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Many Hands Helping in St. John
More Assistance Needed, Notably from the Private Sector

 

St. John Culture & Heritage (C&H) Foundation—a 501(c)(3) organization dedicated to revitalizing and preserving the unique attributes of the island and her people—applauds all efforts made for restoration of St. John following the devastation of the 2017 hurricane season. While stressing that considerable aid and the efforts of numerous non-profits and individuals are successfully providing support, C&H indicates that assistance is still needed: 30% of those needing help with rebuilding are falling through the cracks.

 

“Since we are deeply engrained—both personally and professionally—in the local St. John community, it is our responsibility and joy to help others. We must work together to restore and stabilize her culture and heritage for generations to come. It takes all of us to bring back Love City,” says Chaliese Summers, the philanthropist steering C&H. “There is no shortage of opportunities. If specific needs are being met for particular necessities, often other essentials are not being met. Part of C&H’s vision is to identify issues and find ways to bridge any gaps.”

 

While considerable support has come from many in the States and international community who care deeply about Love City and St. Johnians, the news of continuing need can be lost in the cacophony of information from news organizations, social media and the Internet.

 

Alvis Christian, C&H Vice President and President of the John’s Folly Learning Institute explains the response from local St. Johnians to stateside donors, “The support of our stateside countrymen and women and those in the international yachting and destination travel categories is treasured by local St. Johnians.  It makes us feel appreciated and lets us know that people care and that’s why they’re doing what they’re doing.”

 


While on Vacation, Richard Collier of Baton Rouge Cleans John's Folly Learning Institute with C&H. St. John, USVI. 2018

 

The Colliers, a family of four from Baton Rouge, Louisiana spent much of their June 2018 vacation on St. John at the John’s Folly Learning Institute restoring the center in preparation for the summer program for the young people of St. John. “It doesn’t matter how much money you make or have. If you can’t share with other people, it’s useless,“ says Richard Collier regarding why his family spent part of their vacation cleaning and prepping the school.

 

This kind of support is priceless. By their donation of time, funds and energy, the Colliers are a portrait of providing an unparalleled kind of relief. Their work is enabling a school to remain open and the uniqueness of the St. John culture to be preserved. According to the USVI Department of Education, enrolment in Virgin Islands public schools saw a 17.8% decline in enrolment because of Cat 5 hurricanes Irma and Maria.

 

It follows that the children enrolled in John’s Folly Learning Institute and all other children on St. John are equally affected by the loss of their homes.

 

“Bloomberg Philanthropies, Kenny Chesney's Love for Love City, All Hands and Hearts, Love City Strong, St. John Community Foundation, St. John Rescue, Yacht Aid Global and many, many more philanthropic organizations are working day and night to restore and renew the island,” says Summers. “We need even more help, particularly from the private sector—where the greatest resources are—to complete the urgent mission for every St. Johnian to have a home.”

 

About St. John Culture & Heritage Foundation

 

St. John Culture & Heritage Foundation—a 501(c)(3) organization dedicated to revitalizing and preserving the unique attributes of St. John and her people—seeks to establish compelling initiatives and captivating campaigns emphasizing ingenuity, resiliency and vibrancy while providing resources and structure for sustainable economic, social and cultural progression. HOMES for St. Johnians, its response to the overwhelming 2017 hurricane season, is among its first initiatives.

 

C&H Mission Statement

Preserving the rich traditions of St. John, her local people and communities while fostering and promoting sustainable concepts and projects for current and future economic, environmental, social and educational well-being.

 

St. John Culture & Heritage Foundation: www.stjcultureandheritage.org

HOMES for St. Johnians: www.homesforstjohnians.org

 


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