Giving Back On Martha's Vineyard

Jen O'Hanlon, REALTOR®

11/12/23


The holiday season on Martha's Vineyard isn't just about picturesque landscapes and festive celebrations; it's a time to embrace the spirit of giving. This island, known for its close-knit community, is home to several organizations dedicated to enriching lives. Here’s a closer look at seven local organizations that deserve your support this holiday season:

Red Stocking Fund

For over eight decades, The Red Stocking Fund has been a beacon of hope for families in need on Martha's Vineyard. Beyond just holiday assistance, this noble organization is deeply committed to ensuring that no child feels left out during the festive season. They meticulously organize gift distribution, provide essential clothing, and offer food assistance, directly addressing the challenges faced by financially struggling families. Their impact is felt deeply in the community, as they bring smiles to countless children every year.he Red Stocking Fund has been a pillar of support for Martha's Vineyard families in need for over 80 years. This nonprofit organization ensures that every child on the island has a happy holiday season by providing gifts, clothing, and food to families facing financial challenges.

Harbor Homes of Martha's Vineyard

Addressing homelessness with compassion and effectiveness, Harbor Homes offers more than just shelter. They provide an array of supportive services aimed at fostering independence and stability. Their programs include transitional housing, long-term solutions, and a range of services focused on mental health, employment, and life skills training. By supporting Harbor Homes, you contribute to a transformative process that helps individuals and families rebuild their lives.

Click HERE to watch our interview with Karen Tewhey, Executive Director of Harbor Homes.

Island Food Pantry

Essential to combating food insecurity, the Island Food Pantry goes beyond simple food distribution. They work tirelessly to source and provide nutritious, wholesome food, ensuring those facing hunger have access not only to meals but to healthy options. Their initiatives often include nutritional education, community gardening projects, and special holiday food drives, embodying a comprehensive approach to tackling hunger on the island. Individuals are able to shop at the food pantry for the items they need, just like a regular grocery store. Martha's Vineyard Food Pantry plays a crucial role in addressing food insecurity on the island. They also distribute nutritious food to individuals and families facing hunger, ensuring that no one goes without a meal.

Island Housing Trust

The Island Housing Trust builds permanently affordable rental and ownership homes for year-round Island residents. To increase housing security on the Island, their Vision 2025 strategic plan is to create an additional 150 homes by the end of 2025. Supporting this trust means contributing to the sustainability and diversity of the island's community. 

Island Grown Initiative

This initiative is at the forefront of promoting local agriculture and a sustainable food ecosystem. They not only support local farmers but also run educational programs in schools, teaching the next generation about the importance of local, sustainable food. Their projects often include community gardens, food waste reduction programs, and initiatives to increase access to fresh produce for all island residents. They are the parent organization of the Island Food Pantry.

YMCA of Martha's Vineyard

The YMCA is a cornerstone of community life, offering programs that nurture youth development, encourage healthy living, and foster social responsibility. They provide essential services such as childcare, fitness programs, and community events. Their scholarship programs ensure that all residents, regardless of financial background, can benefit from their services. 

Click HERE to watch our interview with Nina Lombardi, the operations director at the YMCA.

Boys & Girls Club of Martha's Vineyard

TA haven for young people, the Boys & Girls Club offers after-school programs, sports, arts, and educational support. They focus on building character, enhancing education, and providing a safe space for recreation and exploration. Their work is vital in shaping the future of the island's youth, offering them opportunities to learn, grow, and thrive.

Click HERE to watch our interview with Dhakir S. Warren, the Boys & Girls Club Executive Director.

Your Role in Strengthening the Community

This holiday season, as you enjoy the unique charm of Martha's Vineyard, consider extending your festive spirit to these organizations. Your contributions, whether monetary, volunteer time, or spreading awareness, are invaluable. Together, we can ensure that the spirit of the season shines bright for every member of our cherished island community.

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