Finding Love In All The Right Places: Service, Friendship, and Cheer in the Virgin Islands!
Lutheran Social Services of the Virgin Islands (LSSVI) is a multi-service non-profit organization headquartered in Frederiksted, St. Croix. It is the largest private child and family service agency in the U.S. Virgin Islands. They offer programs for abused, abandoned and neglected children, pregnant women and families, low income seniors, and adults with disabilities. The Columbia (MD) Links provides service and cheer to this often forgotten community.
Through our International Trends and Services (ITS) Facet, the Columbia (MD) chapter of The Links, Incorporated developed our Partners in Progress service program with LSSVI in 2016. In this partnership, the Columbia (MD) chapter provides fundraising for LSSVI programs, training for the staff, and service and friendship to the residents.
Our ITS Facet is led by the outstanding Allyson Owens, and she and several of ITS members traveled to St. Croix just in time to escape Winter storm that hit the east coast on March 21st! This year the Links worked directly with the staff at Queen Louise Home where children and family services are provided. The Links also worked with the adults with disabilities at the Ginger Thomas Resident home. The residents at Ginger Thomas were happy beyond words with the activities, singing, dancing, and friendship that the Links provided, and insisted that we return soon! We plan to go back next year!! We invite more of our Links sisters, not only from the Columbia (MD) chapter but from the Eastern Area, to join us in service or contributions to this worthy, labor of love endeavor!
Working with the adults with disabilities, not only made the residents happy, but it truly touched each of our hearts. We were overjoyed with the results from the day and gained a deep appreciation for the hard-working women and men who provide care and support services for the residents every single day.
Finally, we left St. Croix with the satisfaction of volunteer service and validation of why we are part of the amazing Links, Incorporated organization!