Don’t just take a trip, take a Voluntourism vacation
Purpose in Paradise is a comprehensive program that enhances the Territory’s broad network of community-based philanthropic activities and strengthens our ability to attract visitors in search of purpose-driven travel opportunities. The initiative pairs visitors who are interested in helping the Territory’s recovery efforts with local nonprofit organizations in need of assistance with specific projects such as rebuilding a vegetable garden, coral restoration, helping to measure seedlings in mangroves or collaborating on student literacy.
The program is built around three pillars designed to present a broad range of philanthropic opportunities for visitors to the U.S. Virgin Islands:
From sports programs, to music rooms and libraries our schools would love it if you stopped by to lend a hand. Let’s face it, we all have school experience . . . Come share it with the islands that give all of us so much.
- Rebuilding of the agricultural garden programs
- Adopt-A-Library partnership for libraries that were destroyed
- School sports equipment and clinics
- Music equipment drive and partnership
- School lecture program
- Literacy program initiatives – ‘Little Libraries’ assembly
The thing that has brought people to the Virgin Islands from around the world for centuries is the natural beauty that is second to none. Our commitment to sustainability and protecting our environment remains an integral of our way of life.
- Coral Restoration and Mangrove Clean Up – EpScor
- Trails and Beach Clean Up – Friends of the National Park
- Rebuilding parks and walkways at elementary school campuses
- Fence installation/light construction for play grounds
Our ingenuity has sustained us for generations. The creativity in the home-grown products of the Virgin Islands makes them so unique and desirable.
- Working with nonprofit groups to provide management support for the development and sale of products made in the Virgin Islands
Luggage for Life
Partnering with Afya Foundation, the Department of Tourism invites travelers to the USVI to make a powerful impact by participating in Luggage for Life — an environmentally friendly and simple way to deliver crucial medical supplies to the Territory.
We hope you will take advantage of this opportunity to help support communities in need.
Here’s what happens once you have decided to participate by bringing a Luggage for Life duffel bag filled with medical supplies to the U.S. Virgin Islands:
- Afya provides the duffel bag and the medical supplies (50 pounds of items such as bandages, dressings, gauze, birthkits, syringes, surgical gowns, gloves, sutures, etc.)
- You make a donation of $150 to Afya Foundation to cover the cost of collecting, storing and shipping the supplies to you prior to traveling. Please note: This contribution is not tax-deductible.
- You pack the medical supplies into the duffel bag, and at your departure point, you pay any applicable checked baggage fees charged by your carrier (typically $25 to $35).
- Upon arrival at the airport in the Territory, a Department of Tourism representative will meet you to thank you for your service and collect the Luggage for Life duffel bag.
- You continue on to experience an unforgettable visit to St. Croix, St. John or St. Thomas, knowing that your efforts will make a significant difference in the lives of Virgin Islanders!
In addition to the chance to participate in a purpose-driven project, Purpose in Paradise allows visitors who may not be able to donate time in person to contribute financially to the Territory’s recovery. Groups such as Friends of Virgin Islands National Park (St. John), the St. Croix Landmarks Society and the Family Resource Center in St. Thomas are just a few examples of the many 501(c)(3) organizations that are performing essential community-based work.
Click here to visit the Afya/Luggage for Life website and get started on traveling with an even greater purpose!
Current Listing of USVI IRS Approved 501(c)(3) nonprofit organizations
Mission: Project Promise is dedicated to improving the lives of at-risk youth on St. Croix by providing empowerment initiatives, cultural programs, and family services. Project Promise’s The Caterpillar Project is a long-term program designed to make a significant difference in the lives of at-risk youth in St. Croix. This holistic approach program works with students from the 5th grade through 12th grade and focuses on nine areas of interest: Life Coaching, Mentoring, Community Service, Educational Intervention, Career Exploration, Personal Wellness, Creative Expression, Cultural Awareness, and Family Support Services.
St. Croix Foundation For Community Development
Since 1990, St. Croix Foundation for Community Development has been advancing holistic community development as a pathway to economic prosperity, self-sufficiency, and sustainability. Established in the wake of Hurricane Hugo, today the Foundation is one of the premier place-based philanthropic leaders in the Virgin Islands. Having served as the conduit of over $37 million private and public sector dollars invested into the U.S. Virgin Islands, the Foundation’s impact has netted national recognition in almost every priority area – from economic development and community revitalization to public health, education reform, and nonprofit development.
St. Croix Landmarks Society
Our Mission is to advance the understanding and appreciation of the unique historical and cultural legacy of St. Croix through preservation, research and education.
Through its museums and an array of educational programs, the Landmarks Society continues to cultivate appreciation of St. Croix’s rich history and enduring legacy.
St. Croix Environmental Association (SEA)
Our Mission is to promote the conservation of environmental resources, provide education and advocate for environmentally responsible actions that benefit St. Croix.
Friends of Virgin Islands National Park
The Friends of Virgin Islands National Park advances the protection and preservation of the natural and cultural resources of Virgin Islands National Park and promotes the responsible enjoyment of this unique national treasure while educating and inspiring adults and children to be stewards of the environment.
St. John Community Foundation
The St. John Community Foundation has successfully been carrying out the mission of providing services and supporting programs that positively engage people, build resources and strengthen the St. John community since 1989! We continuously look for ways to fill service gaps and cultivate community assets including people, organizations, programs, and resources to effectively respond to changing needs of the community now and for future generations.
Family Resource Center
Family Resource Center, Inc. (FRC) (Formerly Women’s Resource Center, Inc.) was incorporated in 1987 to establish a counseling program and a shelter for victims of domestic violence and sexual assault. Our services began in 1986 with the opening of our emergency shelter for women and children. Since that time FRC has expanded its services to include all victims of violent crime and families in crisis. Family Resource Center opened its doors with a clear purpose – to end family violence. It has been a long but fruitful journey from our first one room office to our now four unique facilities.
My Brother’s Workshop
My Brother’s Workshop provides faith and hope to at-risk and high-risk youths in the US Virgin Islands through mentoring, counseling, education, paid job training, and job placement. Through your gift, you are helping to change lives in our young people! We now stand ready to feed people in our converted cafe and rebuild the homes through our workshop. We will become job creators and help stabilize the economy!!! Hope is ALIVE!!!
Community Foundation of the Virgin Islands
The Community Foundation of the Virgin Islands is a philanthropic organization that manages a permanent collection of funds as well as essential programs and services to benefit the citizens of the USVI. CFVI was created to serve both donors and nonprofit organizations of the Virgin Islands that want to ensure the highest quality of life for present and future generations.
Reef Responsible Sustainable Seafood Initiative
The Reef Responsible Sustainable Seafood Initiative is a market-driven approach to a sustainable seafood industry and healthy reefs that offers incentives and educational tools to participating restaurants. The initiative is a project under a NOAA Cooperative Agreement with The Nature Conservancy.
*The St. Croix Environmental Association (SEA) receives funds for the Reef Responsible Seafood Initiative.
Thank you in advance for your support!