MAKING AN IMPACT
Changing lives and improving our community one youth at a time...
Eight years ago Resa O’Reilly Shearn, Executive Director and Founder of St. Croix non-profit Project Promise, was watching TV when images of an orphanage in a remote village in Tanzania caught her attention. She immediately knew that she wanted to support this orphanage as part of Project Promise’s international outreach efforts. As a result, the annual “Toys for Tanzania” initiative was born.
Nine years ago Project Promise President and Founder Resa O’Reilly saw a dilapidated building in downtown Christiansted—a building that had sat empty for 30 years—and had a vision. “One day,” she thought to herself, “this building is going to be a thriving community center and the home for an organization that will truly make a difference in the lives of at-risk youth here in the Virgin Islands.” With this vision in mind Resa launched Project Promise, operating out of borrowed space as she built an organization that now runs three on-going programs for area youth and completes numerous community service projects each year.
When St. Croix non-profit Project Promise launched its flagship Caterpillar Project to provide a full range of programming for a group of at-risk youth, it made community service an integral part of the program. The COVID-19 pandemic has not stopped this. In fact, it is the focus of their current efforts! With the goal of creating and implementing a community service project that can potentially impact the entire St. Croix community, the “Caterpillars” have completed Heart to Heart International’s COVID-19 Youth Ambassador program.
Project Promise’s Caterpillar students drove across America this summer to make an impact on communities outside of the U.S. Virgin Islands.
The Caterpillars touched down in New York with stops in Pennsylvania, Ohio, Indiana, Illinois, Missouri, Tennessee, Arkansas, Oklahoma, Texas, New Mexico, Arizona, Nevada, and California
After learning that some kids in Mon Bijou are playing basketball at night on a court lit by car headlights (the existing lights aren't working), our Caterpillars got to work raising money to purchase solar lights for their court! On Saturday August 13th, not only did we donate solar lights, we were also able to purchase and donate basketballs as well.
Pictured: Elroy Bascombe, a Mon Bijou resident receives our donation from two of our Caterpillars- Alejandro Quinones (on the left) and Jamoy Rodriguez (on the right).
When St. Croix non-profit Project Promise launched its flagship Caterpillars Project to provide a full range of programming for a group of at-risk youth, it made community service an integral part of the program. This month was no exception. In keeping with the program’s December theme of “world perspective,” the students were excited to participate in Project Promise’s annual “Toys for Tanzania” Initiative.
DSPR and Volunteers Rehab Playground
Project Promise, in collaboration with the V.I. Department of Sports Parks and Recreation (VIDSPR) and visiting volunteers, renovated the playground at La Grande Princesse Park. Volunteers from Project Promise, workers from Parks and Recreation and students from Project Promise’s Caterpillar Project installed a new piece of equipment called a geo dome climber.
When Resa O’Reilly, the founder and president of St. Croix non-profit Project Promise, travels, she loves doing service projects that positively impact the local community at her destination. So, when Resa received a phone call from a like-minded Houston mom, she got quite excited. Lereca Monik and her daughter LeReine—a 7-year-old model, philanthropist and speaker nicknamed “Cookie”—were planning to spend Christmas in St. Croix. While in town they wanted to do a community service project to impact local kids in need. Could Project Promise assist? Yes, of course!
Letters of Love to Senior Citizens
Last year, Resa O’Reilly, founder and president of St. Croix’s non-profit Project Promise, took a group of local teens and their chaperones on a life-changing road trip across America. The “2019 Summer of Service” trip combined sightseeing and learning with multiple community service projects, including spending time getting to know the residents at Clair House, which is a 62-unit senior housing facility in Chicago. Now these teens are building on the connections they forged by sending uplifting letters of hope and encouragement during the coronavirus pandemic.
When Resa O’Reilly, founder and president of St. Croix non-profit Project Promise, plans a vacation, she never makes it “just about her.” As someone who is absolutely dedicated to Project Promise’s vision of bringing about positive change in our world, she always looks for ways to make a positive impact on the local children while she is there. O’Reilly’s recent birthday trip to Cuba was an excellent example of this.
Altona Lagoon on MLK Day
Project Promise’s Caterpillar Project program honored Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.’s legacy with a day of service. It has become an annual tradition for the program participants, who join thousands around the world in honoring King’s birthday as a “day on, not a day off.”
Fund Insurance Costs for Students
Project Promise’s Caterpillar students have turned their Creative Expression beading project into a community service outreach. Officials from Project Promise announced this week that monies raised by the program’s students will be used to cover the cost of school insurance for more than 40 students in need at Lew Muckle Elementary School.