Through continued collaboration between community partners and the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA), the Center for Disaster Philanthropy recently awarded two grants for ongoing recovery efforts following the two major hurricanes in the U.S. Virgin Islands in 2017, FEMA announced via release recently.
The grants were awarded to Love City Strong on St. John and the St. Croix Foundation for Community Development on St. Croix.
These grants complement prior grants awarded to community organizations providing support in housing, livelihoods, health, and renewable energy sectors — all areas where disaster recovery intersects with disaster preparedness, according to the release.
Love City Strong received $100,000 to install new UV and carbon filtration systems on residential cisterns over a 12-month period for senior citizens, single-parent families, low-income households, and people with disabilities.
The St. Croix Foundation for Community Development received $50,000 for a Community Solar Project in partnership with the Virgin Islands Workforce Investment Board, Sustainable Systems International, and Lion’s Den Solar. Approximately 40 individuals will be trained on fiber optics and solar installation through the National Center for Construction Education and Research (NCCER).
In an ongoing partnership with FEMA, Lori Jill Bertman, the president and CEO of the Irene W. and C.B. Pennington Foundation and board chair and co-founder of the Center for Disaster Philanthropy, joined the FEMA recovery team in the U. S. Virgin Islands following Hurricanes Irma and Maria. She provided significant disaster philanthropy knowledge and insight to the local communities with substantial input and on-site evaluation alongside FEMA and local partners, which was instrumental in grant making decisions, according to the release. In this partnership, Ms. Bertman served as an ambassador from the philanthropic community to join the FEMA team on three separate visits to all three islands.