Ability Tree First Coast

CampAbility Special Day Camp

CampAbility is a recreational and educational summer program for school-aged children with Autism and other intellectual/developmental/physical disabilities being provided in a fun and safe environment. We are expanding this year to include a youth camp for 6th - 12th graders. We also offer summer camp sessions to the elementary-aged siblings. This is in order to help alleviate the burden on parents by keeping their children in one location, as well as provide familiarity to the camper with special needs by having his/her sibling nearby and give the sibling(s)companionship with other siblings who understand what it’s like to walk in their shoes.

Angelwood, Inc

The Bells of Angelwood

The Bells of Angelwood is a handbell choir that was formed in 2017. The ensemble is a performing arts initiative at Angelwood’s Career Development and Education Center. The bell ensemble offers individuals in the group an opportunity to develop musically, perform, and give back to their community. The ensemble has visited nursing care programs to both perform and to show residents how to use chimes. The participants increase their skill development in a group setting and build confidence during practices and while volunteering their time to playing in the community. The group has had the opportunity to perform in the community in public and private concerts. In 2019 The Bells of Angelwood participated in a holiday concert in collaboration with the Brooks Rehab Clubhouse Chimers and the North Florida School of Special Education, in addition to a daytime holiday performance at the Jessie Ball duPont Center in Jacksonville.


Building Abilities of Special Children & Adults Inclusion Program

In furthering BASCA's mission to improve the quality of life for individuals with disabilities in NE Florida, we appreciate the opportunity to be considered for HEAL grant funding. A majority of the individuals we serve live with AutismSpectrum Disorder. HEAL funding will be directly beneficial by providing a creative, community inclusion outing. By providing inclusion activities in our day programs, individuals gain a sense of pride and accomplishment by going out into the community and not being in one location all of the time. Your support will allow individuals to branch-out beyond providing for their immediate basic needs.Enrichment activities are important too!

BASCA, Inc. was formed in 1994 by parents who wanted to provide socialization services for their children with differences in northern Clay County. The organization has grown to now include five group homes, enriching day programs, support services, transportation, and community inclusion for more than 200 adults each year. We still serve some of the families and their children, who are now adults.

Best Buddies International

Friendship Programs & Citizens' Friendship Program

Best Buddies’ School Friendship program builds mutually enriching friendships between students with and without intellectual and developmental differences (IDD), offering social mentoring while improving the quality of life and level of inclusion for a population that is often isolated and excluded. This program helps students with IDD form meaningful connections with their peers; gain self-confidence and self-esteem; and share interests, experiences, and activities that many other individuals regularly enjoy.

At each school, a faculty advisor and a special education advisor work with student leaders to recruit students withIDD (buddies) to be matched in one-to-one friendships with students without disabilities (peer buddies). School chapters host at least one event a month. Best Buddies offers a calendar of engagement activities and ideas for chapters to utilize and connect, such as training resources, games, best practices, and Sanford Harmony programs.

Best Buddies’ Citizens Friendship program is an adult friendship program for individuals with IDD and those without IDD who are 18-years-old or older. One to one friendships include matching an adult with IDD with a peer without IDD. This buddy pair develops a friendship like any other and promotes a more inclusive world for adults with and without disabilities. Citizens members in Jacksonville currently participate in three monthly activities which include a social hangout, professional and personal development training, and a fitness related activity. Citizens also equips participants to become leaders in our community.

Bit of Faith Ranch

Summer Fun at the Ranch

Summer Fun at the Ranch will include: Summer Season,Movie Outings, and Mom's Round Up.
Summer Season: We will host up to 14 riders to come every other week for an adaptive riding session. Participants will have a 30 minute session to ride and groom a horse with the assistance of a volunteer horse lead and side walker. Our budding equestrians gain skills and confidence with every session.

Movie Outings: Partnering with Special Nation, we host monthly private movie viewings for our participants and their families. Up to 25 people will share one theater. Our guests are comfortable to enjoy the movie however they want. Free to walk around, make noises, even dance if they want. It's a great opportunity for the population we serve to experience movies for perhaps the very first time.

