One thing I love about St. Croix is how involved individuals in the community are with the island’s many charitable causes, whether by volunteering their time or by donating money or goods. Whether you live on St. Croix or you’re a visitor, whether you want to help the animals, save the reefs, or give a hand up to the island’s children, there is an organization in the community that can benefit from your assistance. Volunteer for a few hours at a beach clean-up, help monitor turtle nesting activity, serve meals to the homeless, or donate pet supplies. Any help you can offer is always appreciated!
There are countless ways you can help the community of St. Croix. Join some of our organizations, and your membership dues will support their charitable works. Donate food, personal care items, pet supplies, supplies for trash clean-up, gently-used clothing or household goods to help out the charities close to your heart. Or, best of all, volunteer your time and skills! By volunteering, you are doing are making a difference in the someone’s life, in the community, or to the environment. Here are just a few of the many groups that could use your help:
Human Services Organizations
- Lutheran Social Services of the Virgin Islands runs the Queen Louis Home, and offers programs for abused, abandoned and neglected children, as well as pregnant women and families, low income seniors and adults with disabilities.
- Lighthouse Mission is a faith-based community service campus which provides meals and personal care for the homeless, as well as offering an after school program for local children.
- The Women’s Coalition of St. Croix (WCSC) is dedicated to ending violence in the community, and assisting victims and survivors to heal and become empowered by offering free services including a 24-hour crisis intervention hotline, one-on-one counseling, supportive services, emergency shelter for female victims of domestic violence and their children, weekly support groups, and gently-used clothing and household goods provided free of charge to those in need through ‘Closet To Closet’, the WCSC thrift store.
- Project Promise provides programs and services for at-risk youth which offer positive support and encouragement and ultimately reduce risky behaviors and integrate them into society and the economy.
Animal Welfare Organizations
- St. Croix Animal Welfare Center has provided care to thousands of orphaned, abused, neglected and otherwise unwanted dogs and cats as a nonprofit organization since 1973. They adopt out hundreds of animals, promote and spay/neuter through their voucher program, and promote responsible pet ownership with their humane educational outreach to schools and adults.
- Healing Paws works closely with the St. Croix Animal Welfare Center, local veterinarians, foster parents, trainers and volunteers to help the St. Croix community understand the importance of proper animal care and spaying and neutering, they are working to build a non-kill animal sanctuary, and they are the driving force behind St. Croix’s only animal air transport program, ‘Paws from Paradise’.
- R.E.A.L. Cruzan Cats is dedicated to working with devoted volunteers and concerned individuals to help improve the lives of cats living on St. Croix by getting these cats neutered/spayed, vaccinated, and ultimately off the streets and into loving homes.
- Cruzan Cowgirls Horse Rescue is the only horse rescue on St. Croix and provides sanctuary for retired racehorses, as well as homeless, neglected and abused horses, and ensures that each horse given a combination of veterinary care, vaccinations, worming, external parasite control, hoof care and nutritional supplementation, in addition to mental rehabilitation, based on individual needs.
- The Sunshine Foundation is dedicated to ending pet overpopulation on St Croix by providing basic, high-volume/low-cost spay and neuter services to people and pets in need.
- St. Croix Environmental Association (SEA) is committed to protecting and conserving the beautiful island environment of St. Croix, by creating innovative environmental education programs for children and adults, sponsoring fun and educational activities and events, and remaining vigilant in seeking compliance with local and federal environmental regulations.
- Clean Up St. Croix is a group of volunteers that organizes beach clean-ups island wide, as well as promoting environmentally friendly philosophies and habits. Clean Up St. Croix is seeking to foster real changes through commUNITY and cooperation, as well as searching to understand the root of the litter issue on our beautiful island.
- Clean Sweep Frederiksted is a coalition of community stakeholders dedicated to the economic development and revitalization of Frederiksted, and they spearhead various opportunities throughout the year to encourage and engage the community to participate in the ongoing beautification initiatives such as trash clean-ups and painting murals in public areas.
- The Nature Conservancy as a whole strives to conserve the lands and waters on which all life depends. Here on St. Croix, the Conservancy monitors the nests of threatened sea turtle species at Jack & Isaac’s Bay Preserve, and is restoring coral reefs, with staff transplanting over 15,000 corals in the USVI and sharing their findings with the wider Caribbean.
National & Territorial Parks Support Organizations
- Friends of the St. Croix USVI National Parks is a nonprofit organization that supports St. Croix’s three National Parks: Christiansted National Historic Site, Salt River Bay Historical Park & Ecological Preserve, and Buck Island Reef National Monument. Their mission is to increase public awareness and appreciation of the National Parks on St Croix through education, community outreach, and civic engagement while supporting the Parks’ mission to preserve and interpret our natural and cultural resources within the Parks and in our community as a whole.
- Friends of St. Croix East End Marine Park (STXEEMP) supports the programs and mission of STXEEMP by promoting responsible recreation, enhancing community outreach and education, and improving compliance or regulations within the STXEEMP.
While we should all strive to better ourselves, why not also strive to better the community at the same time? You can volunteer your time or skills to a favorite organization, donate gently-used goods to those who need them, or send a financial donation to any one of St. Croix’s worthy causes. You can even help out simply by attending one of the many fundraising events held each year on St. Croix such as: Kayak for Kids, Reef Jam, Animal Jam, or the Holiday Hope Benefit. Whatever you can offer, every little bit helps these nonprofit organizations to fulfill their missions and take care of our community! The GOTO Team will be doing what we can to spread the word about the island’s many charities and organizations. Visit our Community Organizations page for more information and volunteer opportunities!
– Jennie Ogden, Editor