St. Croix Foundation CARE Fund

by St. Croix Foundation for Community Development
St. Croix Foundation CARE Fund
St. Croix Foundation CARE Fund
St. Croix Foundation CARE Fund
St. Croix Foundation CARE Fund
St. Croix Foundation CARE Fund
St. Croix Foundation CARE Fund
St. Croix Foundation CARE Fund
St. Croix Foundation CARE Fund
St. Croix Foundation CARE Fund
St. Croix Foundation CARE Fund
St. Croix Foundation CARE Fund
St. Croix Foundation CARE Fund
St. Croix Foundation CARE Fund
St. Croix Foundation CARE Fund
St. Croix Foundation CARE Fund
St. Croix Foundation CARE Fund
St. Croix Foundation CARE Fund
St. Croix Foundation CARE Fund
St. Croix Foundation CARE Fund
St. Croix Foundation CARE Fund
Oct 1, 2021

Checking Boxes in the Community Recovery Plan

Expert VISTA Videographer Joins Us!
Expert VISTA Videographer Joins Us!

As we write this report, the 2021 Atlantic Hurricane Season has communities throughout the Caribbean holding their breath. Serving an isolated, under-served Territory, St. Croix Foundation and all residents in the U.S. Virgin Islands are ever vigilant… and reviewing checklists of preparedness. The question before us is simple: are we more prepared today than four years ago to face a crisis like the 2017 Hurricanes or a global pandemic?

In August of 2018, FEMA’s Community Planning and Capacity Building Recovery Support Function published the St. Croix Community Recovery Plan, a 77-page report that outlines recovery and rebuilding initiatives for St. Croix in the wake of the Hurricanes. Using interviews, focus groups, public meetings, and data, the St. Croix Community Planning Committee, comprised of community leaders spanning the public, private, and civic sectors, outlined a plan to build resilience against future storms and lay the “foundation for a strong and successful future.” As FEMA’s lead partner on the Committee, the final plan identified three main priorities:

  • Recovery Projects to rebuild key community systems and repair facilities damaged by the storms in the short-term;
  • Resilience Projects to strengthen community systems to restore island services and prepare for future disasters, in the 1-3 year time horizon; and
  • Community Development Projects to advance the island as a whole, in the 3+ year time frame.

In the final report, and largely because of St. Croix Foundation’s unique philanthropic approach as a place-based community foundation, the plan manifested high-impact projects in a short period of time. Today, despite being a small philanthropy, serving an under-resourced community with no endowment, GlobalGiving’s support and partnership have enabled our Community to implement most of the civic-led projects outlined in the Community Recovery Plan.

Whether through our direct programming or grantmaking, we’ve been checking boxes! What we love about this story is that it’s about community, collaboration, and yes, accountability. It’s a story of nurturing hope, changing lives, and tapping into the innate resilience of a People and a Place. It is, quite simply, about activating philanthropy – the love of humankind.

And so, we invite you to sit back and review our checklist – because it is all of you at GlobalGiving who have made this possible.

Recovery, Resilience, and Community Development: CHECK!
Over the past four years, St. Croix Foundation has launched several comprehensive initiatives, all of which address multiple priorities identified by the St. Croix Community Planning Committee. In fact, in some areas, such as nonprofit capacity building, we have checked the box multiple times.

