St. Croix Foundation Remembers Hurricanes Irma and Maria

SEPTEMBER 19, 2018

As the Virgin Islands community marks the one-year anniversary of Hurricanes Irma and Maria, St. Croix Foundation for Community Development commemorates this marker with a note to the community outlining its recovery and rebuilding efforts and accomplishments in the aftermath of the storms. Over the past 12 months, the Foundation has worked tirelessly exercising its function as an operating foundation with a strict commitment to building a portfolio that extends far beyond grantmaking.

Since the storms, the Foundation has focused mainly in three areas in order to maximize its impact with its nimble resources.

  1. Immediate Relief Projects – In the first 100 days after the hurricanes, the Foundation sponsored the shipment and distribution of approximately 250,000 pounds of food, water, clothing, baby supplies, and medical supplies.
  2. Grantmaking to Nonprofits– Since November of 2017, St. Croix Foundation has provided over $600,000 in grants to over 52 of St. Croix’s nonprofits for hurricane recovery. From reconstruction of facilities to vital programming and, perhaps most importantly, capacity building, the Foundation is strengthening nonprofits.
  3. Data Collection – To help assess the immediate impact of the storm and direct resources where they were most needed, St. Croix Foundation launched two surveys: one to evaluate unmet needs among households in areas hit hardest by the hurricanes, and the second to determine the capacity of St. Croix’s nonprofits as needs accelerated. In June of 2018, the Foundation officially published summary reports on both surveys, which are both being widely used by a number of civic and public-sector agencies.

With numerous initiatives in the works, the Foundation remains grounded in its steadfast commitment to holistic development and to nurturing greater civic leadership as it expands its support for the nonprofit sector. Though the Caribbean Assistance and Recovery Efforts (CARE) Fund raised just over 1.6 million dollars, the Foundation leveraged those funds to do more than some organizations 10 times its size. In addition, it is also serving as the fiscal sponsor for hurricane specific charitable projects like the St. Croix Long-Term Recovery Group. To date, the Foundation’s sponsored projects have raised over $500,000 for their own hurricane recovery projects – all dollars that are directly serving residents in need, post-hurricanes.

The Foundation has also laid out a comprehensive agenda for the future including:

  • The CARE (Caribbean Assistance and Recovery Efforts) Fund, which will continue to raise funds specifically geared toward re-building and building operational capacity for the civic sector and our local nonprofits;
  • The restoration of the Old Alexander Theater, which is slated to be restored and will serve as both a state of the art performing arts center and modern community disaster shelter;
  • And a clean energy, community-based Solar Project, which will be launched to solarize neighborhood-based community centers.

According to St. Croix Foundation’s Executive Director, Deanna James, “The past year has allowed St. Croix Foundation to serve our community in ways we would never have imagined. But it also brought us back to the original mission of our organization. We have leveraged old and new partnerships in order to bring resources to residents of the Virgin Islands that they so urgently require. We are also working diligently to champion the needs of the Territory, advocating to national philanthropy to commit to long-term investments in the Virgin Islands. We thank our partners in the civic sector who stepped into action immediately after the storm and have continued to work tirelessly to aid the underserved and underrepresented.”

As the community reflects on the last year, the St. Croix Foundation would like to take the opportunity to extend its deep appreciation to its supporters, partners, friends, and donors including but not limited to Crucian Gold, ReV!ve, Limetree Bay Terminals, Diageo USVI, W. K. Kellogg Foundation, Newman’s Own Foundation, AARP Foundation, and Johnson and Johnson Foundation, for remaining at its side during this hard year of work. The Foundation remains committed to the Virgin Islands community and will work without pause for its betterment. The Foundation’s vision for the future and for St. Croix is a sustainable, progressive and prosperous community. The Foundation also thanks its peers in the work – the civic sector of the Virgin Islands – for demonstrating real philanthropy every day through their work.

For more information on the Foundation’s CARE Fund and community work, visit or call 340.773.9898.