Mom's Round Up: monthly gatherings for mothers who have children/family members impacted by autism or related disabilities. We will alternate monthly between an evening out and a lunch. This is an opportunity for moms to get together with other moms facing some of the same parenting challenges.

Bit of Faith Ranch provides riding, recreation, and respite to build belonging, growth and relationships for individuals and their families who are impacted by autism and related disabilities A place to call their own, a sport to call their own, and a community that is their own. We have completed two seasons with 12-16 riders each season, just began ourSpring season with 14 riders. We have over 30 volunteers (12 very committed) and have had over 600 volunteer hours served.

BridgeHaven Academy

BridgeHaven Summer Camp/Social Groups

BridgeHaven Summer Camp and Social Skills Program will provide enrichment experiences utilizing technology and communication for individuals affected by autism. Our campers will be able to participate in thematic summer camp programs with a low staff/camper ratio enabling us to provide physical, emotional, and therapeutic support foreach camper. We are a unique camp/school that utilizes typing as a viable means of communication for nonverbal individuals with autism. Summer camp is the opportunity for typers across Jacksonville to come together and participate. We are the only facility that offers typing and support for individuals who use this means of communication. We are also looking forward to offering mini camp sessions for typers of the same ages to come together to have meaningful conversations.

Connecting Thru Music, Inc

Summer Camps/Job Skills Program

Connecting Thru Music, Inc is a 501c3 non-profit established in 2018 for the purpose of providing music experiences and music therapy to children with special needs in Northeast Florida.

CTM currently serves the following locations: DLC Nurse and Learn, DLC Therapy and Care, Palm Ave (DCPS), North Florida School for Special Education, Growing Together Behavioral Center (Southpoint and Mandarin locations), Mainspring Academy, Bloom Behavioral Solutions, HopeHaven, Proactive Life Skills, and PossAbilities Plus. Additionally, due to Covid, we provide videos of therapy sessions to students at Neptune Beach Elementary andMandarin Oaks Elementary.

Our highest funding needs at present are for our summer programs, our Possabilities Plus Jobskills Program and the production and distribution of videos for use where in-person classes are not possible.

Daniel Memorial, Inc.

Organic Therapuetic Gardening Program

This grant request is for the development of a horticultural therapy program using hydroponic growing technology to benefit children and adolescents receiving residential mental health treatment services at the Daniel Belfort Rd.campus. These vulnerable young people face significant challenges that require intensive mental health treatment services, including psychiatric care, targeted therapy modalities, life/social skill development, and academic services. On any given day, 36 youth, ages 5-17, are in residence for a period of four to six months. The average annual census is 85. Residents attend school on-site through the Duval County Schools hospital homebound program.

The agency seeks to continuously develop and implement innovative program components in the effort to increase engagement and to expose children to new and exciting experiences. We know that literature reviews detail the benefits of gardening and nature for children with emotional/behavioral problems attributable to stress and trauma. This evidenced-based modality involves the use of hands-on growth of edible plants and related educational activities as tools to promote healing and to promote healthy diet choices and a life-long passion for sustainable, organic gardening. The hydroponic garden will produce greens and herbs that will be planted, harvested and consumed by the residents!

Epilepsy Florida

Epilepsy Florida Family Weekend Getaway at Camp Boggy Creek

As a result of COVID-19, our traditional summer camp is now becoming a family affair and we're hosting Family Weekend Getaways! From July 9-11, we are offering our kids with epilepsy and their families time to connect away from home as individual family units at Camp Boggy Creek. Most of our camp attendees with epilepsy also have autism and there is an established association between the two.

Family weekends are designed for families to enjoy CampBoggy Creek's 232 acres of fun as individual family units in a safe, socially distant and unique way. Games, projects, arts & crafts, Archery, Miniature Golf, and a multitude of outdoor and nature activities will all be available free of charge to our families.

