The BVI Hands-Free initiative has assisted hundreds of people in the territory, including infants and the elderly.
In her latest social media update, local businesswoman, philanthropist and organizer Alexandra Durante said these persons are from three of the four main islands — Tortola, Virgin Gorda, and Anegada.
“We are proud to announce that as of today, BVI Hands-Free has supported over 58 families, directly helping 308 people including babies, the vulnerable and the elderly,” Durante wrote.
She said when the lockdown came into effect, BVI Hands-Free had to adapt and narrow its focus “on the most urgent needs of at-risk families who were often nearly out of baby formula, diapers, and other needs for their children”.
While the initiative initially focused on assisting persons with their rent, bills and other needs, Durante said they made the decision to provide help on a one-time basis for persons with “ immediate emergency needs for babies, children, or at-risk elderly persons”.
“BVI Hands-Free is happy to link you with established programmes, such as Family Support Network, Red Cross, and Promoting Animal Welfare (PAW) if you need, but moving forward we will only be helping those with immediate emergency needs for babies, children, or at-risk elderly persons.”
What exactly is BVI Hands-Free?
The initiative was organized to assist persons who are facing hardships brought on by the COVID-19 pandemic to pay their rent, utilities and other living expenses.
“Basically, it (the Hands-Free portal) is a website that connects people with the means to help people who need help from going insane essentially,” she said during an earlier interview.
Durante said while all names of the persons who receive assistance will be confidential, the BVI Hands-Free team will be “very diligent in checking them against other Non-Profit Organization lists to try to eliminate fraud”.
Durante also spearheads an annual children’s Christmas gift-sharing initiative called the Tree of Hands.
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