US Virgin Islands Hotel & Tourism Association

CFVI Newsletter | Spring 2020
In this Issue:
COVID-19 Response Update
Ready4K | Grantee Highlights
Clinton Global Initiative | Giving Tuesday
And more!
COVID-19 Response Update
A Message from CFVI President, Dee Baecher-Brown
We hope that you and yours are safe and healthy and continue to take all the necessary precautions as we navigate the COVID-19 crisis. At CFVI, our staff has been busy working from our homes to keep the Foundation running smoothly and we monitor the situation daily. We are in regular contact with many of our nonprofit partners to better understand the needs and urgencies of the community and the best ways for us to assist.
We have also been compiling a list of resources, which offers information for families, the community and businesses – everything from free educational resources and activities to do with your children at home, to support for small businesses and nonprofits, ways to volunteer remotely, and much more. To access the list, click on the button below:
As the effects of this global pandemic continue to unfold, the future has never felt so unpredictable. These are challenging times for us all, but the U.S. Virgin Islands is a strong and resilient community. And we are no strangers to adversity. We have no doubt that once again we will pull through this together, just as we did after Irma and Maria.
As always, thank you for your support of CFVI and for your commitment to our Virgin Islands.
With our deepest appreciation,
Dee Baecher-Brown
Ready4K Promotes Child Development in the USVI via Text
As children and families in the Virgin Islands struggle with the social distancing required in response to the threat of COVID-19, CFVI announced the launch of Ready4K in the USVI. Developed by educational researchers, this text-based family engagement curriculum promotes child development from birth to fourth grade. The program furthers the Foundation’s portfolio of efforts supporting children and families in the Territory.
Simply text the code CFVI to 70138 to start receiving messages today.
From left to right:  Ebenezer Gardens Project Manager, Ian Williams; Theodore Tunick & Company Claims Manager, Geo-Ann Strann and Sales Executive Colin Probyn; Lutheran Social Services of the Virgin Islands (LSSVI) CEO, Junia John-Straker; CFVI President, Dee Baecher-Brown; Theodore Tunick & Company Office Manager, Crystel Benjamin; and LSSVI Board President Henry Smock, Esq.
$25,000 Donation from Theodore Tunick & Company Benefits Lutheran Social Services and Ebenezer Gardens
CFVI recently received a contribution of $25,000 from Theodore Tunick & Company to benefit the Ebenezer Gardens Senior Housing Facility.
Lutheran Social Services of the Virgin Islands (LSSVI), which operates Ebenezer Gardens, identified a number of critical needs for the housing facility, one of which is to renovate public spaces to enhance services and accessibility for residents. Specifically, the grant funds will allow LSSVI to begin construction of a new office area for the social service coordinator and AmeriCorps staff members.
“Currently, the staff members are located on the bottom floor of the facility, which is not easily accessible to all of the residents, many of which have mobility limitations,” explained LSSVI CEO Junia John-Straker. “It is also in a shared public space, which makes it inconvenient for residents who desire private meetings with the social service coordinator.”
Funds from the donation will go toward construction costs, office furniture and supplies.
“CFVI has worked closely with LSSVI on a number of initiatives over the years, and has great appreciation for the critical role of the organization, which provides services for children, elderly, individuals with disabilities, expectant mothers, and low-income clients,” said CFVI President Dee Baecher-Brown.
CFVI President Dee Baecher-Brown, President Bill Clinton, and Pablo Filippi, Senior VP at Inclusiv, during the CGI Action Network opening plenary session in Puerto Rico in February.
President Bill Clinton and former Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton convened members of the Clinton Global Initiative (CGI) Action Network in San Juan, Puerto Rico in February for the fifth meeting since 2018. The Action Network brings together leaders from business, government, and civil society to make commitments to accelerate recovery from natural disasters and promote resiliency in the region. The meeting included special sessions on recovery in the Bahamas after Hurricane Dorian; supporting marginalized communities on the front lines of the fight against climate change; and investing in high-tech, high skilled jobs in the Caribbean.