Camp Boggy Creek was created by Paul Newman as one of his famous Hole in the Wall camps as a non-profit medical camping center located in Eustis, Florida, specifically designed and equipped for kids ages 7-16 who have chronic or life threatening illnesses. The camp’s on-staff medical teams and volunteers ensure the environment is physically safe and medically sound. Because of the substantial emotional and financial toll that falls upon families dealing with childhood epilepsy, EFL helps covers the cost for children (and now this year, their families!) to attend summer camp.

Girl Scouts of Gateway Council Inc.

Girl Scout Smile Camp

Smile Camp is all about putting smiles on the faces of FirstCoast children with disabilities for nearly 50 years.

Elementary school children with autism, cerebral palsy, intellectual disabilities, and vision or auditory impairments are invited to attend this week-long day camp outdoors atCrystal Springs Elementary School in Jacksonville, FL.Activities will focus on sensory and creative play such as painting, writing, drawing, dancing, and singing.

Smile Camp is planned and staffed by rising 9th-12th grade Girl Scouts. Counselors receive hands-on, intensive training and are paired with a camper each day, allowing counselors to get to know the specific needs of their camper and allowing campers to feel comfortable with their counselor.

Our organization continues to take safety seriously, especially in light of COVID-19. That is why camp will follow the guidelines of the CDC for a safe camp experience for all those who attend.

Growing Together Behavioral Center

Summer Camp 2021

Growing Together Behavioral Center is one of Jacksonville's premier schools for children and adults with Autism and Developmental Differences. We pride ourselves on being a school of high integrity where each child is treated as an individual, and educational plans are tailored to their personal needs.

We are currently enjoying our third school year at our Southpoint location, and are thrilled to have opened our new location in Mandarin in January 2021. We have students age 3 - 12 at in Southpoint and students ages 3 - 22 in Mandarin. Summer camp at Growing Together is a more relaxed experience but will still include academics and behavioral therapy. We continue to work toward our mission of advancing language, play skills, social skills and more in a safe and nurturing environment.

Our upcoming summer camp will run Monday, June 7through Friday, August 1, 2021. Summer camp is open to ALL children diagnosed with Autism and otherDevelopmental Differences, even if they do not currently attend GTBC. Our summer camp is currently full, with a waitlist.

Funding will support purchasing all required materials to engage in exciting summer activities for Summer Camp2021, including sensory items, art supplies, reinforcers, and outdoor materials.

Help Us Golf Junior Golf Camp

Help Us Golf/HEAL Junior Golf Camp at TPC Sawgrass

HUG is a non-profit organization dedicated to helping anyone with the desire to play golf, enjoy the game no matter what their physical or cognitive limitations. Through this golf camp we look to enhance the lives of people with challenges through golf instruction and clinics. We want to give the opportunity to all to learn and enjoy the great game of golf.

Funds will go straight to funding the program to provide the best experience for each camper. Each day camper will receive snacks and lunch. As well each camper will receive a shirt and hat.

This grant will serve 18 individuals. Students have various Intellectual and Developmental Differences.

Henderson Haven, Inc

Summer Programs

Henderson Haven, Inc will utilize grant funds to support our 10-week summer program. Funds will help provide learning in a fun environment while promoting age-appropriate social skills. Each week students will work on targeted social, academic and life skills. We will utilize our 2 services dogs as well as community resources and volunteers to enhance the experience.

Families report better behavior, improved social skills, and a drive to want to achieve more. Participants in the summer program get to experience fun summer activities many children take for granted. They explore new activities and begin to ignite passions for recreational fun that carry over into the rest of the year. This kindled passion in these students leads to students gaining independence and thus less dependency on families and the State of Florida for support. We help each student discover their gifts and talents and develop them into job and living skills.

Our summer programs will give us the chance to reach more kids and families and help them begin this fun and amazing journey to a life of independence. Programs will be available for students ages 3 to 22 years old.

Hope Haven Association, Inc.

Camp Hope

Camp Hope provides summer camp enrichment to children and youth ages 3-22 with physical or intellectual challenges. It is one of only a handful of local camps that accommodate children with a disability. The greatest barrier to attendance is cost, making donations of financial assistance critical to access. Assistance is distributed on a sliding scale of need, providing anywhere from a 10 to 50 percent reduction in fees.

