To encourage and support USVI community volunteer service in honor of Dr. Martin Luther King Jr., the Community Foundation of the Virgin Islands joined groups around the United States in participating in the 2021 National Day of Service on Jan. 18. Observed each year on the third Monday in January as “a day on, not a day off,” MLK Day is the only federal holiday designated as a national day of service to encourage all Americans to volunteer to improve their communities.
CFVI invited Virgin Islands nonprofits to submit proposals to be considered for reimbursement grants of $1,000 each to support service projects. A total of 25 grants were awarded, representing an investment of $25,000 in volunteer service projects. Projects included cleanup efforts, food distribution, serving meals for persons experiencing homelessness and delivering needed supplies to the elderly.
“It was an honor to partner with community organizations and all the volunteers who devoted their time and energy to make a significant impact throughout the territory in just one day,” said CFVI President Dee Baecher-Brown.
Descriptions of the grants awarded are listed below. Funding was used to support direct costs, such as equipment/supplies/materials, transportation, refreshments, stipends and general operating support.
Alpha Kappa Alpha Sorority Inc., Sigma Theta Omega Chapter of St. Thomas and St. John provided catered breakfast, PPE and other supplies to the residents of the Bethlehem Homeless Shelter and donated PPE to the fire stations and police station on St. John.
Alpha Kappa Alpha Sorority Inc., Mu Gamma Omega Chapter of St. Croix partnered with the Collective Collaboration Inc. to feed approximately 100 individuals who are experiencing homelessness.
Members of the Boys & Girls Clubs of St. Thomas-St. John Inc. on St. Thomas and volunteers distributed personal care/hygiene items to seniors in Oswald Harris Court and learned more about the impact of Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.
Neighbors and volunteers of the Caribbean Volunteer Services of St. Croix did a cleanup in the Estate Smithfield/Two Brothers area to honor Martin Luther King, build community and celebrate inauguration week.
The Community and Police Association of St. Thomas distributed food and supplies to Ebenezer Gardens and the Lucinda Millin Home for the Aged.
DFG Community Impact Foundation of the VI of St. Thomas distributed food at Emancipation Garden and provided food and supplies to Ebenezer Home for the Aged.
Eta Iota Iota Chapter of OPP Fraternity Inc. of St. Croix hosted a clean-up at Dorsch Beach in Frederiksted.
FLI INC of St. Croix hosted a clean-up and beautification project at Estate Mary’s Fancy.
Frederiksted Baptist Church of St. Croix hosted an MLK Day Celebration, children’s forum, and bookbag and supply distribution.
Grace Baptist Ministries of St. Thomas distributed care packages to the elderly, shut-ins, and the needy residing in the Bordeaux/Fortuna area.
Hebrew Congregation of St. Thomas hosted a cleanup of the streets and guts leading up to and surrounding the synagogue.
Island Center of St. Croix -hosted a cleanup at Island Center Theater.
JJPP Homeless Shelter Inc. of St. Thomas provided lunch to 100 people experiencing homelessness and elderly persons who are shut-ins in the area of the Market Square bungalow and throughout the alleys and byways of Savan.
Marine Vocational Program (MVP) Inc. of St. Thomas hosted a cleanup and beautification project with students in Red Hook.
St. Croix Alumnae Chapter of Delta Sigma Theta of St. Croix provided meals to elderly persons and persons experiencing homelessness.
St. Croix Track Club Inc. of St. Croix hosted a cleanup from the Heavy Materials Quarry to the Mount Pellier Church Pavilion on Mahogany Road.
Strategic Solutions Network Inc, of St. Croix delivered dinner to senior residents and others in need.
Saints Peter and Paul Catholic School of St. Thomas hosted a cleanup and beautification on the school’s campus.
The Harvest Church of God and Outreach of St. Thomas provided food and donated clothes to the financially challenged individuals and those experiencing homelessness.
The Humane Society of St. Thomas of St. Thomas hosted a cleanup of dog-walking trails that had been overgrown since hurricanes Irma and Maria.
The University Bound Program, territory-wide, hosted an online art class for children ages 4-12, facilitated by a recipient of the 2021 Hebrew Congregation of St. Thomas’ Martin Luther King Scholarship Award.
VI Stars In the Event of St. Thomas distributed PPE and other supplies to seniors and persons experiencing homelessness.
The Virgin Islands Institute for Agricultural Development of St. Thomas distributed food, bush tea, and seeds to persons experiencing homelessness and other underserved populations.
We Grow Food Inc. of St. Thomas hosted an educational program during a special MLK Market with video presentations of speeches, contests and performances.
WUVI of St. Thomas hosted a virtual game/conversation to increase awareness and educate others by sharing historical facts about Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. and the Civil Rights Era directly with UVI students, faculty, staff, alumni, administrators as well as members of the general community and online audiences.