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Program Summary

Disaster Profile

On September 6, 2017 Hurricane Irma slammed into the US Virgin Islands as a Category 5 storm, with record wind speeds of 200 mph, making it one of the worst natural disasters to have hit the islands. The islands suffered severe wind and flood damage, reducing many areas to rubble. In light of the almost total devastation, All Hands and Hearts sent a Rapid Response Team to the islands. Less than two weeks later, the team was evacuated due to Hurricane Maria, which struck the islands on September 20 as a Category 4 storm.

Our Work

We responded to the outcry for help with debris removal, mucking and gutting, mold sanitization, and minor repairs on homes and schools across the islands of  St. Thomas, USVI and St. John, USVI. More than a year later, our volunteers are still working to bring lasting strength to the island of St.John. We continue our recovery efforts by rebuilding disaster-resilient schools and repairing homes in a more resilient way.

On the island of St. John, teams focused on assessments of damaged homes on the island, as well as repairing and rebuilding home interiors and roofs. Additionally, cleaning and clearing, sanitation and debris removal were performed as the aftermath of Hurricanes Irma and Maria weighed heavily on the community. While we have focused on interior work in St. John, the team also sealed its first concrete roof on the island and volunteered for a day at a local farm. Our final rebuild queue is set as we continue to restore home interiors before our USVI program comes to a close. 

Our teams on St. Thomas worked tirelessly to aid recovery and have completed their work on the island. We completed work on 12 schools, where volunteers performed work that included rebuilding structures, clearing and sanitizing interiors and performing full interior retrofits where needed. The roofs were also repaired with disaster-resilient techniques by installing hurricane ties and new galvalume. In addition to school repair and rebuild efforts, volunteers helped to repair fencing around a ballpark, tennis court, basketball court and batting cages at Alvin McBean Park. Our volunteers also undertook efforts to help repair the Youth Development Center by soundproofing a music studio so that students can return for music lessons, recording sessions and martial arts classes. Additionally, our volunteers were actively involved in rebuilding homes. 

Our Impact

We made a long-term disaster relief commitment to help the US Virgin Islands recover and after nearly 2 years on the islands, our work is coming to an end. 

Thanks to critical support from partners like Norwegian Cruise Lines and Island Spirit Fund, donors, local community and volunteers from around the world, we ran an impactful program on St. Thomas (September ‘17 – April ‘19) and St. John since February 16th, 2018. 

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Lives Impacted
Volunteers
Jobs Completed
Volunteer Days
Lives Impacted
Volunteers
Jobs Completed
Volunteer Days

Program Work

Our team continues work on the island of St. John, performing assessments of damaged homes, repairing and rebuilding home interiors and undertaking sanitation and debris removal.

Educational facilities retrofit

Retrofitting building means to take existing structures and engineering them to be more resilient for future disasters. Some typical elements of a retrofit could include reinforcing concrete, strengthening the masonry, and replacing walls. In St. Thomas, we are performing a full interior retrofit of St Andrew’s Computer Lab. Our work includes installing new walls, ceilings, floors, doors, trim, kitchen cabinets and a vanity. "

Educational facilities retrofit

Retrofitting building means to take existing structures and engineering them to be more resilient for future disasters. Some typical elements of a retrofit could include reinforcing concrete, strengthening the masonry, and replacing walls. In St. Thomas, we are performing a full interior retrofit of St Andrew’s Computer Lab. Our work includes installing new walls, ceilings, floors, doors, trim, kitchen cabinets and a vanity. "

Repairing homes

Repairing homes mean repairing the interior of the home and to provide the homeowners with a finished place to live. The scope of our work involves installing ceiling panels, installing ceramic tiles, interior and exterior painting, and minor interior home and school repairs.

Repairing homes

Repairing homes mean repairing the interior of the home and to provide the homeowners with a finished place to live. The scope of our work involves installing ceiling panels, installing ceramic tiles, interior and exterior painting, and minor interior home and school repairs.

Site Supervisors in training

Skills development

We provide hands-on training to volunteers interested in becoming Construction Site Supervisors. Site Supervisors are responsible for leading groups of skilled and unskilled volunteers in construction projects in disaster-impacted communities.

Site Supervisors in training

Skills development

We provide hands-on training to volunteers interested in becoming Construction Site Supervisors. Site Supervisors are responsible for leading groups of skilled and unskilled volunteers in construction projects in disaster-impacted communities.

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Blessings from paradise

Homeowners Sharon & David Mckee share their first-hand story of how volunteers hauled dumpsters of debris and prepared their hurricane-torn home for rebuilding.

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Volunteer Spotlight: Nikki

Nikki is a long term volunteer and Navy veteran in based in St. Thomas.

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