Our Island Club, a consumer savings program that raises money for local organizations, contributed more than $50,000 to Island charities last year.
“It’s a continuation of the charitable component of the program,” said Geoff Rose, a co-principal of Our Island Club. “There are over 180 organizations that have been designated by the membership.”
The program was started in 2005 with the goal of improving the quality of life for year-round residents by providing them with discounts at Island businesses in exchange for membership dues. In addition, Our Island Club contributes a portion of dues to a charity of each member’s choosing. Currently there are more than 5,000 members.
Club contributions help a variety of Island organizations. At the YMCA of Martha’s Vineyard, executive director Jill Robie said contributions went toward community outreach, programs like the Special Olympics and subsidized memberships for day camps in the summer. “We do a lot of programs in the teen center and the high school comes over and uses it for different conferences,” Mrs. Robie said. “All of the funds we raise for community outreach go toward making sure we can run those programs.”
Kerry Alley, co-director of Red Stocking, said the contributions are used to purchase clothing and food for needy families. Funds also went to elderly residents living on low incomes, said Ann Baird, service coordinator at Island Elderly Housing.
“Our Island Club has been very good to the residents of Island Elderly Housing,” Mrs. Baird said.
The Martha’s Vineyard Hospital and Windemere Nursing and Rehabilitation Center have been popular causes over the last few years. Our Island Club made its first contribution in 2006.
“They have made a generous gift each year,” said Rachel Vanderhoop, director of development for the Martha’s Vineyard Hospital.
About one fifth of the members of Our Island Club did not choose an organization to receive donations. Their donations went toward funding scholarships through the Permanent Endowment Fund. This year they provided $7,000 in scholarships.
In addition to the charitable contributions, more than 100 Island residents received free memberships to Our Island Club. The cost of joining is $89 for an individual, $109 for a family, $59 for a senior and $79 for a senior family. Any year-round resident over the age of 18 is eligible to join and can do so by visiting ourislandclub.com and filling out the online application.