Energy Independence & Workforce Development

  • Enhance Job Training and Vocational Programs (Community Development)
  • Pilot Off-Grid Boxes for Neighborhood Disaster Preparedness (Resilience)
  • Provide More Resilient Support Services for Youth Following Disasters (Community Development)
  1. Community Center Solar Workforce Development Initiative: A two-pronged approach that leveraged resources for maximum benefit, we created new models for the Territory, meeting short and long-term needs outlined in the Community Plan. This initiative graduated 9 young adults with national certification in solar installation. As the Territory’s first cohort in green energy, we worked to ensure that 100% of our students were fully employed within 6 months of graduation. As part of their on-the-job training, our students solarized two local community centers, the Caribbean Center for Boys and Girls and Flambouyant Gardens. As the second component of this initiative, SCF granted two solar systems to centers serving children and the elderly who are now able to provide more support with lower costs during blue and grey skies. Both centers take their 60% energy savings and reprogram those dollars into service and funding gaps.
  2. St. Croix Foundation also provided funding support to one of the new ranked Virgin Island Eagle Scouts, Kieran. Kieran created a mobile free-standing solar charging station that can be deployed in areas that have lost power generation and communication. Kieran hosted a workshop for Caribbean Center for Boys and Girls of the VI student to learn how to make this prototype.
  3. Update at a glance: To date, our two community centers have saved a total of $6,000 and 4 participants from the training program have been offered leadership positions and specialized training in solar installation such as Tesla Powerwalls.

Food Security, Small Business Development

  • Develop a Resilient Food System (Recovery)
  • Pilot Off-Grid Boxes for Neighborhood Disaster Preparedness (Resilience)
  • Establish Small Business Industry Clusters (Community Development)
  1. Farm Tienda Agriculture and Small Business Development Project: Recognizing that islands are vulnerable to widescale interruptions to food supply, and more so, isolated neighborhoods were cut off from relief supplies immediately after the storms, SCF zeroed in on supporting our farmers. As reported, this resilient food system has served throughout Covid-19, already proving the power of a network of micro-hubs – and checking even more boxes. Thanks to seed funding from Coca-Cola One and GlobalGiving’s support, along with a handful of local and national partners, St. Croix Foundation granted 7 farmers durable steel containers to serve as farm stands.  Committing to serve as resilience hubs, we not only helped these small businesses get back online but developed a new system of food security in our most remote and economically fragile neighborhoods.
  2. Update at a glance: In July, St. Croix Foundation met with several of our farmers to touch base on their Tienda’s operations and begin conversations on developing a comprehensive resiliency plan in grey skies.

Nonprofit Capacity Building

  • Develop Additional Local Organizational Capacity to Implement Recovery Projects (Resilience)
  • Protect Coral Reefs, Beaches, and Heritage Trees (Resilience)
  • Actively Promote Heritage Tourism to Diversify the Economy (Community Development)
  • Provide More Resilient Support Services for Youth Following Disasters (Community Development)
  1. AmeriCorps VISTA Program: As we reported back in June, our AmeriCorps VISTA Program is now a permanent site. The multiplier of this specific program is almost unlimited. By providing experts (local and off-island) to our nonprofits for a full year, the VISTA program ultimately supports every aspect of each nonprofit's work. Whether a cultural organization like Crucian Heritage and Nature Tourism (CHANT) or one based in environmental stewardship like the St. Croix Environmental Association, here again, we checked several boxes!
  2. Update at a glance: We have 2 new VISTAs! Kevin is serving the St. Croix Foundation as our videographer, capturing the proof of all this incredible work to get the word out; and Nadea is at the Caribbean Center for Boys and Girls of the VI to increase the visibility of the youth programs and services to donors and the wider Virgin Islands community. Additionally, we are pleased to report we have leveraged GlobalGiving’s support and have been approved for $20,000 in funding from AmeriCorps to support VISTA Supervision and Transportation.

Downtown Revitalization

  • Repair, Re-open, and Re-evaluate Community Spaces (Resilience)
  • Provide Solutions to Shelter Vulnerable Populations (Resilience)
  1. The Alexander Theater Renovation “Healing Humanities” Initiative: In February 2019, the Foundation was awarded a FEMA Hazard Mitigation Grant to renovate and retrofit the Alexander Theater in Sunday Market Square transforming it into a state-of-the-art performing arts center, convening space, and the only downtown Christiansted Community Disaster Safe Room capable of serving 300-600 people. A perfect example of the Foundation’s holistic approach to community development by leveraging scarce dollars for ripple impacts, the Alexander Theater will add to the territory’s depleted disaster shelter pool and will serve as an economic stimulus for Christiansted. This comprehensive project checks long-term resilience and community development initiatives in the Community Plan.
  2. Update at a glance: We are incredibly excited to report that we are now finalizing the RFP process for the selection of an architect for the design of this legacy project.


