Community Resilience

Community Resilience

On the Front Lines of Crises and Solutions

In the fall of 2017, the U.S. Virgin Islands, Puerto Rico, and the Florida Keys were devastated by an unprecedented series of natural disasters in the form of back-to-back category 5 Hurricanes Irma and Maria. St. Croix Foundation’s philanthropic approach has been unwavering: respond (versus react).

Community Resilience box

The Caribbean Assistance Recovery Effort (CARE) Fund:

In the immediate aftermath of the storms, SCF launched our CARE Fund to provide direct support to front-line relief efforts and holistic long-term recovery. Within the first three months after the hurricanes, we also conducted the Survey on the Status of Households Impacted by Hurricanes Irma and Maria on St. Croix and Nonprofit Disaster Recovery and Capacity Assessment as part of our commitment to making data-informed investments and ensuring an equitable recovery.

Through CARE we have raised and invested over $1.9 million to support strategic, high-impact investments in the Virgin Islands for hurricane preparedness, resilience, and recovery. And today, the CARE Fund is a permanent Fund of St. Croix Foundation, providing a vehicle to support a targeted response to COVID-19 and any other disaster we may face. The Fund will continue to serve and support the Virgin Islands Community through future disasters and crises.

To support the CARE Fund… give today!

Our Community Resilience Portfolio


Prioritizing the stabilization of nonprofits serving vulnerable populations through recovery from the hurricanes and now COVID-19, the CARE Fund has granted over $800,000 since 2017. Over 50 grassroots charitable efforts and nonprofits have been awarded flexible Open-Door funding to strengthen their capacity as well as to build or expand programming that directly serves those hit hardest by back-to-back crises.

Farm Tienda Agriculture & Small Business Development

In 2017, just months after Hurricanes Irma and Maria and with lead funding from Coca-Cola Company, St. Croix Foundation (SCF) began developing the Farm Tienda Agriculture & Small Business Development Initiative. With the aim of getting local farmers back online and serving the community while also anchoring them as neighborhood resilience hubs in times of disaster, to date, SCF has awarded durable steel containers to seven farmers on the island of St. Croix. Officially launched in early 2019 with a prototype of the Tienda funded by Coca-Cola, SCF was quickly awarded a grant from GlobalGiving to expand the pilot into an initiative capable of creating a new network of food security through the purchase of six additional Tiendas.

Solar-Supported Community Centers & Workforce Development

Launched in 2019, our Solar Initiative is a microsystem of resilience that strengthens the Virgin Islands’ capacity in green energy through strategic grantmaking and workforce development - and it’s a model of the power of strategic partnerships. Funded in partnership with the VI Department of Labor, the Center for Disaster Philanthropy, and GlobalGiving, we granted 2 community centers solar PV systems, nurturing both as resilience hubs and decreasing utility expenses. We also graduated the Virgin Islands’ first cohort of 9 solar installers – and 100% were fully employed within one year in the industry, proving the viability of the program.

AmeriCorps VISTA

The Foundation was awarded a $340,157 grant by the Corporation of National and Community Service to assign 15 AmeriCorps VISTA volunteers to support eight St. Croix nonprofits beginning in September 2019. Our VISTA Volunteer Team will support the following organizations: Caribbean Center for Boys and Girls of the VI, St. Croix Landmarks Society, Virgin Islands Good Food Coalition, St. Croix Montessori, Clean Sweep Frederiksted, St. Croix Long Term Recovery Group, Virgin Islands State Historic Preservation Office, and St. Croix Foundation. In total, our VISTA Project expects to directly benefit youth, historic preservation, food security, green spaces, and relief and recovery services. Today, SCF is the Territorial Lead for Americorp VISTA.

We are grateful for the collaboration of St. Croix Foundation in the solarization of the Flambouyant Gardens senior community center. Having solar means we can provide reliable power for low-income seniors during power outages — helping them keep communication lines open, store their medication safely and maintain access to information.

~ Lutheran Social Services, Junia John- Straker