Cane Bay Cares, in fiduciary partnership with the Community Foundation of the Virgin Islands, and #BStrongGlobalBetter are proud to present “Relief to Rebuild” at the St. George Village Botanical Garden on Saturday, Jan. 20 – our biggest general distribution so far!

It’s not just our largest distribution – it is literally twice the size of all of our other distributions combined! We’re talking 50,000 pounds of aid, including 22,000 pounds of water, 9,000 pounds of food, 5,200 pounds of baby items, 4,500 pounds of cleaning products, 3,300 pounds of paper products, 1,300 pounds of tools and tarps, 1,000 pounds of first aid and more!

The goods were collected through individual donations in Florida by the #BStrongGlobalBetter movement, which is a coalition of groups such as BStrong, Global Empowerment Mission, We Do Better and Third Wave Volunteers. These groups have been delivering aid to islands impacted by Hurricanes Irma and Maria for the past four months. Then Tanner Lewis, a Crucian involved with the group, suggested they support St. Croix too. And when Kimberly Bentley contacted Cane Bay Cares with the offer to take three containers full of aid – we jumped at the opportunity. The first container was shipped through a generous donation by ReV!ve VI and the second two containers were shipped directly by Cane Bay Cares.

Cane Bay Cares then arraigned for the three containers to be delivered to the St. George Village Botanical Garden for preparations and distribution. Amy Parker De Sorbo, of the Garden, was generous enough to let us use the garden and also support the effort every step of the way.

Our rock star volunteers – too many to name – coordinated all the on the ground logistics and provided the manpower to sort and organize the goods ahead of the distribution. They also swept and mopped the pavilion, cleaned the bathrooms and the chairs in preparation for the distribution. Read our full blog on our volunteers here.

And there are so many vendors and businesses who gave us discounts, waived payment altogether, accepted late payments, rushed orders and went out of their way to make this happen and past distributions happen. They include, but definitely not limited to, Richie’s Trucking, Anduze Visuals, Nicole Canegata, JKC Communications, VI Cargo, Crowley Shipping, House of Printing and Dennis Sheraw and Associates Security.

One thing is for sure, it takes a village. Getting through a storm takes a village, surviving the aftermath, recovering and rebuilding takes a village. And that’s what this event represents. It’s not just our largest distribution, it also marks a turning point in our efforts, where we begin to focus on the long-term, on the rebuild. We’re in many discussions in determining our long-term focus and most of us are leaning toward education since so many of the schools have been condemned and so many of our students are lacking full and robust schooling – and we believe that education solves many of our other problems since it gives young people a positive path, one of economic fulfillment and independence so they can then contribute back to the island and continue to support its growth. We will announce full plans when they are solidified – but one thing is for sure: We are nowhere near done! And, whatever we do, we’re going to need all of you to make it happen – because it takes a village!