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Responding to COVID-19 in... St. Croix, U.S. Virgin Islands

Author: Southeastern Council of Foundations


This post continues a series highlighting the responses of SECF members to the COVID-19 pandemic in their communities. We will use this series to highlight partnerships, coalitions and innovative examples of giving that help those affected by this crisis. If you are involved in a program you would like to see highlighted here, contact David Miller, director of marketing and communications, at david@secf.org.

On the island of St. Croix in the U.S. Virgin Islands, the first week of June also marks the start of a time of high alert: the Atlantic hurricane season.

This year, of course, has already been marked by crisis. The COVID-19 pandemic hasn’t hit the island as hard as the mainland United States, but its economic impacts are impossible to ignore in a place with an economy largely dependent on tourism and hospitality. Cruise ships, normally a regular presence at the island’s ports, have been shuttered for months. The local airport only receives one flight a day.

While there have been real consequences from the pandemic, resilience has been the defining feature of St. Croix’s pandemic experience, said Deanna James, president of the St. Croix Foundation for Community Development.

“For all intents and purposes, we live in a village. There are different human dynamics that happen in a village,” she said. “Basic needs are met in a much more different way than if you lived in an apartment in New York City and didn’t know anyone around you.

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