Camp Hope is held eight of the nine weeks of summer break, Monday-Friday, 7:30 am-6 pm. A different camp theme is featured each week, and activities include music therapy, art therapy, outdoor games, virtual field trips, aHealthy Kids Club focused on healthy eating, and in-school experiences created by guest presenters. Tutoring is an added bonus for children who need to strengthen various academic skills. Families can also conveniently schedule a range of therapies on campus with Great Strides, including PT, OT, Speech, and ABA.

For children with special needs, the socialization that summer camp provides is especially critical for sustaining progress. Even under normal circumstances, it is often the only social engagement available over the summer and the only respite parents receive. This lack of opportunity impacts a population of children dependent on routines, familiarity, and the rare friendship that school provides.

Hope Therapy

Scholarship Program

Hope Therapy provides "Healing with the help of the horse"for special needs children, veterans and others with a variety of challenging medical diagnoses.

HorsePlay Therapy Center


We provide physical, occupational, and speech therapy on horseback to children with special needs. Currently we serve 54 children with Autism, as well as another 50 children with a variety of other disabilities including cerebral palsy, downs syndrome, genetic disorders, spinal bifida, sensory disorders, and developmental delays.

We are a team of 10 clinicians, 17 volunteers, and 7 horses who work together to improve the lives of the children we serve. We have been fortunate in being able to provide financial assistance to all who need it to participate in our program. We are on our 5th year as a non profit organization, and we are continuing to grow and expand, thanks to foundations like HEAL!

Indigo Art Center Inc.

Open Art Studio

Open Art Studio provides adaptive visual art process exploration for artists with disabilities to create in a safe, supportive studio setting. Artists are provided with a variety of art materials to explore creatively and independently.

Indigo Art Center staff provide the least amount of support necessary, adapting as needed, with an emphasis on choice and personal artistic expression. Artists learn life skills, social skills, and vocational skills in this open art studio environment. Community art exhibitions are offered for artists interested in exhibiting and selling their work.

Indigo Art Therapy Studio

Summer Scholarships

Summer Scholarships would provide group or individual art therapy scholarships for adults and children with autism. This scholarship program would allow recipients to choose the level of support that feels right for them. Customized art therapy sessions are created to help with emotion regulation, sensory integration, social skills, and self-expression.

Indigo Art Therapy Studio is dedicated to making the healing power of art safe and accessible. At Indigo, we love empowering people to discover and harness their own creativity. Art therapy engages the mind, body, and spirit in ways that are distinct from verbal expression alone. Our board-certified art therapists facilitate individuals of all ages and abilities in the creative process, incorporating yoga, mindfulness, and evidence-based therapeutic techniques for an integrative approach to healing.

Infinity Care

Day Program

Infinity Care was founded in 2014 by Keyshia Mitchell in Jacksonville, Florida. Our Mission is to offer quality and safe care in a fun environment. Our center is in a small and intimate setting, so your loved one(s) will get more one on one time and no one feels left out. The trained and experienced staff take great care of our patients. We believe in companionship and building a relationship with our patients so they feel comfortable at our center. Infinity Care also has nurses on duty for our medical complex.

Infinity Care is here to ensure your loved ones are in good hands while you take a well-deserved break. We offer programs that help with social skills, mental health, and daily living needs.

Infinity Care is dedicated to providing the nurturing care that every special needs adult or senior requires so that they can flourish in their daily lives. Whether your loved one is physically, cognitively, or developmentally disabled or just needs companionship, Infinity Care provides the highest quality assistance.

Jacksonville School for Autism Inc

2021 Summer Enrichment

Grant funding will provide students the opportunity to experience a broad range of summer enrichment programs. In past years we have been gifted the opportunity to provide experiences including piano, therapeutic horseback riding, music & art groups, zoo trips, dolphin interactions, and other community eld trips. For most children on the autism spectrum, the abrupt change of a schedule that transitions from school to summer can be a challenge. To facilitate comfort in regards to this transition, JSA offers an intensive learning continuum along with a focus on physical activity and social fun" during the summer months.

