Good Morning! I hope that you all had a great weekend that spans into this national holiday. Today is Martin Luther King, Jr. Day, as designated by Congress in 1986. This particular “holiday” honoring this inspirational man who peacefully paved the way for the Civil Rights Movement is designated as “a day ON, not a day OFF.” In the spirit of his service and leadership, this third Monday in January “is the only federal holiday designated as a national day of service to encourage all Americans to volunteer to improve their communities.”
In honor of that, I thought today might be a good day to highlight a few of our local non-profits that are hosting online fundraising and virtual events over the next month. And some additional organizations who are busy doing great work in the community here! By reading below and choosing to donate to your passion project, you can do your part on this national day of service and support the community of St. John.
St. John School of the Arts Online Auction and Concert Series
The St. John School of the Arts (SJSA) aims to empower the children of St. John through the arts. This incredibly youth focused organization aims to empower the children of St. John through the arts, citing that “Immersion in creativity, self-discipline and self-expression infuses the intellectual, social and psychological well being of our children.”
They offer a variety of visual, language and performance art programs for the kiddos. Although they do charge a nominal fee for their programs, SJSA vows to never turn a student away for lack of payment and have several scholarship programs available to support that.
Yesterday, STJSA launched an online art auction offering paintings, photographs, ceramics, jewelry, fabric art and designs. All of the artwork is originally crafted by an artist who lives, or has lived on St. John. The auction benefits both the school AND the artists with 60% of each item going back to the creator and 40% going to SJSA’a very necessary programs for the creative development of St. John’s kiddos!
The bidding ends on Valentine’s Day at 11:55 pm. So head over to the online auction to register and start your bidding today. If you would like to simply donate directly to SJSA, they have a multitude of ways that you can support them including donating direct to scholarship programs OR sponsoring a child for a year.
Additionally, SJSA is launching its annual Sis Frank Concert Series virtually this Friday, January 22 at 7PM island time (one hour ahead of the East Coast). From 7-7:30 the event will begin with a live mingle with the artists with Q & A opportunities and the concert to follow. You must register to join the zoom for this concert series that relies on donations to keep it going. To see the full schedule and register for the zoom, visit the events page for SJSA.
Friends of Virgin Islands National Park Gala at Your Home
Traditionally, the Annual Friends of Virgin Islands National Park Gala is a revered event on St. John. The fundraiser is traditionally hosted at elaborate villa and greets hundreds of residents and visitors with a jovial evening of fine food and drink, good company and a silent auction, all for a good cause….Protecting and preserving Virgin Islands National Park.
Typically, the event’s tickets go for more than $150 per person. But, this year, the Friends have moved their event to the world wide web on February 6 and are inviting you all to join in the fun for the low ticket price of $40.
With this ticket, you will participate virtually in a toast, a virtual concert with Chasing Hues and a fun game of island trivia. Other offerings surround the event are a catered dinner to go by Michelin-Star chef Vincent Alterio, the opportunity to enter and win the golden ticket raffle or a jewelry raffle and an online silent auction. The event will be live on February 6 from 7PM-9PM.
The catered dinner is only available to those of you who are fortunate enough to be on St. John and, for $150 per person, includes a choice of three menus, a wine pairing, and an optional delivery service. Dinner tickets must be purchased by JANUARY 20. The silent auction goes live on February 1 and closes on February 12.
For more details or to purchase tickets for the event, the dinner and try your hand at the raffle or silent auction, visit the event’s website.
Island Health and Wellness Sole Provider of COVID-19 Vaccinations on St. John
I CANNOT say enough good things about this non-profit clinic on St. John! Board Certified Family Nurse Practitioner, Sandy Colasacco noticed the lack of affordable health care in the territory while practicing here after her move to St. John in 2003.
In 2012 she began researching ways to solve that problem and later founded the Island Health and Wellness Center with a mission to “provide quality, compassionate, and affordable healthcare to adults, children and families of all ages on St. John in need of primary, preventive and educational medical services.”
Years of invaluable, affordable healthcare services to the community later, Sandy finds herself as the sole provider of COVID-19 vaccinations on St. John with a wait list of hundreds of front line workers and St. John residents aged 65 and older, anxious to receive the vaccine.*
The little clinic that could is funded solely on grants and donations. And, with Sandy (Also the guru grant writer!) consumed with administering and coordinating vaccinations AND seeing regular patients, some donation power put behind Island Health and Wellness right now would be a huge service to the staff and the community of St. John!
For more information or to mak a tax deductible donation, please visit their website. Thank you Sandy and staff at Island Health for this incredible service that you provide to Love City!!!
*They do not take phone calls or appointments for the vaccination and are ONLY serving St. John residents. Any and all inquiries must be submitted via email and include the recipient’s name, DOB, phone number, proof of residency and occupation.
Some Other Notable Love City Community Oriented Organizations:
If you love St. John and would like to get into a rotation of giving to local organizations, here are a few more to look into!
Island Green Living Association
No matter, your passion, there is always a way to support those who support this beautiful community. I’ll leave you today with an infamous quote from the late, great Dr. King…
“Everybody can be great … because anybody can serve. You don’t have to have a college degree to serve. You don’t have to make your subject and verb agree to serve. You only need a heart full of grace. A soul generated by love.”