Community Foundation of the Virgin Islands (CFVI) to administer new charitable fund
Recognizing the massive humanitarian challenge facing the U.S. Virgin Islands (USVI) as it recovers from the devastating impact of hurricanes Irma and Maria, the Stephenson Family Foundation, under the leadership of longtime St. Thomas resident, Richard J Stephenson, today announced a pledge of $5 million in relief funds to assist with the islands’ recovery. Two million dollars is being funded immediately, with the additional $3 million pledged as a matching fund to encourage other donations to the Community Foundation of the Virgin Islands (CFVI) for hurricane recovery.
Stephenson, founder and chairman of International Capital & Management Company (ICMC), an Economic Development Company (EDC) on St. Thomas, is partnering with CFVI in launching HelpUSVINow! to aid in the recovery of the U.S. Virgin Islands (USVI) from the unprecedented ravages of the two storms. Tax-deductible donations can be made at edcreliefandrecovery.org.
“I was both shocked and dismayed by the immense suffering and damage that has occurred,” said Stephenson. “I immediately sought out the people and organizations with the potential to make the most direct impact on the ground without delay and am eager to contribute my family’s resources to the CFVI to support this effort.”
During this morning’s Governor’s press conference in St. Thomas, in which the CFVI Fund launch was announced, USVI Governor Kenneth E. Mapp said, “It is the resilience of Virgin Islanders that will lead the way to our recovery. But the road has many challenges, and we could not be successful in this effort without the generous support of the Stephenson family and many other USVI businesses. For this, we are grateful.”
In addition to the $5 million commitment to the HelpUSVINow! Fund, the largest private contribution to the USVI to date in the aftermath of hurricanes Irma and Maria, the Stephenson family has coordinated numerous hurricane relief efforts, including the charter of a Boeing 737 out of Chicago to deliver critical supplies, medical equipment, food and dozens of generators to St. Thomas and the surrounding islands in the wake of the storms. In addition, the family assisted in helping many USVI residents, especially those with children or special circumstances, fly to the U.S. mainland to get out of harm’s way.
ICMC president and CEO, Cornel Williams, commented “Mr. Stephenson made an unwavering commitment to the U.S. Virgin Islands when he founded ICMC in St. Thomas 14 years ago. Over the years not only has he invested in the company, but he has empowered ICMC leadership to invest in our community, in initiatives that help to improve health care, education and the general social and economic welfare of the Virgin Islands.” Williams added, “Supporting the community now, during this most pressing time, is further testament to his long-term vision of helping the Virgin Islands realize a brighter future.”
Also praising the efforts, Virgin Islands Congresswoman Stacey Plaskett (D-VI) stated, “We know many communities are facing incredible challenges from these storms, and we’re so thankful for the considerable humanitarian efforts of the Stephenson family including this financial initiative that is keeping U.S. Virgin Islanders front of mind as we come together to rebuild.” She continued, “I applaud the Community Foundation and its HelpUSVINow! campaign, and the collaborative and tireless efforts of our EDCs and other USVI businesses and residents for the life-saving work that is supporting our recovery.”
“CFVI has taken a leadership role in the renewal and recovery efforts of our islands,” said Dee Baecher-Brown, president of CFVI, “and we are so very grateful for the Stephensons’ generous support as well as the numerous USVI businesses committing resources to aid our recovery.”
At the writing of this press release, the following companies have pledged their support to the USVI recovery effort:
- Alpine Securities USVI
- 183 Media, LLC
- Discover Fund Management, LLLP
- White Bay USVI
- BP Consulting VI
- United Electronic Industries, LLC
- Standard Aviation, LLC
- Brad's Deals, LLC
- Ferrer, LLC
For more information and to donate:
Visit https://edcreliefandrecovery.org or call Katrin Bradell, CSVI Development Director at 340-201-0299. Checks can be mailed to the CFVI office: PO Box 11790 / St. Thomas, VI 00801 with the memo: HelpUSVINow!
# # #
For more than 25 years the Community Foundation of the Virgin Islands has been catalyzing positive changes in the Territory through initiatives committed to youth, learning, family support and the environment. With a professional staff and a volunteer Board of Directors composed of community leaders, CFVI is a trusted advocate and supporter of programs that ensure opportunity and sustainability for current and future generations. To enhance its work, CFVI actively collaborates with trusted non-profit partners and other entities throughout the Territory. CFVI operates or funds close to 50 community initiatives and programs including college scholarships, teacher grants, the TFC Kindercamp for school readiness, the Junior Angels volunteerism/philanthropy program, the Next Generation Scholars college access program, and emergency grants to families and elderly residents of the USVI. CFVI is a registered non-profit organization entirely supported by individual donors, grants, trusts, corporate donations and estate planning.