One of the things that makes Martha’s Vineyard such a special place is its people. The sense of community on Martha’s Vineyard is palpable and omnipresent, friends and neighbors come together in good times and bad and every day there is tireless work being done on all fronts to preserve and protect our Island home and its inhabitants. Whether you’re a local, a part-time resident or an occasional visitor if you’ve been moved or inspired by the efforts of one of our local organizations and you’re in the giving spirit we know they’d love your support. We’ve rounded up some of our local organizations that are doing great things and that are accepting donations to support their efforts. If you have the gift of time please inquire about volunteer opportunities too!
The Red Stocking Fund of Martha’s Vineyard
The Red Stocking Fund is a completely volunteer run, non-profit organization that provides food and clothing for families in need for the holidays. Additionally, the Red Stocking Fund provides food when possible through the winters on Martha's Vineyard. The organization depends totally upon donations of toys for kids, newborn to 14 years old. This time of year you can find toy collection boxes at various locations around Martha’s Vineyard and the organization accepts monetary donations as well. Throughout the year various local events also support the Red Stocking Fund, including the Martha’s Vineyard Chowder Festival and the Martha’s Vineyard Chili Festival. Contact 508-776-6050 for more information about how to help.
Island Food Pantry
The Island Food Pantry strives to cultivate a healthy, hunger-free community on Martha’s Vineyard. While many people think of Martha’s Vineyard as an affluent community, there are still many families that struggle to meet their basic needs. Anyone who is not financially able to obtain the food they need may use the Island Food Pantry. Together with their many volunteers, partners, and supporters, the Island Food Pantry helps sustain Martha’s Vineyard residents in times of need by providing a dependable source of wholesome food, with the mission that no one should go hungry on Martha’s Vineyard. The Island Food Pantry believes that businesses, nonprofit organizations, churches, schools, residents, seasonal residents, and visitors all have a role to play in reducing food insecurity on Martha’s Vineyard.
Sandy Paws Rescue
Sandy Paws Rescue Inc. is a 501(c)3 non profit organization dedicated to the well-being of family pets in need. Sandy Paws provides pet adoption as well as assistance to families in financial distress and helps to connect pet owners with spay and neuter services. Sandy Paws is a 100% volunteer-only operation, committed to seeing its dogs placed in wonderful forever homes. The organization exists solely on donations as the adoption fees alone do not cover the amount spent on vetting and transporting rescues away from high-kill shelters. In addition to monetary donations, Sandy Paws is often looking for volunteer to help transport animals, write grants, conduct home visits, provide reference checks, foster animals and provide administrative services.
From the end of June to the end of August, volunteer-led Camp Jabberwocky offers children and adults with a wide range of disabilities the chance to enjoy summer in a small family-like community – living together and enjoying jam-packed days filled with adventurous activities and experiences that are safe, empowering, exciting and fun. Campers stay between one and four weeks during which time they enjoy activities and classes on campus and out-and-about in the community of Martha’s Vineyard. According to Camp Jabberwocky no one has ever been turned away for an inability to pay – and it costs the camp in excess of $1,450 per week to provide programming for one camper. Because Jabberwocky is committed to asking campers to pay only what they can afford, it is always seeking donations to offset the cost of programming for its campers.
Island Housing Trust
The Island Housing Trust is a non-profit organization that supports a diverse and vital community on the Island of Martha’s Vineyard by creating and sustaining permanently affordable housing solutions, both rental and ownership. Over the past decade, the Island Housing Trust has provided hope and opportunity to hundreds of low- and moderate- income Island families seeking a dignified solution to their affordable housing needs. Together with its supporters, they work towards a stronger, more resilient and sustainable future for our Island community. Over the past ten years Island Housing Trust has sold and rented 102 homes and apartments to low- and moderate- income families throughout Martha’s Vineyard. The goal is to create 100 new safe, stable, permanently affordable year-round homes by the end of 2020, which could solve nearly half of our Island-wide housing needs within the next five years.
For a full list of organizations you can help support this holiday and throughout the year visit https://firststopmv.org/ an Island-wide guide for local social service resources, programs, activities and opportunities.
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