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

Project Report | Sep 17, 2023
KEEPING OUR PEOPLE AT THE CENTER

By Lilli Cox | Dir. Communications & Community Investments

Workforce Development for a Thriving St. Croix!
Workforce Development for a Thriving St. Croix!

Today, as we write this report, we’re at the peak of hurricane season, and so we begin by sending our best wishes to all island and coastline communities facing the threat of these storms: may you have calm winds and peaceful seas.

It’s the threat of storms – figurative and literal – that keeps St. Croix Foundation hard at work, and this past quarter was no different. Every year, every month, a sense of urgency grows as electricity costs rise (we pay .43 cents a kwh!), the oceans warm, and political and national support remains uncertain. As we look back on all that we have accomplished through the CARE Fund – from Farm Tiendas to solarizing Community Centers and more – we know that we cannot be satisfied with recovery alone.  We have to build our social and physical infrastructure stronger and better. To that end, we’ve been hosting federal program and grant partners, convening our nonprofit partners, and most importantly, we’ve been laser-focused on supporting the holistic and fair development of our Place after Hurricanes Irma and Maria. 

This quarterly report centers on just two stories (of many) that demonstrate the power that comes with relationships and human-centered programs – whether grantmaking or massive capital projects. As always, we deeply appreciate GlobalGiving’s partnership. You have been a consistent presence throughout a long recovery, and we couldn’t have reached this critical point without you.

Grantmaking through Place-Based Strategies
In our last report, we told you about a small, but mighty CARE Grant that St. Croix Foundation awarded to our local vocational school, the Career and Technical Education Center (CTEC). The objective was to provide direct support to their nationally accredited National Center for Construction Education & Research (NCCER) electrical course – and today we have news that is testimony to what grantmaking through a place-based, community-rooted strategy can achieve.

Mid-way through the grant period, just four months after receiving a $7,000 CARE Grant, the NCCER course instructor has reported he has leveraged the grant to directly benefit 40 young people, stretching supplies to meet the needs of students in courses even outside of the electrical course.

Seated in such proximity to our community – to our People – makes high-impact grantmaking like this possible. We know our principals, our instructors, and our students – and we know our Community Assets, like CTEC!

Measuring impact beyond a number or dollar can sometimes be a challenge, so perhaps the instructor’s words will say it best:

“For the first time in four years, the electrical class has the proper tools and materials for trainees to be successful in accomplishing their training tasks. Trainees will gain real life experience in addition to knowledge and understanding of residential and commercial wiring in this rigorous curriculum. I can stand proudly in my classroom and feel confident in knowing that greater things will be accomplished this school year as trainees have access to all the supplies and materials needed to be successful.”

While undoubtedly this is a major achievement, St. Croix Foundation is mindful of the need for consistent support. Challenges around access to textbooks continue, for example, and the need to scale workforce development around clean energy is ever-present. At the Foundation, we can’t help but imagine what another holistic, collaborative grant opportunity for those on the frontlines of resilience could do, and we continue to identify funding for a comprehensive round of CARE Grants.

Taking “Recovery” and “Resilience” to the Next Level: A Humanitarian Approach to Place-Keeping!
In many ways, the U.S. Virgin Islands, like many island communities who live on the frontlines of climate change, environmental justice, and natural disasters, are in a persistent state of recovery. As such, resilience is something that we already possess – or we would cease to exist.

So, for all of us at the Foundation, we believe that we must do more than just “recover” – in fact, we believe that we must move beyond words like resilience and literally build new systems, rooted in the history, culture, and assets of our People and Place.

Today, we are delighted to report on our Healing Humanities Initiative, which is grounded in our commitment to holistic community resilience and is now officially underway thanks to several federal grants. As an extension of our Alexander Theater Restoration project, our Healing Humanities Initiative will be centered in Historic Sunday Market Square as a designated arts corridor which will include intentionally designed nonprofit co-working spaces, affordable housing, and commercial spaces.

Moving into the architecture and design phase of the project, our Healing Humanities initiative is so deeply aligned with the Foundation’s commitment to holistic community development. Our focus is steadfast: community-rooted planning, implementation, and meeting federal compliance requirements for our FEMA grant to restore the Alexander Theater into a safehouse for 300+ people. Now, the  Foundation is actively working to secure $2 million in critical funding to support unfunded project components that the federal resources will not cover.

Continuing on…
At the Foundation, we are practical and pragmatic – but we are also optimists at our core. While we may be isolated and because of our size, dismissed or unseen by most, we are also small enough to wrap our arms around the really big problems of today. We are excited about the potential to do just that – and every day, with the help of our people and our nonprofit and public sector partners, we see mental models shift, innovation emerges, and new systems born. It’s not quick. It’s not linear. It’s what happens when you sit in place and put people at the center.

For more information on any of St. Croix Foundation’s CARE Fund programming and grantmaking, please contact us – and thank you for seeing us!

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Organization Information

St. Croix Foundation for Community Development

Location: Christiansted - Virgin Islands
Website:
Twitter: @stxfoundation
Project Leader:
Deanna James
Christiansted , VI Virgin Islands
$78,775 raised of $1,000,000 goal
 
68 donations
$921,225 to go
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