The Community Foundation of the Virgin Islands has awarded grants to 18 USVI nonprofit organizations for a total of $1,480,735 in funding. Grant funds will be used to support ongoing hurricane recovery, revitalization and building forward efforts to enhance the wellbeing of residents and ecosystems across the territory.
The bulk of the grant funding, $1 million, was made possible through the CFVI Friends and Family Fund for USVI Renewal, which was established in September 2017 following hurricanes Irma and Maria with donations from CFVI’s family, friends, existing fund donors, Angel donors and other partners. The Family Fund for USVI Renewal is directed by the CFVI board of directors with attention to immediate grassroots needs in the community and support for long-term solutions in some of the foundation’s main areas of focus, including early childhood, youth development, the environment, vulnerable individuals and families and health/wellbeing. Additional funding was made available by grants to CFVI from Cruzan® Rum’s Island Spirit Fund via GlobalGiving as well as the Center for Disaster Philanthropy.
“In the three years following the 2017 hurricanes, CFVI distributed more than $16 million in grants, scholarships and other contributions to support relief and recovery. As the territory continues long-term recovery, CFVI is committed to supporting projects, programs and initiatives that build forward toward a better Virgin Islands for us all,” said CFVI President Dee Baecher-Brown.
CFVI received a total of 80 applications in response to the request for proposals that was issued in July 2020. Over the course of several weeks, members of the board reviewed the proposals and made funding determinations based on the potential for projects to move the territory forward in critical areas supporting long-term recovery and revitalization. Funded projects will take place over the course of the next 18 months.
Grants Awarded With Funding From the CFVI Friends and Family Fund for USVI Renewal:
Children’s Museum of St. Croix | Countdown to Kindergarten | St. Croix | $100,000
Funding will support the creation and implementation of a pilot program designed to facilitate kindergarten readiness skills and close developmental gaps of at-risk 4-year-olds by offering holistic play-based learning activities and supporting and enhancing caregivers’ skills as children’s first teachers.
Crucian Heritage and Nature Tourism | Invisible Heritage: Identity, Memory and Our Town — Building Arts Institute | St. Croix | $50,000
Funding will support programming creating a pipeline and employment for trained youth in the building trades and historic restoration, to enable the enhancement of low- to moderate-income housing, as well as deploy the arts in community revitalization.
Island Green Living Association | Brush Chipping Phase II | St. John | $99,980
Funding will support the Phase II launch of the Brush Chipping Pilot Program to provide a sustainable solution for continuing to turn brown and green debris into a valuable resource and also provide feedstock for a one-year compost demonstration project with sustainable generation and gore.
Legal Services of the Virgin Islands, Inc. | Legal Services Satellite Office/Mobile Justice Unit Project | USVI | $100,000
Funding will support the deployment of additional legal resources via Mobile Justice Units in and around St. Thomas and St. Croix in order to bolster ongoing disaster recovery along with efforts to enhance the overall wellbeing of low-income residents, including seniors and victims of domestic violence.
Liberty Place | Community First! Services for the Formerly Homeless of St Croix | St. Croix | $100,000
Funding will provide working capital to support the creation of long-term safe spaces and wrap-around services for persons experiencing homelessness.
New Day – St. John Inc. | New Day Cafe and Workshop | St. John | $100,000
Funding will support the creation and establishment of a new culinary and woodworking technical training program for the youth of St. John.
Schneider Regional Medical Center Foundation | Perioperative Trauma Management Project | St. Thomas | $50,000
Funding will support the acquisition of equipment to optimize and replace life-saving equipment for the stabilization and management of trauma patients.
SEAT Innovation and Entrepreneurship Center | Three Queens Ventures Accelerator Women’s Business Program | USVI | $100,000
Funding will be used to pilot a business accelerator for women entrepreneurs, which will include education and training, mentoring and guidance, networking and access to seed funding and potential market partnerships.
St. Thomas Swimming Association | Water Safety & Swim Training | St. Thomas | $100,000
Funding will be used to expand access to swim instruction, water safety, swim team training and lifeguard training to more children and adults in St. Thomas by providing scholarships for swim lessons, swim team training and lifeguard training.
Virgin Islands Trail Alliance | Trail Blazing for the Future | St. Croix | $64,000
Funding will be used to expand pedestrian and mountain bike access to trails and enhance the capability of trail building and maintenance to support the need for and benefit of green spaces.
Virgin Islands Village Academy, Inc. | Kindercamp for School Readiness | St. Thomas | $50,000
Funding will be used to provide high-quality enrichment programming to underserved students entering kindergarten or needing additional support for success.
St. Thomas Rescue | Emergency Services Capacity-Building | St. Thomas | $100,000
Funding will be used to provide enhanced emergency services by providing additional training and purchasing updated life-saving equipment to assist volunteers in responding to medical needs, vehicle extrication, search and rescue, high and low rope rescue, and community outreach.
Grants Awarded With Funding From the Island Spirit Fund and GlobalGiving:
Community Action Now | CAN Academy | St. Thomas | $57,355
Funding will be used to train and certify displaced workers in the areas of life skills, entrepreneurship and small business certification, certified administrative professional and/or bookkeeping in order to equip them with new skills that enable them to reenter the workforce and/or to grow their small businesses.
My Brother’s Workshop | MBW Heavy Equipment Training Course | St. Thomas | $100,000
Funding will be used to introduce a new training program in the area of heavy equipment operations by purchasing a simulator that will allow trainees to learn how to operate heavy equipment.
Rotary Club of St. Thomas East ECO | Energy Equity for Low- and Moderate-Income Families in St. Thomas, USVI via Resilient Solar Power | St. Thomas | $100,000
Funds will be used to support a solar affordability partnership that will help reduce the household energy burden for qualified low- and moderate-income families on St. Thomas by increasing the affordability and accessibility of solar energy and the resilience of battery backup power.
TLC Foundation | Green School Farm | St. Thomas | $82,500
Funding will be used to launch a comprehensive regenerative permaculture farm project, which will include planting, establishing a seed bank, training/workshops and other farming practices and initiatives that can support hurricane recovery and sustainability.
University of the Virgin Islands Caribbean Green Technology Center | Environmental Native Fruit Tree Program with a focus on Water and Soil Quality in the USVI | Virgin Islands | $50,000
Funding will be used for a project addressing food and water security in the territory by building a network for drought monitoring; providing virtual training to community members on gardening, farming, selling products and quality testing at home; and creating a fruit tree replanting initiative that serves local farmers and the local community. The funds will be used in conjunction with other federal funding including USDA-NIFA in an effort to provide fruit trees to families involved in programs that benefit the broader community.
Grant awarded With Funding From the Center for Disaster Philanthropy:
We Grow Food | The Renewing of The Bordeaux Farmers Market | St. Thomas | $76,900
Funding will be used to revitalize the Bordeaux Farmers Market by upgrading and renewing major elements for farmers and the community that was destroyed in hurricanes Irma and Maria.