Greetings from St. Thomas!


Founder and Director Nick Ascienzo shares this note from St. Thomas!

Hello, friends and followers of Ascienzo Family Foundation, from St. Thomas, USVI! No, I’m not vacationing, but rather going into my fourth week of volunteering with a non-profit group called All Hands and All Hearts. They have been assisting in the recovery of the island after Hurricanes Irma and Maria devastated the Island in the fall of 2017. Since then, some 3.3 million dollars and 1200 volunteers have brought relief to individual homeowners and communities throughout the area. The project is ending by April 29th, and I’m humbled to have been part of such a massive operation. Our last site rebuild is a community park, started in December of 2018, and scheduled for completion today, April 25th, at which time a celebration of renewal will take place - an appropriate last big event for staffers, volunteers, and local families!

Although our missions serve different needs, the AFF and All Hands and All Hearts have a commonality that has become increasingly apparent with each passing day. We both strive to build communities - the AFF through local outreach programs and ambassador networks, and All Hands and All Hearts through their home rebuild assistance which allows individuals to be dynamic members in the rebuilding of their own previously disrupted neighborhood. We share a spirit of compassion for those who are underserved and a mission of partnering with those that can effect positive change. My vantage point today as a foot soldier for All Hands and All Hearts in the renewal of St. Thomas is not altogether that different from my view as a director for the AFF - from both positions I see connectivity as the key to accomplishing great things and in addressing the needs of others!

As my time here winds down, my focus returns to the AFF. It has been wonderful to hear reports from our local Red Hook ambassadors Tess Rothwell, Emma Donahue, and Brenna Dolen, and chef Tony Fraenkel, on their planning leading up to the Senior Expo this Saturday from 10 am to 2 pm at the Red Hook Community Center. Kudos to them! I’m excited to get home to participate in the event.