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Sunday, May 26, 2024
HomeNewsArchivesCaring Volunteers Make Holiday Special for Bethlehem House

Caring Volunteers Make Holiday Special for Bethlehem House

Volunteers from My Brother's Workshop put the finishing touches on renovations at Bethlehem House.Thanksgiving Day celebrations at the Bethlehem House Shelter for the Homeless took place Thursday in a newly renovated gazebo and dining area, courtesy of Marriott’s Frenchman’s Cove and the crew from My Brother’s Workshop.
Administered through Catholic Charities of the Virgin Islands, Bethlehem House is a 40-bed facility that offers hot meals, counseling services and employment assistance to struggling families and various individuals within the community. While the organization provides a good deal of help to those in need, its budget is limited and space is often tight, with donations from the community often piled in every available corner — including the outside gazebo, which Marriott sought to renovate as part of its "Spirit to Serve" day project.
After the roof was taken off and the space cleaned, it became obvious the gazebo needed to be restored, according to individuals who worked on the project. Turning the structure into an outdoor dining area was the next step, and local contractors were brought in by the resort to help. My Brother’s Workshop — another local nonprofit run through the St. Thomas Reformed Church — began volunteering in August, helping with the construction while Marriott donated the materials.
For a little more than a year, My Brother’s Workshop, spearheaded by St. Thomas resident Scott Bradley, has been working to turn around the lives of 18 young men by teaching them various vocational skills, including construction, plumbing and electrical work. Everyone involved in the program got an opportunity to work on the Bethlehem House project, logging in numerous volunteer hours with the goal of having the gazebo ready for Thanksgiving Day, Bradley said.
"The opportunity for these young men to work with the contractors from Marriott’s Frenchman’s Cove has been nothing less than life changing,” Bradley, said in a recent statement. “They have not only benefited from the knowledge and skill that these contractors shared with them, but by simply working side by side with professional role models.”
What’s more, both nonprofit organizations have also started to build the foundation for a long-lasting relationship, Bradley added recently.
"Now, whenever they need us, they know they can call, and vice versa," he added. "It was a wonderful project and a great way for all of us to get involved in something that can really help the community."
Along with installing a new roof, workers installed new lights and ceiling fans, painted the structure, laid a new floor and carpet and rounded it out with some landscaping. Along with My Brother’s Workshop, contractors and suppliers contributing to the project include MSI Building Supplies, Roy’s Roofing and Construction, Riley Electric, Raider Construction, the Plant Depot and First Resort Painting.

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