Family Resource Center food drive

Joni Vincent, left, hands food donations to Family Resource Center counselor Lourdes Carrasquillo Bezares on Saturday outside Cost-U-Less on St. Thomas. Family Resource Center is one of many nonprofit organizations preparing for the holiday season, and are asking for the community’s support.

Holiday fundraising efforts territorywide are in full swing with nonprofit organizations preparing to make it a thankful and merry season.

With Thanksgiving around the corner, and Christmas not far behind, the holidays can be a financially fraught time for nonprofits.

My Brother’s Table

My Brother’s Table, a soup kitchen located in Frederiksted, St. Croix, started the holiday season early, and served a Thanksgiving meal Tuesday.

“Thanksgiving is every day,” said board member Jason Henry. The nonprofit organization serves meals to the less fortunate daily.

Henry also said they are looking for food donations and volunteers to help serve meals on Thanksgiving, starting at noon.

Catholic Charities

On St. Thomas, Catholic Charities Assistant Executive Director Sandra Thomas Mason said Thanksgiving lunch will be served at the Bethlehem Shelter at noon.

The organization is “looking for anything that people can give — turkeys, ham, vegetables, instant mash potatoes, anything to serve an awesome Thanksgiving meal,” Mason said.

The organization will also sponsor a second Thanksgiving meal at the shelter on Saturday.

Mason said Catholic Charities is also looking for fully vaccinated volunteers to help serve and prepare food.

John’s Folly Learning Institute

On St. John, Alvis Christian, with John’s Folly Learning Institute, will prepare and deliver meals to senior citizens.

Due to COVID-19 regulations, some organizations are providing grab and go meals to avoid larger gatherings.

“We will have it ready in bags, for those who come and take the stuff to go,” Christian explained.

Christian said volunteers are need to prepare and deliver meals. Those interested can call 340-423-1500.

After the sharing of turkey trimmings, nonprofits are looking for the communities help in donating gifts to bring Christmas cheer to those in need.

Salvation Army

Since Nov. 5, The Salvation Army, has been raising funds through its Red Kettle Campaign. The familiar bell ringers are out in front of Cost-U-Less, The Market, and both Kmarts through Christmas Eve on St. Croix. The goal is to raise $30,000 for program services. “This year we will be able to expand our services, moving into a new location — the old Methodist school on Centerline,” Major Joe Irvine said, as the organization’s former site was destroyed during Hurricane Maria.

Irvine and his wife Lisa took over the St. Croix post in early July, and look forward to contributing to long-term hurricane recovery, as well as new programming.

Salvation Army angel trees will also be set up at Kmart stores on St. Croix and St. Thomas. Individuals will be able to take a tag listing a child’s gift request and return it gift-wrapped.

Also on St. Thomas, the Salvation Army’s annual Kettle Campaign will begin in earnest on Black Friday. To volunteer to ring a bell and help the organization collect donations, call 340-776-0070.

On Dec. 23, the organization will host a Christmas party for Jesus event on St. Croix where donated gifts will go home with families.

“We will distribute the gifts for those in attendance, as well as a food bag for those who have preregistered,” Irvine explained.

Irvine said those interested in a food bag can register between Nov. 30 and Dec. 2 from 1 to 4 p.m. at the old Methodist school location. The Salvation Army will not serving Thanksgiving meals on St. Croix this year, but they look forward to providing regular feeding programs in the new year.

This year, more and more organizations are raising funds on a special day set up for that purpose: Giving Tuesday.

My Brother’s Workshop

Giving Tuesday, the global generosity movement, aims to support community nonprofits worldwide is observed Nov. 30.

My Brother’s Workshop has a goal of $20,000 and the Sheehan Family has pledged to match all donations made that day, up to $10,000.

Donations made to the campaign will go toward general operations for the nonprofit, and 25% of all donations will be directed to the My Brother’s Workshop Main Campus Project.

My Brother’s Workshop Communications Manager Chrystie Payne said in preparing for campus construction, the organization is also accepting in-kind donations of steel, wood, concrete, professional services and is in need of volunteers.

The group will be hosting a grand opening of its retail location at Paradise Point from 5 to 8 p.m., Nov. 30.

“Our products are designed or created by staff or trainees. We’ve got hats, T-shirts, cutting boards, keychains and magnets,” Payne said.

Those who wish to support the cause can donate at https://www.classy.org/campaign/Lets-Give-Together/c364389.

Donations by check may be made payable to My Brother’s Workshop and mailed to PO Box 503205, St. Thomas, VI 00805.

Community Foundation of the Virgin Islands

At the Community Foundation of the Virgin Islands, President Dee Baecher-Brown knows the difficult time nonprofits find themselves in the ongoing pandemic.

To help with holiday-related needs for children, families and seniors, the foundation is collecting donations with the Virtual Giving Tree project for its second year.

“We recognize it’s been another challenging year for everyone, especially our nonprofits in the territory who are on the frontlines every day serving the community,” said Baecher-Brown.

Last year, donations totaling more than $33,000 were distributed to 11 Virgin Island’s nonprofit organizations, according to a press release.

Funding was used to provide personal care and medical supplies for residents of a group home, laptops and earphones to students for educational purposes, food baskets for needy families, support for a homeless shelter and soup kitchen, and more.

Local nonprofit organizations that want to submit specific needs and requests are asked to fill out an online form at cfvi.co/2021VirtualGivingTree by Nov. 30, the foundation said.

Those who wish to support the project can make a general donation at cfvi.co/DonateGivingTree2021. All of the proceeds will go directly to support the holiday-related needs of the territory’s nonprofits.

For more information and for donors interested in funding a specific need and/or organization, contact Grants and Programs Manager Davica Brathwaite at davicab@cfvi.net or 340-774-6031.

Community and Police Association

The Community and Police Association is partnering with the V.I. Children’s Museum and the Family Resource Center to bring Christmas cheer to children and seniors on St. Thomas. “We are trying to promote and let the public know about the Children’s Museum, and let the people help the Family Resource Center, and all the children that have been nice,” CAPA president Bruce Flamon said. “We are also including our seniors at the nursing home.”

Flamon explained that on Dec. 23, the organization will be donating 60 meals from Babylon Eats to seniors at the Lucinda Millin Home, along with other senior supplies.

Horses from the Golden Age Horse Ranch dressed as reindeer will come down the road with a fire truck in tow, to deliver presents to the V.I. Children’s Museum for the gift giveaway at 11 a.m.

“Last year we had over $7,000 in gifts donated,” Flamon said.

For those who wish to donate, drop off an unwrapped gift or senior supplies at:

  • The V.I. Children’s Museum
  • Moe’s at Yacht Haven Grande
  • Moe’s on the Waterfront
  • Fruit Bowl
  • The Market, Tutu Park Mall

Businesses interested in sponsoring the event can contact Flamon at 340-513-4041.