The Island of Martha’s Vineyard is an amazing place and we’re proud to call it home.
We want out clients to know that partnering with us to buy or sell a home is contributing to something bigger than a house purchase on Martha’s Vineyard. Whether purchasing a home as a year-round residence or a summer vacation spot, we know all of our clients are interested in making the community of Martha’s Vineyard even more special than it already is. To that end, we have committed to making a donation to one of these three very deserving organizations at the close of each sale. We always ask our clients to choose, so if you're working with us, you'll have a chance to decide which organization you'd like us to support.
The decision to choose the YMCA as one of the organizations we support was an easy one. When the YMCA opened on Martha’s Vineyard in 2010, my husband and I immediately joined. I had always belonged to a gym and this was the main reason we joined. However, after our daughter was born, we soon realized the Y is so much more than a gym – it’s a community. Often on the weekends, my daughter and I go to the Y together. She plays in the Kids Club while I work out, then we swim together and after, enjoy lunch at the Y Café. Our daughter also attends the After School program a few days a week and enjoys the amazing Y summer camp.
One of the amazing characteristics of Martha’s Vineyard is the sense of community people experience when they are visiting or living here. The YMCA offers a Financial Assistance Program that allows all residents to become active members at a rate that fits their budget. The program is possible thanks to the many wonderful donors who support the YMCA’s Annual Campaign. 100% of donations made to the Y helps support kids, adults, and families in need.
This organization means a lot to us for a few reasons. First, we work in real estate, which makes us constantly aware of the housing inequities that exist here on the Island. Secondly, many people are not aware of the substance abuse and homelessness that is part of our community, just as it is everywhere else. We feel it is our duty to help in any way we can, and that includes educating those who don’t know about the housing crisis that exists on the Island and making monetary donations when our clients choose this organization.
Housing for locals has been a problem for years and now it has become a true crisis. The high cost of real estate has made it nearly impossible for year round residents to purchase anything affordable. As of July, 2021, the median home price on the Island was approximately $1,200,000 and the least expensive single family home was $720,000. Additionally, the number of rental apartments and homes in now way can keep up with demand. Therefore, the cost to rent has increased drastically. When an individual is attempting to get back on their feet after struggling with addiction or when a family member becomes sick and unable to work, it would be impossible for them to stay on the Island without assistance. This is where Harbor Homes comes in. This organization has been created to provide housing so that these individuals are able to focus on their health and work, in order to save money and create a solid foundation to grow from.
Harbor Homes of Martha’s Vineyard is a 501(c)(3) nonprofit that serves as the umbrella organization for all homeless prevention programming on the Island. This includes congregate housing, transitional housing support, a winter shelter, a hotel respite program and case management. Harbor Homes provides responsive, compassionate, and empowering support to low income individuals and families who face homelessness. Please consider donating and visit their web site to learn more about how they are making a huge impact for those in need.
"According to Feeding America’s Hunger Map, some 1,550 people in Dukes County, which encompasses Martha’s Vineyard, are considered food-insecure. That’s nearly ten percent of the island’s year-round population.” - From the Island Food Pantry’s web site.
The Island Food Pantry has been helping Islanders since 1981. Their mission has always been: neighbors helping neighbors get through the winter on Martha’s Vineyard. Now, though, they have evolved to operating year round and have an updated mission statement: The Island Food Pantry strives to cultivate a healthy, hunger-free community on Martha’s Vineyard. Together with our many volunteers, partners, and supporters, we help sustain our neighbors in times of need by providing a dependable source of wholesome food.
They are now part of the Greater Boston Food Bank, providing a much more cost effective way to purchase the food that assists nearly 800 households on the Island. They buy more than 16,000 pounds of packaged, refrigerated, and frozen food to distribute each month. Why is this significant? $1 donated equals $7 worth of food the Pantry can purchase. So, while the Food Pantry still accepts food donations, monetary donations are key for this reason.
In 2020 they joined forces with The Island Grown Initiative (IGI), which has enabled them to build a stronger, more integrated food equity infrastructure. During the pandemic the organization was vital in the survival of Islanders. In 2021 the Pantry moved from the Stone Church in Vineyard Haven to the PA Club in Oak Bluffs. The new space allows for more room to serve, more refrigeration for fresh foods, and more parking.
People experiencing food insecurity come from every segment of our population: seniors, professionals, hourly workers, seasonal employees, and families, to name a few. They may include your neighbors, customers, colleagues, and friends, people who require food support for a few weeks, months, or longer. These days the need is much greater, and the solutions, though more complex and costly, are motivated by the island community’s caring and compassion. Please consider donating and visit their web site to learn more about how they are making a huge impact for those in need.