Virgin Islands Association DC Inc. has donated 10,000 disposable three-ply masks to the U.S. Virgin Islands Department of Health to help curb the spread of COVID-19 in the territory.
Virgin Islands Association DC’s president, Nicole George, presented the masks to the commissioner of Health Justa Encarnacion on Friday. President George noted that Virgin Islands Association DC members are committed to giving back to the community that nurtured them and promoting positive change in the territory. Commissioner Encarnacion expressed her heart-felt appreciation for the donation, adding that “This kind gesture from the Virgin Islands Association DC shows that even from abroad, Virgin Islanders continue to look out for each other. The 10,000 masks will reach senior citizens and our first responders. On behalf of the Department of Health, we are grateful.”
Through its community outreach activities, the Department of Health will distribute 4,000 of the donated masks on both St. Croix and St. Thomas and 2,000 masks on St. John.
In addition to the mask donation, in the fall of 2020, the association provided $1,000 in financial support to 10 students from the territory under the Virgin Islands Association DC Scholarship Program. The 2020 Virgin Islands Association DC Robert Finch Memorial Scholarship recipients include the following applicants, their high school and college/university where they have enrolled.
- N’Kosi Benjamin, (Free Will Baptist Christian School), Florida Institute of Technology
- Craig Benjamin, (Atholton High School), Towson State University
- Jayme Colbert-Williams, (St. Croix Central High School), Florida A&M University
- DeQuanda Defoe, (Ivanna Eudora Kean High School), Mary Baldwin University
- Agathe Emeran, (Charlotte Amalie High School), Embry Riddle Aeronautical University
- Denali Georges, (Free Will Baptist Christian School), Liberty University
- Michayeaela Hodge, (Charlotte Amalie High School), Florida Memorial University
- Tamera Laurent, (Ivanna Eudora Kean High School), University of the Virgin Islands
- Nia Sylvester, (St. Croix Educational Complex), Hampton University
- Jaiel Wyllis, (Ivanna Eudora Kean High School), University of the Virgin Islands
At the close of 2020, the association donated $200 to the St. John Community Food Pantry and another $200 to the Reichhold Center for the Arts. Over 40 years ago, the Virgin Islands Association DC was established to promote fellowship and foster a sense of belonging and loyalty to the V.I. Virgin Islands Association DC is known throughout Washington, D.C., Maryland and Virginia for its cultural activities including the annual summer fish fry, picnic and winter ball. It has held food drives for the homeless and hurricane relief drives for the USVI and other islands in the Caribbean.