  • Repair, Fortify, and Preserve Vulnerable Historical and Cultural Archives (Recovery: St. Croix Landmarks Society)
  • Provide Solutions to Shelter Vulnerable Populations (Resilience: Liberty Place, Christiansted Lighthouse Mission)
  • Protect Coral Reefs, Beaches, and Heritage Trees (Resilience: St. Croix Environmental Association)
  • Actively Promote Heritage Tourism to Diversify the Economy (Community Development: Crucian Heritage and Tourism)
  • Provide More Resilient Support Services for Youth Following Disasters (Community Development: FYR is LIT, Caribbean Center for Boys and Girls, Music in Motion, World Ocean School, CMCArts, St. Croix Montessori, Men’s Coalition, Leap & Learn Academy, Virgin Islands Volunteer Advocates for Children, Inc., and so many more!
  • Repair, Re-open, and Re-evaluate Community Spaces (Resilience: Clean Sweep Frederiksted, Christiansted Community Alliance; Mon Bijou Community Center)
  • Improve Access to Healthcare by Piloting a Client-Centered Care Program (Recovery: St. Croix Long Term Recovery Group, Liberty Place, Frederiksted Health Center)
  1. CARE Fund Grantmaking: Through CARE, we have granted a total of $1.8 million to nonprofits Develop Additional Local Organizational Capacity to Implement Recovery Projects who were also checking boxes! Since our grantmaking is not restricted to programming, and we have cultivated close partnerships with local nonprofits, SCF’s grant supported operations for long-term building and short-term relief.
  2. Update at a glance: We are pleased to report that we just opened the 2021 CARE Sustaining Impact Grant for Nonprofit Consortium members! Although grantmaking represents only 20-30% of the Foundation’s work; when we do it, we do it right. The Sustaining Impact Grant is specifically designed to expand on earlier capacity-building awards (either through operations or programming) to fortify nonprofits on the frontlines of Covid-19 and ongoing resilience and rebuilding efforts.

Intersections with Care for Health, Community Building, Housing and Environment

  • Implement a Volunteer Check-up Program – (SCF Fiscal Sponsorship; Resilience )
  • Improve Individual Resilience through Community Mental Health Services (SCF Fiscal Sponsorship; Resilience)
  • Promote Solutions for Low-income Homeowners Resilience (SCF Nonprofit Consortium; Community Development )
  • Update and Enforce New Comprehensive Land Use Plans (Nonprofit Consortium; Community Development)

Our Unique Approach…As we report on this work, we can’t help but reflect on how it’s possible for such a small foundation to have such a big impact. We believe the “secret” to this success is twofold. First, as a place-based operating community foundation, we are rooted in our community and nonprofits. And because our portfolio is holistic - direct programming, fiscal sponsorship, and grantmaking – the outcome is that ALL of the Foundation’s programs and services, complement and intersect with CARE. That overlap has an exponential effect and the results are in: it works.

The second secret is encapsulated in the word “trust.” GlobalGiving saw in us a unique community foundation and trusted us to know what was best. With 31 years of service in our community, we live and breathe People and Place. We trust our local nonprofits, our grantees, sponsored projects, and program partners. And they trust us because of our commitment to collaboration, not competition.

Our partnership with GlobalGiving has allowed St. Croix Foundation to build organizational capacity for ourselves and for our larger civic sector- without competing. Together, we’re creating new systems and we’re meeting the mandates of the Community Plan.

In fact, we hope everyone in the GlobalGiving family knows that our partnership is indeed a model for our field – a model for equitable, collaborative, and sustained impact.

Thank you!

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Organization Information

St. Croix Foundation for Community Development

Location: Christiansted - Virgin Islands
Twitter: @stxfoundation
Project Leader:
Deanna James
Christiansted, VI Virgin Islands
$78,670 raised of $1,000,000 goal
65 donations
$921,330 to go
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