cancer, his wife and children discovered a way to honor his memory. Sonia Perez and her daughters were hosting a recreational picnic for his former patients, many of whom were affected by congenital heart defects (CHD) or childhood acquired heart disease, when they realized that these patients and their families needed somewhere they could gather and receive non-medical financial, emotional, and social support outside the hospital. The Perez family founded Angel's Pediatric Heart House to fill this need. The organization provides free programs and services to South Florida children living with CHD such as financial support during a child’s hospital stay; family fun day social events, which provide opportunities for cardiac kids and their families to come together; monthly hospital outreach to three area children’s hospitals and a free infant items donation program through a partnership with a national baby store retailer. Its programs also function as a tool for group healing. Mommy and Me groups provide opportunities to gain support, the Miles and Millas program delivers care packages to kids undergoing heart surgery, and a national CHD awareness campaign spreads encouragement to families and distributes Heart Shadow Buddies to kids in hospitals.
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Since 1965, the Boys & Girls Clubs of Broward County have upheld their mission of helping kids 6 to 18 years old build self-esteem and learn important life skills. They continue to provide places for youths to escape life's pressures, which can range from school stress and pent-up energy to more serious issues such as gangs and lack of attention at home. The friendly and dedicated staffers orient their programs toward education, recreational, and healthy living. Kids can join career exploration programs, enjoy nutritious snacks and suppers through the KISS Program. All the while, they’ll learn how to be caring, responsible citizens equipped to make a difference in their communities.