ST. THOMAS, U.S. VIRGIN ISLANDS – Five million dollars has been officially pledged for U.S. Virgin Islands hurricane relief efforts by the Stephenson family, which operates International Capital & Management Company (ICMC) and other businesses in the Territory.
Governor Kenneth E. Mapp thanked the family on behalf of the people of the Virgin Islands and said their incredible generosity demonstrates a deep commitment to the Territory. He said the Stephenson family was not only to be commended for the significant donation to hurricane recovery efforts, but also for their ongoing endeavors to train and employ their fellow residents.
“You are fully a part of the Virgin Islands,” the Governor said. “I thank you, I commend you, I appreciate you.”
Richard J Stephenson, ICMC Founder and Chairman, and his daughter Annie Stephenson Hostetler, announced the donation at a Tuesday morning news conference held at the West Indian Company Limited (WICO) conference room on St. Thomas.
“When we saw the islands it was a real heartbreaker for us,” Stephenson said.
The Stephensons thanked Governor Mapp for his “visionary leadership” during this time of crisis. “Although you didn’t sign on for this task, it is a task that is uniquely yours,” Stephenson said.
The Stephenson family chose to make the news of their donation public in order to encourage others to contribute.
They are partnering with the Community Foundation of the Virgin Islands in launching HelpUSVINow! Tax deductible donations can be made at EDC Relief and Recovery.
In addition to pledging $5 million to the recovery effort, the Stephensons have helped evacuate residents and have brought in much needed supplies.
Annie Stephenson Hostetler said the entire family was honored to be part of rebuilding the Virgin Islands.
“I feel so incredibly blessed to be here, to share in this journey with you,” she said. “I wish there was more I could physically do.”
Governor Mapp said that recovery remained a day-by-day process and that many people in the Territory were still suffering.
“We must continue to look at the silver lining,” he said. “These donations will help us to rebuild a better, stronger and more resilient Virgin Islands.”