Jericho School

Gross Motor Development: Exercise and Autism Summer Program

Many individuals with autism have lower fitness skills compared to other people. These skills include balance, body coordination, visual-motor control and other mobility skills. Here again, we were encouraged to find that many types of physical activities improve skill-related fitness for youth with autism. Many kinds of physical activities – and the social opportunities they afford – require what we call “fundamental motor skills.” These basic skills include running, throwing, catching and so on. Analysis has showed that youth who participated in physical activity programs designed for individuals with autism showed significant gains in their social and communication skills. When designed appropriately, physical activity programs can provide a fun, safe setting for interacting with other children. In other words, they can offer excellent opportunities for practicing social skills. The funding for this grant will be utilized to purchase the proper and specialized equipment for children with autism to explore gross motor develop this summer.

Kids Connect Today

Social Skills Classes and Summer Camp

Kids Connect today is a social skills program for children, teens and young adults with autism. Individuals learn skills such as, sharing, turn taking, appropriate conversation and go on community outings. We integrate our groups with neuro typical peers, who serve as social role models.

Mainspring Academy

Nature Discovery Summer Camp Program

Grant funds will be used towards summer camp program enrichment. Real-world retreats will include admission (if applicable) and transportation to Tree Hill Nature Center Guided Tour and Animal Encounter, Ft. Caroline NationalMonument and Timucuan Trails, mobile wildlife education on the school playground from Jacksonville Zoo andGardens Zoo to You Education Outreach, and Jacksonville Beach.

North Florida School of Special Education

Summer iCan Bike Camp

North Florida School of Special Education is partnering with iCan Bike to offer two – one week summer bike programs for children and young adults, 8 years or older.

iCan Bike is a program through iCan Shine, a national 501(c)(3) nonprofit organization whose mission is to provide quality learning opportunities in recreational activities for individuals with IDD (Intellectual and DevelopmentalDifferences). Through their iCan Bike program, they conduct over 100 five-day bike camps and after school programs throughout the U.S. and Canada teaching approximately 3,000 individuals with disabilities how to ride a bicycle each year. Since their beginning in 2007, they have successfully taught nearly 20,000 people with disabilities to ride a conventional two-wheel bicycle.

iCan Bike uses adapted bicycles, a specialized instructional program, and trained staff to enable individuals with IDD to learn to ride a conventional bicycle.

In each weeklong session, twenty-five riders attend one 75-minute session each day for five consecutive days where they learn to ride while accompanied and encouraged by volunteer “spotters”. Over the course of the week the bike’s stability is adjusted to challenge the rider’s balance as they gradually discover the skill and joy of riding.

In one week approximately 80% of riders will learn to independently ride a bicycle. The remaining 20% make tremendous progress towards that goal.

Peace of Heart Community Farm

POH Enrichment Adventures Summer Camp

POH Enrichment Program is a program where persons with special needs especially those affected by autism are invited to participate in volunteer activities on Peace of Heart Farm. They partner with the Enrichment Team staff and learn vocation skills such as farm driven outdoor tasks, enhance their motor skill development and learn daily outdoor living skills such as lawn mowing, operating equipment with supervision, animal care and small construction projects. In addition, they participate in a weekly MMA training camp on the farm to teach coordination and endurance. Our program is person centered and community inclusion focused.

POH Enrichment Adventures Camp will provide summer long weekly activities in the community to families and persons with autism at no charge to the family. The adventures will begin with offsite outdoor activities and feature hands on and educational eld trips such as a weekly surf camp, fishing lessons, local community farm visits, museum of science and history and more.

Peace of Heart Community, Inc.


Peace of Heart Community has created a Peace of Heart FitSummer Camp which will include exploration & community outings to different outdoor fitness environments such as Sunshine Park fitness stations, Dutton Island Nature Trails,Beach Yoga, Arboretum Nature Trails, Atlantic Beach Park and introduction to participation in the Hildervat Obstacle Race in May. The program will offer alternative communication conversations, socialization with peers, activities promoting motor skills development, and most importantly - FUN!

