BVI News

Durante organizes initiative to help needy residents pay rent, utilities

Alexandra Durante is the owner of EC Soap Co and operates the well-known Tree of Hands charity locally.

By Esther Durand, BVI News Staff

Local businesswoman and philanthropist Alexandra Durante has organized a portal to assist residents — who are facing hardships brought on by the COVID-19 pandemic — to pay their rent, utilities and other living expenses.

Durante said the ‘BVI Hands-Free‘ initiative commenced a few weeks ago but was placed on hold because of the existing curfew. She told BVI News it will kick into high gear as soon as the lockdown ends on April 20.

“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 interview on Tuesday.

“We opened up the portion of the website for the last three weeks for volunteers — for people who are willing to help people get around — pick up groceries for them, pay their rent, or top up their phone and all the things people are going to be needing help with over the next few months,” Durante explained.

Progressing well

Durante said her latest initiative is progressing well and already 60 volunteers have signed up.

She explained that the volunteer who has the means to offer assistance would explicitly state what they are willing to do. And on the other hand, the person in need of help would indicate what area they require assistance.

“Then we connect the two, and they work out some way of helping pay the rent or getting the check to their landlord etcetera,” she explained.

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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12 Comments

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  1. Concerned says:

    I love this program . My concern is this place is very small and people tend to gossip a lot . We want to protect the families that will take part in this program and the person who will be helping the family or person in need. I hope that people will remember we are in the same boat . Blessings !

    Like 13
    • Okay says:

      No shame in needing help.

    • BVI Hands Free says:

      Good Day. I understand your concern and was our primary concern at the beginning of this project.
      Rest assured that the use of the data contained at the platform is for the strict use of the project in order to help and protect the person in need. The info will remain confidential.

    • It's ok says:

      If there is anyone who needs to be ashamed it is the big businesses laying off employees before things get hard. Please don’t be ashamed to get help, we are all going to need it at some point or another, it is not your fault you lost your job!

  2. Alexandra Durante says:

    This would not have been possible without the help of MicroAntix, Caro, Anne Reil, Jenn Gress, and countless other who have signed up to help assist in this wonderful initiative. Please visit http://www.bvihandsfree.com to sign up!

    Like 13
  3. Gmmm says:

    People will abuse this. How will you know if these ppl really need help or if they just greedy?

    Like 1
    Dislike 2
    • BVI Hands Free says:

      Good morning. Many thanks for your query.

      We have been partnering with FSN, Red Cross and YEP.

      All information got has been verified prior with then in order to reduce doubling of efforts and resources.

  4. Love This says:

    This is super. Got to volunteer.

  5. Gunit says:

    This is a super initiative. I will volunteer. Thanks for doing this.

  6. No nonsense says:

    Is this another unite BVI behind the scenes? This is the same fixing reason why we here with this Cocktail 19. The rich hidden hands finding ways to frig us

    Like 1
    Dislike 4
    • Nope says:

      We are not affiliated with Unite BVI! We are just a bunch of residents connecting with residents to offer help and assistance. Also, I don’t think that the rich made someone eat a bat….

      Like 3
      Dislike 1

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