ST. CROIX, U.S. Virgin Islands – To date, FEMA has provided more than $370,000 for invitational travel to bring more than 400 volunteers to the U.S. Virgin Islands (USVI). Volunteers utilized more than $125,000 in building materials from Lutheran Disaster Response and the St. Croix Long Term Recovery Group, contributing 25,000 hours to repairing survivor homes.
During their time in St. Croix the United Methodist Volunteers in Mission completed 31 homes, their highly skilled volunteers replaced roofs, made structural repairs and ensured homes are safe, dry and functional. Many of the homes belong to senior citizens and those with mobility challenges.
As each home was completed, Partners for Healthy Communities, St. Croix Lutheran Social Services, volunteers, family, neighbors and friends came together to welcome survivors back into their homes with a Last Nail Ceremony. The homeowner drove the final nail into the home with a Danish hammer. The symbolic hammer represents an unexpected source of help to rescue those in need.
As a parting gift, the volunteers also gave each family a personal gift for their home, including lawn chairs, orchid plants, towels or blankets.
It is only through the generosity of volunteer labor, valued over $1.6 million, that this important work was completed.
FEMA’s mission is helping people before, during, and after a disaster.
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