The Island Spirit Fund

by the Disaster Recovery Network at GlobalGiving Vetted since 2002 Top Ranked Effective Nonprofit Project of the Month Site Visit Verified
The Island Spirit Fund
St. Croix LTRG - Senior resident receives roof
St. Croix LTRG - Senior resident receives roof

Our partners in the U.S. Virgin Islands are in it for the long haul, helping fill in the gaps and helping ensure that even the most vulnerable in the community recover from Hurricanes Irma and Maria.

Some survivors affected by the hurricanes are ineligible for government disaster aid programs or will continue to have unmet needs even after receiving the maximum amount of help from the disaster recovery programs. This is where recovery group, like the St. Croix Long-Term Recovery Group (LTRG), come in. LTRGs are locally based teams committed to seeing the islands through to full recovery. The groups are helping Virgin Islanders remove debris, feed their families, and make repairs to their homes.

“The mission of the St. Croix LTRG is to help members independently provide community services on a daily basis and provide effective relief and recovery services to people affected by disaster on the island of St. Croix,” said Pastor Gary Moore, chairperson of the St. Croix LTRG.

“As we transition from the emergency response phase of the disasters to long-term recovery, it is important that we come together as community leaders to communicate, cooperate, coordinate and collaborate for a more sustainable and resilient future for our entire St. Croix community.”

What does long-term recovery look like in action? An example comes from the Resilient Housing Initiative of the St. John Long-Term Recovery Team. The group recently finished refurbishing the house of a retired school teacher who designed the home with her late husband. She had been staying with her daughter in the U.S. mainland since the storms. She returned to St. John when her home was rebuilt and members of the recovery group went to visit her. She stood with tears in her eyes as she looked silently over the newly constructed home.

The group had restored the home with a reinforced ceiling, safety grab bars in the shower, and like-new furnishings donated from a villa owner. She looked around at her once beautifully terraced gardens and remarked how excited she was to work in them again. Hillary Bonner, the group’s Director of Operations says, “She hugged each of us as we left, expressing her gratitude and giving thanks for all that had been done for her. We were just grateful she was able to be back in her home and returning to a ‘new’ type of normal.”

Thank you for your part in supporting full recovery on the U.S. Virgin Islands.

St. Croix Long Term Recovery Group volunteers
St. Croix Long Term Recovery Group volunteers

Thank you for supporting communities in the US Virgin Islands as they rebuild in the year after hurricanes Irma and Maria. Your donation to the Island Spirit Fund continues to support these five incredible organizations working locally to support their communities through recovery:

  • The St. Croix Long Term Recovery Group has managed 267 volunteers who in turn provided 13,050 hours of labor to support construction on 20 homes. Chris Finch shares one of the group’s many success stories, “When the homeowner entered the house and saw that she could occupy her bedroom for the first time in over a year, she collapsed on her bed in joy.”
  • The St. John Long Term Recovery Group started or completed the rebuilding of 10 or more homes with materials purchased with the funds donated by the Island Spirit Fund. They used their funds to source approved materials to build the homes in a more resilient manner and in accordance with building codes.
  • The St. Thomas Recovery Team (STRT) has put five families back into their homes. “The Island Spirit Fund has really raised morale on St. Thomas as well as on the other two islands,” says Imani Daniel, Chair of the Board for STRT.
  • The Community Foundation of the Virgin Islands (CFVI) has made three grants to local organizations. The grants are piloting a recycling program on the University of the Virgin Islands St. Thomas campus, supporting native tree restoration, and strengthening the local marine workforce with internships in coastal science or conservation and a partnership with Penn State's Biology program.
  • Across their work in the USVI, All Hands and Hearts has managed 1,141 volunteers who provided 23,668 volunteers hours to impact 6,718 people. A client expressed gratitude for this work saying, “All Hands and Hearts were the first people who said, ‘We can help you,’ and actually delivered on the promise.”

With your help, our Island Spirit Fund nonprofit partners are able to continue making a transformative impact in the lives of people impacted by the storms. Thank you for your continued dedication to the recovery of hurricane-affected communities for the long haul.

A CFVI grantee gave out native trees to be planted
A CFVI grantee gave out native trees to be planted
St. Thomas Recovery Team
St. Thomas Recovery Team

Thank you for supporting communities in the USVI to rebuild after last year’s devastating hurricanes. Your donation to the Island Spirit Fund, has supported the following five amazing organizations working tirelessly on the ground to rebuild and renew their communities after hurricanes Irma and Maria:

  • The St. Croix Long Term Recovery Group is working with faith-based, nonprofit, government, business and other organizations working in St. Croix to unite recovery resources with community needs to ensure that even the most vulnerable in the community recover. Your support will help the LTRG provide disaster case management and help rebuild 1,000+ homes.
  • The St. John Long Term Recovery Group is working with local groups and volunteers in St John to rebuild their community after last year’s hurricane season. Your funds will support their efforts to put repair the homes of elderly residents in St. John and prepare other structures on the island for the next hurricane season.
  • The St. Thomas Recovery Team (STRT) is working with volunteers to rebuild homes for vulnerable members of the community, including those who are low-income, elderly, and disabled. Your gift will allow STRT to rebuild homes that would not be able to be rebuilt otherwise.
  • The Community Foundation of the Virgin Islands (CFVI) is working with local initiatives related to environmental rebuilding and the marine economy. Your support will support CFVI’s efforts to build momentum in connecting to issues including public health, social equity, tourism, sustainability, and resilience.
  • All Hands and Hearts is working with volunteer teams on St. Thomas and St. John to fulfill a long-term commitment to help the U.S. Virgin Islands recover. Your support will help All Hands and Hearts to repair child care facilities, to manage waste and debris, and to muck, gut, and sanitize homes.

Thank you for your continued dedication to rebuilding hurricane-affected communities during this time of need. With your support, our nonprofit partners are able to continue making a tangible impact in the lives of so many.

All Hands and Hearts
All Hands and Hearts
St. John Long Term Recovery Group
St. John Long Term Recovery Group
 

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