| Jun 28, 2019
Changes Abound in St. Thomas and St. John!
Dear friends and supporters,
There have been some big changes since our last update - a mix of exciting and very bittersweet.
In St. Thomas, our program officially closed on April 30th after 20 months of response and recovery efforts. Our team was incredibly sad to leave the communities that made them feel so at home, but they were grateful too that All Hands and Hearts was able to stay for so long furthering recovery on the island as a whole. To celebrate the completion of the program, our team gathered with the community at the newly revitalized Alvin McBean Recreation Park for food and a celebratory ballgame. The efforts of our St. Thomas team yielded the completion of 930 jobs, benefiting over 6,000 people! Thank you for following our progress for the past 20 months, and for showing you care about the wonderful people of St. Thomas. Linked below is a blog story about one of the incredible projects our teams had the privilege of completing, for a gentleman who gives back to his community every day. His story is truly a sentiment of how resilient the people of St. Thomas have been and will continue to be for years to come.
In St. John, teams are working hard repairing homes to a beautiful finished state where homeowners can finally return without worrying about the wind and water-damage they may face. For context, some of these homeowners have been displaced for more than one year because of the unsafe condition of their homes. It is truly heartwarming to participate in a process that brings so much joy back to the lives of our beneficiaries, and we are grateful for your support which helps make it all possible! As we continue working on this beautiful island, we are mindful that this program too will soon be coming to a close. Our program in St. John is set to wrap up at the end of July. Until that time, teams are continuing to actively participate in community-hosted events, making connections with friendly faces old and new. Most recently, 25 team members signed up to help host the “Music is Life” music festival, held annually in Coral Bay. Additionally, another 15 volunteered to help the Friends of Virgin Islands National Park host their annual “Beach to Beach” swimming competition which had 125 participants this year! We truly value any opportunity to engage with community members, and to learn more about the lives of those we are working hard to help. To date in St. John, our teams have worked on 286 sites, completing 460 jobs, touching the lives of 1,186 people.
Linked below is an additional story where you can learn about the volunteer experience, and how working in the USVI has meant so much to six volunteers that were able to join us there. Thank you for continuing to support the efforts of All Hands and Hearts, and I look forward to updating you again!
Community Ballgame at Alvin Mcbean Recreation Park
Volunteers in St. John
Volunteers helping at the "Beach to Beach" race