Grant will be used to obtain appropriate items needed for exploration and training to include but not limited to workout bands, new yoga mats, waited vests for those who need extra support, folding light weight sports chairs, medicine balls, ankle weights and sensory items; such as sensory swing and other items to assist.

PossAbilities Plus, Inc

Summer Independence Skills Camps

PossAbilities Plus seeks to enhance the lives and opportunities of individuals with special needs through training, employment, and social opportunities.

We are a unique facility that combines a supportive environment with real-time job training opportunities. This program will be held at PossAbilities Plus. All costs of location and additional resources will be provided by PossAbilities Plus. Funding is needed for program supplies including Student folders and handouts, sewing kits, food items, and posters.

Reach Academy

"SHOW ME THE MONEY!" Transition Camp

"REACHing Out" is Reach Academy's Transition and LifeSkills program. Designed for our older students, ages 15-21,REACHing Out teaches and supports self-sufficiency and workplace skills needed for independent living into adulthood.

This program will run for 7 weeks in the months of June andJuly on Mondays, Tuesdays and Thursdays, from 9:00am-2:00pm. The theme throughout the summer program will be money management and budgeting.

This will be taught using lessons outlined in the UniqueCurriculum on personal budgeting, banking and spending.Activities include, but not limited to, learning to create a personal budget; banking/shopping with checks and a debit card; meal planning, couponing, and grocery shopping within a budget; and ordering at a restaurant and paying the bill.There will be outings to various places to practice skills learned.

Students will also learn workplace skills by being involved with our REACHing Out "business" - created and currently run by the 2020-2021 transition students - that specializes int-shirt design and printing. Working in our "business" will teach students on the job skills such as order taking, order fulfillment, collecting payment and shipping. Students will learn business budgeting, product cost efficiency, and profit and loss. While working, the students will also gain valuable experience and proficiency using a vinyl cutting machine, a heat press, and a screen printing machine.

Special Nation

Summer Program

Our goal is to provide activities throughout the summer for people with autism. Our activities will include:
Regular Wednesday night gathering at Redeemer Church-This is a time for families to come together and enjoy community and learning about being followers of Christ.Every third Wednesday we will have Special Nation at theBeach. Once a month we will also celebrate the birthdays for that month with CFGF birthday cakes.

Second Saturday Connor Hikes - Families will be invited to join us a different places throughout the area for a time of hiking and enjoying being outdoors together. Named after one of our participants, Connor, because he loves hiking so much. Special Nation at the Movies (partnering with Bit of FaithRanch): Third Saturday of every month up to 25 people can gather at the movies in a sensory friendly no hush private theater.

Second Sunday Special Praise - full no hush church service with worship, sermon, and communion. This is a very special intimate time for the individuals we serve and their families to go to church where they find total belonging and acceptance.

Moms Round Up (partnering with Bit of Faith Ranch):Monthly gathering the 3rd Thursday of the month alternating between an evening and a lunch outing. These moms have a unique set of challenges and it is helpful for the entire family for moms to get out with other mom's who "get it"and can go home refreshed and re-energized to keep on being their best.

Spectrum Thrift Store

Summer Employment

Everyone deserves to thrive. That simple statement is at the heart of the mission of Spectrum Thrift Store, a 501(c)(3)nonprofit organization whose mission is to provide employment opportunities to teens and adults with autism and developmental delays. Since Spectrum’s highly qualified board and staff began retail operations at its store in St.Johns County, Florida in 2017, the organization has provided training and employment opportunities to over 100 individuals with special abilities. Grant money provided toSpectrum Thrift Store enables us to hire and effectively train new employees.

Waterleaf Elementary School

Extened School Year

ESY stands for Extended School Year. It is a program for students who are at a critical point in instruction or whose education was impacted by COVID-19 to help fill in the gaps and provide a safe and stable place for learning during summer. The program is 6 weeks long this year.

The funds will be spent buying supplies for the CSSTeachers that teach ESY this Summer. In order to reduce the risk of exposure we are trying to purchase enough materials for each classroom to have their own set. Supplies include art crafts, snacks, and general classroom supplies.