Project Promise’s Caterpillar students are driving across America this summer to make an impact on communities outside of the U.S. Virgin Islands.
The Caterpillars touch down in New York Thursday, the first leg of a coast-to-coast expedition, the program announced in a news release.
During their time in New York, the students will rehab El Sitio Feliz community garden in East Harlem. The group will then head west with stops in Pennsylvania, Ohio, Indiana, Illinois, Missouri, Tennessee, Arkansas, Oklahoma, Texas, New Mexico, Arizona, Nevada, and California, and undertake service projects that include helping at a food bank, a home for the elderly, a homeless shelter, a refugee family, a children’s home and an animal shelter.
Every month since the Caterpillar Project was started, the students have completed community service projects locally, nationally and even internationally. Community service is one of the nine components at the core of the Project Promise program, according to the program’s statement, and founder and president Resa O’Reilly came up with the idea in order to expand the students’ outlook.
“This opportunity of a lifetime will allow the Caterpillars to experience firsthand the history, sights, and sounds of the mainland U.S. while helping their fellow U.S. citizens in the process. We will work alongside individuals and organizations that we have formed connections with over the past five years, as well as, connect with new organizations to complete our service projects,” said O’Reilly.
Project Promise’s Summer of Service is sponsored by Virgin Islands Lottery, Community Foundation of the Virgin Islands, Spirit Airlines, Banco Popular, Virgin Islands Department of Tourism, Island Toyota, Island Chrysler Dodge Jeep Ram, V.I. Industrial Services, Virgin Islands Economic Development Authority, and TEAM Consultants. Students and parents have also been fundraising for the event since September 2018 by hosting numerous water sales, bake sales and selling their hand-crafted bracelets. The road trip wraps up in California, and the Caterpillars then fly back to St. Croix on Aug. 22.
Project Promise is a 501(c)(3) non-profit organization dedicated to improving the lives of at-risk youth on St. Croix by providing empowerment initiatives, cultural programs, and family services. More information about Project Promise and its programs can be obtained by calling O’Reilly at 340-513-0446 or by visiting the website at www.projectpromisevi.com.