CFVI Earns Coveted 4-Star Rating from Charity Navigator
CFVI’s strong financial health and commitment to accountability and transparency have earned it a 4-star rating from Charity Navigator, America’s largest independent charity evaluator. This is the second consecutive time that CFVI has earned this top distinction. Since 2002, using objective analysis, Charity Navigator has awarded only the most fiscally responsible organizations a 4-star rating.
“The Community Foundation of the Virgin Islands’ exceptional 4-star rating sets it apart from its peers and demonstrates its trustworthiness to the public,” according to Michael Thatcher, President & CEO of Charity Navigator. “Only a quarter of charities rated by Charity Navigator receive the distinction of our 4-star rating. This adds CFVI to a preeminent group of charities working to overcome our world’s most pressing challenges. Based on its 4-star rating, people can trust that their donations are going to a financially responsible and ethical charity when they decide to support the Community Foundation of the Virgin Islands.”
“It’s important our donors trust that we’re using their donations wisely to accomplish our mission of enriching the quality of life in the Virgin Islands through inspiring philanthropy, strengthening nonprofits and engaging the community,” said CFVI President, Dee Baecher-Brown. “Our 4-star Charity Navigator rating demonstrates to our supporters and our community our good governance and financial accountability.”
For more information, visit
#GivingTuesdayNow: A Global Day of Unity – May 5
On May 5, 2020, people all around the world are coming together to tap into the power of human connection and strengthen communities at the grassroots level. Will you be one of them? CFVI will be one of those participating organizations and we need your help! By joining the #GivingTuesdayNow movement, you’re proving that in times of uncertainty, generosity can bring the whole world together. Let’s rally together to build stronger communities. For more information, visit
Grantee Highlights
Legal Services of the Virgin Islands
CFVI provided a $100,000 grant from the Fund for the Virgin Islands to Legal Services of the Virgin Islands, Inc. (LSVI) to support its Disaster Advocacy Program, which mobilizes volunteer attorneys in a post-disaster environment and provides a hotline to connect clients and attorneys. The program has supported 51 cases to date. Grant funds were used to purchase and operate a Legal Server Case Management System, which allows attorneys remote access to client documents as well as an SMS messaging system.
Caribbean Museum Center for the Arts
CFVI provided a grant to Caribbean Museum Center for the Arts to support the West End Music and Arts Institute 2019 Summer Program. Grant funds were used to support operating costs to run the four-week summer camp, where 20 students learned about various creative outlets, including sculpture, illustration, painting, and vocal and instrumental music. The program supplanted the current lack of access to creative arts in St. Croix’s west end youth community, and provided a safe space for students to connect with local working artists while experiencing various creative media.
University of the Virgin Islands
CFVI provided a grant to the University of the Virgin Islands, with support from GlobalGiving, to support hurricane kit distribution efforts at the St. Thomas/St. John Agriculture Fair. Approximately 200 hurricane preparedness kits and 243 hurricane preparedness prizes were given away to community members. Grant funds were also used to publish Storm Strong Mold and Water Safety Cards, which will be distributed to elementary, middle, and high school students in St. Thomas.
St. John Historical Society
CFVI provided a $25,000 grant from the Fund for the Virgin Islands to the St. John Historical Society (SJHS) to support hurricane recovery efforts. SJHS was able to replace equipment that was destroyed by the hurricanes and complete a restoration of the Martin – van Beverhoudt Cemetery in Cruz Bay. The project included restoring the cemetery walls and placing a plaque on the property to provide a description and history to the public.
Want more grantee highlights? We post weekly on social media and our website!
We are proud to have earned the Charity Navigator 4-Star Rating for demonstrating strong financial health and commitment to accountability and transparency.
We are proud to be a vetted organization by GlobalGiving, which recognizes CFVI as a trusted partner and
change-maker in the world.
CFVI Staff
Director of Grants and Programs
Communications Manager
Executive Manager
Accounting and Administrative Assistant
Development Partner