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