The Seventh-day Adventist (SDA) Church on St. Croix, through its Adventist Development and Relief Agency (ADRA), expressed its support for community needs by making a contribution of $650.00 to the St. Croix Long-term Recovery Group. This organization assists vulnerable members of the community recover through the pooling of resources in the wake of disasters.
Mr. Roosevelt Joseph, Director of local ADRA, said, “Since the hurricanes of 2017, ADRA, through its local endeavors, has been doing its part to assist the community of St. Croix. With the daily uncertainty of whether another hurricane might strike, at any time, ADRA has taken on the opportunity to partner with a local organization in order to extend their reach. The reminders of 2017 have taken an enormous toll on many but God is in control. We can trust that God is ultimately in control of everything. We need to rely on Him completely. We are undertaking this task knowledgeable that we are part of a global community whose name is synonymous with assisting in times of need. As an official, registered organization in the community, ADRA is, with the little that it has, partnering with this organization to lend support for community needs. We are confident our God, whom we serve, remains our refuge and strength. He is our present help in trouble. He is the rock on which we stand, and He remains our shelter in the time of storm. We are not alone. We are part of a big family and feel loved and supported at this time.”
Mrs. Delia Richardson, Executive Director of the St. Croix Long-term Recovery Group, accepted the donation on behalf of the organization. Mrs. Richardson is also a member of the Virgin Islands Voluntary Organizations Active in Disaster (VI-VOAD) and Secretary of the St. Croix VOAD chapter. She said, “Today, I see a coming together of hearts. I see us standing with one mind regarding who our beneficiaries are and [they are] the individuals in our community - especially those who are less fortunate. The partnership will allow the community to win because we have the same mindset and the same focus.”
Reflecting on how the vulnerable segment of the local population increased after Hurricanes Irma and Maria in 2017, Mrs. Richardson added, “It therefore becomes necessary to cooperate with government and other local entities in order to fulfill the needs of our people. An example is through volunteers. For example, our organization provided volunteers to help fill sandbags and distribute tarp sheeting as we prepare in this upcoming hurricane season. We identify possible gaps in the community and help bridge those gaps as much as we are able to. The money donated will be used to provide 1000 emergency prep kits that are being put together for the first time in the territory. It will be distributed to the vulnerable community members (who are 65 years and older, live alone on fixed/limited income) as they too prepare for emergency needs.”
In conclusion, Mrs. Richardson thanked the SDA Church and said, “I love the opportunity to partner with your organization. I know you do work that helps to build the community as well.” She listed areas of resilience and education and possible areas of partnership that can yield positive community impact.
Along with the secretary of the St. Croix SDA Coordinating Council Mrs. Germaine Powell, the local coordinator of the SDA work on St. Croix, Pastor Earl Daniel, was present and expressed his support for the ADRA donation, “Meeting the needs of the community is what the local coordinating body is all about. We are very thankful for their work on behalf of the human family.”