Month: October 2017

Helping Caribbean Islands Recover from a Devastating Hurricane Season

As anyone who lives in the Southeast knows, hurricanes can cause massive devastation and disruption. Streets and homes flood, power disappears, cellular networks go down and basic necessities are suddenly in short supply.

Hurricanes Harvey and Irma represented a 1-2 punch, hitting communities along the Atlantic and Gulf coasts. In their wake, many foundations stepped up, creating or contributing to funds to fuel relief efforts that will last long after these storms fade from the headlines.

Unfortunately, as we’ve all seen in the past week, this hurricane season’s impact has spread beyond the Southeast. Many island nations and U.S. territories in the Caribbean, which were already hit hard by Harvey and Irma, were also dealt another blow by Hurricane Maria. Some places, like Barbuda, were rendered nearly uninhabitable. In other places, particularly Puerto Rico, residents are facing the possibility of weeks or even months without electricity.

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ABFE Stands with the St. Croix Foundation for Community Development and Equitable Relief in the U.S. Virgin Islands and Broader Caribbean

Dear ABFE Members, Friends and Supporters,
ABFE, along with the rest of the world, is devastated by the impact of hurricanes Irma and Maria on the U.S. Caribbean and broader region. The catastrophic force of these storms resulted in the loss of lives, homes and much more. In times like this, it takes the power of the Diaspora to help our families and friends in the U.S. Virgin Islands and Caribbean to pull through.
What is also critical at this moment is to channel resources to credible, trusted organizations that will ensure that all people in the region get the assistance they need. While it is not appropriate to assume that relief efforts can course-correct social inequities, far too often disasters widen pre-existing gaps in health and well-being. Now more than ever, it is important to put relief efforts into the hands of community organizations and neighborhood leaders who understand the lives of victims and will continue to support these individuals and families well after the crisis ends.
To this end, ABFE supports the St. Croix Foundation for Community Development and the recent launch of its Caribbean Assistance and Relief Effort (CARE) Fund. They urgently need the support of U.S.-based philanthropy.
In the short term, the CARE Fund will provide direct support to frontline relief efforts in the USVI and will coordinate with those on the mainland. In the long term, the Foundation, through the CARE Fund, will do what it does best: support holistic community development.
As an operating foundation with 27 years of proven experience in community and economic development, the Foundation will support rebuilding strategies grounded in innovation and sustainability. The Foundation’s long-term hurricane relief efforts will facilitate comprehensive plans to minimize loss of life, mitigate infrastructure damage, improve structural performance of homes and facilitate a more rapid recovery in the aftermath of future storms.
Concurrently, the Foundation is also nurturing broader and stronger regional collaborations and partnerships with affected Caribbean island communities. By doing so, the Foundation will deepen its capacity to support impacted communities for now and beyond. Please consider making a gift today at

Press Release Offices Open Post Maria, Establishes CARE Fund


Contact: Deanna James, Executive Director





St. Croix, U.S.V.I. — St. Croix Foundation for Community Development announces to the community at-large as well as to their Fiduciary Clients that the Foundation is open for business and fully-operational with electricity, phones, and internet connectivity. Sponsored Projects should feel free to contact the Foundation by phone or internet. The Foundation’s modified office hours are from 9:00am until 4:30pm.

In response to the catastrophic impact of Hurricanes Irma and Maria on the USVI and sister islands in the Caribbean, the St. Croix Foundation stands firm in its support of local and regional relief and recovery efforts and aims to work in partnership with organizations that are undertaking efforts to restore communities and families.

In support of local and regional relief and recovery efforts, the St. Croix Foundation has launched the CARE (Caribbean Assistance and Relief Effort) Fund. This fundraising effort is already providing direct support for front-line relief, rescue and recovery efforts undertaken by entities in the USVI and Caribbean Basin. The Foundation is currently collaborating with on-the-ground organizations that are delivering much needed services and goods, supplies, and equipment for immediate relief throughout the USVI, and this fund will support that effort for the immediate and long-term. Interested parties can visit the Foundation at to contribute gifts to the Fund.

To aid in immediate recovery and provide an equitable response for the future, the Foundation’s current efforts include:

  • Coordinating and convening diverse community partners, national philanthropic networks, fellow nonprofits and volunteers to foster collaboration and maximize impact of relief efforts.
  • Launching its Survey on the Status of Households Impacted by Hurricanes Irma and Maria. This survey asks St. Croix residents about the damages to their homes, the ages and unmet needs of individuals living in their home, the impact to their employment and more. Survey results will help connect organizations with individuals who have critical needs as well as to more broadly assess and inform the community-wide dialogue about next steps in the recovery process.
  • Sponsoring the shipment of critical relief supplies like water, hygiene products, baby supplies and more.
  • Sponsoring the cost of security for keeping relief supplies safe.
  • Supporting distribution of relief supplies including a neighborhood distribution effort this past weekend in Williams Delight, an area hit hard by Hurricane Maria
  • Conducting a Nonprofit Damage and Needs Assessment Survey currently being completed by local nonprofit partners to help assess the impact of the storm on St. Croix’s civic sector and what resources are necessary to get these organizations fully operational.
  • Providing temporary office space for a growing number of nonprofit organizations displaced by the storm including the Boys and Girls Club and the Domestic Violence and Sexual Assault Council.

As an operating foundation, St. Croix Foundation’s efforts are ultimately aimed at supporting disaster recovery and building resiliency for the long-term. The Foundation is focused on leveraging its 27 years of experience in holistic community development as they stand in solidarity and collaboration with community partners who are working hard to bring relief and ensure equity for those most severely impacted by recent storms.

As the Virgin Islands Community embarks on the long, steady journey toward recovery, the Foundation wishes our community a focused and forward-thinking recovery. According to St. Croix Foundation’s Executive Director, Deanna James, “St. Croix Foundation does not just FUND the work, it IS the work. We have our sleeves rolled up and are hard at work supporting a progressive and prosperous future for the people of St. Croix and the entire Virgin Islands.”

For more information on the St. Croix Foundation and to learn more about the comprehensive recovery work being spearheaded by the Foundation, visit the St. Croix Foundation’s website at or contact the St. Croix Foundation directly at 340-773-9898.