Catholic Charities

Kids Learn Summer Enrichment Camp
Registration is open for Kids Learn Summer Enrichment, which will be held at the Ss. Peter and Paul School on St. Thomas on June 18-July 27. The camp is a learning experience for children, ages 3 to 13, from low-income families. The camp offers an educational program in the morning and in the afternoon offers recreation, with an emphasis on cultural activities. The camp also allows the participants to explore their interest in music.
This year the theme for the camp will be “Around the Caribbean in Six Weeks.” Students will explore six countries of the Caribbean, focusing on traditional customs, art and crafts, foods, dances, geography and history. The students will present a Caribbean fair showcasing the products of their research and demonstrating how these countries celebrate special events.

Catholic Charities Supports Camp Shriver
Catholic Charities of the Virgin Islands (CCVI) is organizing registration, volunteers and financial contributions for this summer’s Camp Shriver. This free sports camp for youth with developmental disabilities, ages 8 to 15, will be held at Addilita Cancryn Junior High School on St. Thomas on July 9-27.
During the three-week period, campers learn sports skills, participate in individual and team sports, build friendships and have fun. Campers are partnered with young volunteers without disabilities, and the teammates participate jointly in daily activities, thereby developing camaraderie, teamwork and sportsmanship.
Camp Shriver will mark its sixth year in the U.S. Virgin Islands. The camp was introduced to the territory in 2007 by First Lady Cecile de Jongh and Deborah Delone, former executive director of CCVI. Camp Shriver was founded in 1962 by the late Eunice Kennedy Shriver.

Food Fest to Help the Hungry

Catholic Charities of the Virgin Islands (CCVI) will host the Virgin Islands’ first International Festival of Food at St. Croix’s Agricultural Fairgrounds on Sunday, August 12. Participants will have an opportunity to sample the authentic cuisine and enjoy traditional music and customs of many cultures in one afternoon without leaving St. Croix. The family-friendly festival also will feature dance, children’s games, souvenirs, and arts and crafts from many countries. There will be raffles, storytelling, poetry readings, cooking classes, grab bags, door prizes, flea markets and a fashion show.
CCVI seeks cooks, food lovers, food venders and restaurateurs to participate in this celebration of cultural diversity. Churches, non-profit associations and social organizations may raise funds by purchasing space to market the traditional foods, crafts and souvenirs of the country they wish to represent. CCVI also seeks volunteers to assist with the planning and execution of the festival. For more information, please call CCVI at 773-0132.
Generated funds will help CCVI assist the poor and homeless on St. Croix.

Healthcare for the Homeless
As many as 30 doctors have agreed to participate in “Healthcare for the Homeless-St. Thomas” at Catholic Charities’ Bethlehem House Shelter. Free clinics are scheduled for the last Saturday of each month.
The pilot program is the initiative of First Lady Cecile de Jongh in collaboration with Dr. George Rosenberg and members of the medical community. Catholic Charities board members Dr. Alfred Heath and Odile de Lyrot are coordinating the project and soliciting the needed materials. My Brother’s Workshop is constructing a medical examination room.
Volunteers are needed. Anyone wishing to contribute their time or talent should contact executive director Michael Akin at Catholic Charities of the Virgin Islands at (340) 777-8518.

Student Fundraiser
Students at Antilles School on St. Thomas learned about hunger and homelessness and responded by raising $300 for Catholic Charities’ Bethlehem House Shelter for the Homeless. The sixth graders ended their study dramatically with an “Empty Bowl” luncheon on May 9, where they were served only a small bowl of soup, a piece of bread and a glass of water.

New Shelter Manager
Laurine Parrilla is the new manager of Bethlehem House for the Homeless on St. Croix. Ms. Parrilla held several positions at the shelter since 2003. She is responsible for the day-to-day operations of the shelter.
Food for the Needy

Catholic Charities of the Virgin Islands now has a container and signage at Cost-U-Less on St. Thomas for on-going food collection.
Parishes are encouraged to participate in food drives and to donate specific items each month. The reason for donating specific items is that with enough of the same product, the cooks can make a large meal for their needy guests. Please collect the following items at your church, school or workplace in May and bring them to Catholic Charities' shelters:
§ Canned chicken breast
§ Instant mashed potatoes
§ Canned beets

Catholic Charities Produces Promotional Film
New York filmmaker Elliot Lowenstein and local technician Timothy Washington filmed a short documentary on the services and activities of Catholic Charities of the Virgin Islands (CCVI). The project was paid for by Mr. and Mrs. Eugene Mallette and the Mallette Family Trust.
The crew visited St. Thomas, St. Croix and St. John, and interviewed homeless clients at all CCVI’s facilities including the soup kitchens and shelters. Clients were asked to give testimony as to how they were assisted by Catholic Charities.
The film will be completed by year’s end. It will be featured on and used in fundraising presentations and events.

Catholic Charities of the Virgin Islands is now accepting donations via its website, The website also has information about local Catholic Charities programs, including:
* Bethlehem House Shelter for the Homeless
* Soup Kitchens
* HAPICAT Program
* Food Baskets
* Emergency Help
* Project for Assistance in Transition from Homelessness
* Camp Shriver Summer Camp
* Kids Learn Summer Program