The board of directors of the United Way of St. Thomas-St. John expressed their disappointment over the closing of the Victim Advocate Program at their recent board meeting on Dec. 12. Victim Advocates have provided an invaluable service to our community for many, many years and this program will be sorely missed. We are also sorry to lose Victim Advocates as a United Way agency.
The Victim Advocate Program submitted admission documentation and was accepted as a United Way agency in 1997. Between 1998 and 2002, the agency received $91,000 in funding from the United Way, its primary source of revenue. In November, the board of directors of the Victim Advocate Program made the decision to close the agency at the end of 2002 as they were unable to secure additional financial resources and because of the loss of key volunteers.
The United Way of St. Thomas-St. John provides financial support to member human services agencies serving the two islands. Budgeted allocations for 2003 are $476,500. The United Way is currently in the midst of its annual fund-raising campaign with a goal of $650,000.
Other than the Victim Advocate Program, the United Way's member agencies currently include: American Red Cross, V. I. Council of the Boy Scouts of America, Carabana Ensemble Theatre Company, Catholic Charities of the Virgin Islands, Civil Air Patrol, Dial-A-Ride St. Thomas, Dial-A-Ride St. John, Downstreet People's Youth in Action, Ebenezer Gardens, Friends of Volunteers in Public Schools, Girl Scout Council of the Virgin Islands, Legal Services of the Virgin Islands, Shaky Acres, V. I. Institute for Teaching and Learning, Fair Havens Summer Camp, Lutheran Reformation Summer Program, and St. Thomas Reformed Church Summer Program.
We urge the residents of St. Thomas and St. John to continue to support these programs through annual giving to the United Way, so that we may prevent the loss of other worthwhile agencies like the Victim Advocates Program. The spirit of the holiday season underscores the basic premise of the United Way Give hope.
S. L. Caesar
President, Board of Directors
United Way of St. Thomas-St. John
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UNITED WAY REGRETS LOSS OF VICTIMS ADVOCATES
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