The bears may have gone into hibernation until next year’s Martha’s Vineyard Teddy Bear Suite Fundraiser, but the work to end childhood hunger on Martha’s Vineyard is still happening daily. And our annual holiday fundraiser is helping make a difference.
The Martha’s Vineyard Boys & Girls Club serves over 100 elementary school aged children, from all six towns, a free meal after school daily. Sometimes there even more kids, depending on the day.
In the video above, Jessie Damroth, the executive director of the Martha’s Vineyard Boys & Girls Club talks about the issue of childhood hunger.
The Club’s new program Healthy Happy Kids offers every child a free meal after school. There is no longer a fee associated with it, and there are now healthy options. Options that are nutritious and made for growing children, many of whom would otherwise go hungry or are poorly nourished.
One in four Island children is on free or reduced lunch at school. Hundreds of families use the Island Food Pantry as a way to try to stave off hunger. There are a significant amount of Islanders who are a part of SNAP, Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (what used to be food stamps).
However, the cost of living is so high, and SNAP is only one way to help augment one’s food supply. With such high food costs, there are gaps. Sometimes there’s just not enough money to provide housing, pay the bills, and buy food. People tend to go skimp on food.
In such a beautiful place, it’s hard to comprehend that so many go hungry. But we can do something!
Healthy Happy Kids is a great beginning to help so many children. This new program costs $35,000, and that will go up, because more and more children are coming to the Club. And that $35,000 needs to come from somewhere.
That somewhere is the Martha’s Vineyard Teddy Bear Suite Fundraiser. What originally began with a goal of $15,000 has grown to $30,000. Together, we can fund almost all of the needed money. When we started this year’s campaign, there was a noticeable excitement about working to fight childhood hunger.
We continued the actual Teddy Bear Suite a week longer. We’ve met three fundraising goals we set for Healthy Happy Kids, $15,000, $20,000, and now $30,000. We know we need to keep going and do more.
It’s the holidays. While many of us are celebrating with good food and cheer, there are many that are going hungry right here. Being able to help those who cannot help themselves because they are too little, innocent and in need, is a gift.
Currently, we have raised $28,000+. We are almost to that $30,000 goal. With your help, we can do it. Click here to donate. All donations are tax deductible and go directly to the Healthy Happy Kids program.
So many of our neighbors, friends, and people who love the Island have given to the Martha’s Vineyard Teddy Bear Suite to make an impact, a change in the lives of hundreds of children. Together we can raise awareness, and make a difference, all starting with Happy Healthy Kids.
To learn more about the teddy bear suite and how you can help, visit mvteddybearsuite.com