Virgin Islanders are continuing to rally together to make the ongoing pandemic a little bit easier to bear, donating masks, meals, and helping out in ways big and small.
Patient Assist VI
Patient Assist VI is going above and beyond the call of duty.
Thanks to a generous donation, the organization recently delivered care packages, including food, beverages, basic hygiene products and cleaning supplies to the porches of patients who needed them most.
The organization helps the uninsured and underinsured in the Virgin Islands who are under a doctor’s care and need to take medication daily, but have trouble paying for their medications, the organization said in a statement.
Executive Director Angela Beall said she and a donor had been discussing patient needs and “the idea came together after an elderly patient called me in tears because she was nearly out of food and was scared to leave her home due to COVID-19.”
“Patient Assist VI typically does not operate outside of the prescription medications they obtain for patients, but the circumstances made it possible to deliver even more,” she said.
Empire Service Station
Nigel Abdallah, who owns the Empire Service Station in Estate Mountain, said he believes in corporate citizenship.
Abdallah, formerly of Nigel’s 1, 2, 3 and who has been doing business on St. Croix for some 30 years, said he wanted to give back in the wake of COVID-19. His company recently delivered three truckloads of cleaning supplies to Luis Hospital. He praised praised Ricky Messer for helping him to coordinate the donation that included masks, sanitizers, paper towels, rubbing alcohol and other cleaning and sanitizing supplies.
Abdallah said his decision to donate to the hospital was simple.
“I’m part of the community and I have to do my part,” he said. “It’s the hospital where all four of my children were born. The hospital now needs help and I am happy to be able to help.”
William “Bill” Perkins III and Brisa Max Holdings VI have donated 14,000 KN95 respiratory masks to the territory’s hospitals, “to help ensure the safety of our brave doctors, nurses and hospital workers,” according to a news release from attorney Alex Golubitsky.
The masks were delivered to the Roy Lester Schneider Regional Medical Center late last month by Perkins.
The U.S. Food and Drug Administration approved KN95 masks, which are substantially equivalent to N95 respiratory masks, for hospital use in early April, at which point Perkins sought to acquire the masks for the territory’s medical service providers and first responders, according to the release.
Hospitals in the Virgin Islands have been suffering from a shortage of personal protective equipment, including N95 or KN95 respiratory masks, since the beginning of the COVID-19 pandemic.
The V.I. Fire Service received 3,500 masks and Eustace Grant, deputy chief of Operations for St.Thomas, thanked Brisa Max for the donation of “much-needed masks.”
The remainder of the shipment of masks is being donated to other local frontline workers and charities like the Family Resource Center, and Perkins is hoping to arrange future deliveries of masks to the territory.
“We all have a part to play in keeping the islands safe and strong. My staff and I are happy for the opportunity to play a small part in that,” said Perkins, who encouraged all residents to follow the government’s directions and donate to hospitals and local charities if possible.
Guardian Insurance Company has donated 5,000 face masks to the V.I. Health Department and the Police Department.
“We are extremely grateful to our health care workers and first responders serving on the front lines but even more so during this unprecedented global health crisis. These men and women continue to dedicate their lives to save and assist our community. We are honored to support them with these much-needed resources,” said Raymond Fournier, President of Guardian Insurance Company. “We would also like to share our gratitude for Gov. Albert Bryan Jr. and Lt. Gov. Tregenza Roach and all the Commissioners for their leadership during these very challenging times.”
Share your story
Are you or is there someone you know doing something extraordinary to help residents cope in the wake of COVID-19? Perhaps you are shopping for your elderly neighbor; a business owner who has temporarily increased salaries or doled out bonuses to employees on the front line; a landlord who has given tenants a few months rent free or, in the case of restaurants, collected tips to help employees who were furloughed. If you have a good deed to share or other positive stories coming out in the wake of COVID-19 email email@example.com with the subject line: VIPositive!