The Community Foundation of the Virgin Islands (CFVI) has announced the latest disbursement of grants totaling $2,463,834 from the Fund for the Virgin Islands (FVI), which was established by CFVI as an immediate response to the impact of Hurricane Irma, later followed by Hurricane Maria.
The FFVI has grown to be the largest hurricane-related fund at the foundation, with the purpose of gathering and distributing monies for critical needs in the U.S. Virgin Islands, both to support short-term relief efforts and to enhance the well-being of future generations. Strategic planning for these efforts is coordinated with input from local government, national experts and local nonprofits. CFVI has been updating the public and donors through the CFVI website, e-mail listserv, press and social media on how these funds are being used and distributed.
To date, FVI has provided a total of $3.3 million in grants to organizations throughout the territory that are providing a wide range of services to residents.
According to Dee Baecher-Brown, “The Fund for the Virgin Islands was established as soon as the curfew was lifted the day following Hurricane Irma when CFVI Chairman George H.T. Dudley and I met, among downed telephone poles, fallen trees and hurricane debris, to create this philanthropic vehicle for generous donors from the islands, the nation and around the world.”
Following its establishment, the FVI was also endorsed by Gov. Kenneth E. Mapp as an official fundraising effort for the USVI relief and recovery efforts, and the www.usvirecovery.org website was launched in collaboration with Bloomberg Philanthropies.
This most recent round of grants from the FVI comes as the territory enters the sixth month since the September storms. These grants are focused on efforts aimed at supporting the transition to long-term recovery, which include wide-scale mold remediation, targeted rebuilding efforts and bolstering the continued development of the long-term recovery groups across the USVI.
Grant awards for these efforts range from $70,000 to $375,000, for a total of $2,363,834. The nine recipients of the award are:
On St. Croix:
- Lutheran Social Services – Disaster Response Initiative
- Croix Long Term Recovery Team
On St. John:
- Love City Strong
- John Long Term Recovery Team
On St. Thomas:
- Disaster Recovery Support Initiative (DRSI)
- Thomas Long Term Recovery Team
On St. Thomas-St. John:
- All Hands and Hearts – Smart Response
- My Brother’s Workshop
- USVI Hurricane Recovery Task Force
Also included in these most recent awards were five grants to local radio stations whose emergency broadcasting during and after the storms facilitated critical exchange of emergency information between officials and the public. The awards serve to partially reimburse the stations for the costs they incurred in providing a critical lifeline of communications to the isolated and most vulnerable residents. Grant awards ranged from $10,000 to $30,000, for a total of $100,000. The five stations that received grants were:
- Caledonia Communications Corporation
- Crucian Educational Non-profit, Inc.
- Ottley Communications Corporation
- Reef Broadcasting, Inc.
The challenges facing the USVI during this period of relief and building forward are complex and multifaceted. In order to maximize effectiveness in this role, CFVI is engaging collaboratively to receive input from community members, local nonprofits, national and local experts, donors, government representatives and others in order to ensure a comprehensive and strategic approach to applying the funds.
The first rounds of grants were made through CFVI leadership proactively selecting organizations based on their commitment to serve the immediate needs of local communities by providing significant tangible current relief efforts, their knowledge and familiarity with community needs, and/or history of effective collaboration with CFVI.
In this current phase of grant making, CFVI is conducting an ongoing review of proposals. The review process involves, including a review committee, grant liaisons, content experts and an advisory committee with representatives from the CFVI Board of Directors, the Hurricane Recovery and Resilience Task Force and Bloomberg Philanthropies.
Additional grants from the FFVI will be announced in the coming weeks, as will targeted Requests for Proposals (RFP). Charitable organizations that want to submit projects for future grant consideration should first complete the grant interest form located on the CFVI website http://cfvi.net/hurricane/grant-programming.php or contact CFVI Director of Grants and Programs at firstname.lastname@example.org.