With the holidays upon us, it seems as though you are suddenly surrounded by thoughts of things you need to do. Though that may seem somewhat overwhelming at times, what if you also needed to worry about what to do with your children after school, while you needed to finish the work day.
With over 400 members (kids), and the number raising each year, the Martha’s Vineyard Boys & Girls Club offers help, a solution, peace of mind. Through our annual holiday fundraiser, the Martha’s Vineyard Teddy Bear Suite, we are proud to continue to support this vital Island family resource for the fifth year.
Luckily, the Martha’s Vineyard Boys & Girls Club provides the After School Program. For $20 a year, a child can go to the Club after school. There, they will have the chance to play games, spend time with friends, have snack, and work on homework
Even though this is my fifth year meeting the kids and visiting the club, I am always amazed at how much the Club does for hundreds of Island children.
When I stopped by last week, I was lucky enough to spend a little time with a couple of kids from the Edgartown school, who were working on their homework with Alissa Purda. Alissa, who used to be a teacher, began volunteering at the Club’s After School Program last year. She enjoyed it so much, she’s now a staff member.
The kids in the homework room adore her. She is a source of help and inspiration for their homework, a valued adult for them to rely on. For her, she finds so much joy in helping the kids. They are so happy to have her there to help with their homework.
For some kids, this is the best way to accomplish completing their homework. The room is quiet, there’s someone to help. For others, it may be the only time that doing homework is an option.
Jasmine Hershey and Joseph Ruzzo are cousins, both 10 years old. They’ve been members at the Club for five years, and they love it there. They play there together, go to school together and are each other’s best friends.
For Jasmine, the Club is a fun place. She gets to play in the gym, outside on nice days on the playground, and is able to spend time with her friends there.
She also gets to finish her homework. She likes to do it here because there’s someone to help with any questions. Also, she finds the fish tank in the homework room helps her focus, and because she’s a pretty smart girl, she sometimes helps the little kids with their homework.
I think about how valuable the Club is for a 10-year-old like Jasmine. She gets to do so much there, and I was so touched to hear how she likes to help. This is why it’s important to support the Martha’s Vineyard Boys & Girls Club.
Joseph is also a big fan of the Club. He thinks it’s “pretty awesome” to be able to hang out with his friends and of course his cousin! He thinks the staff is really nice, and he likes the snacks. He thinks there should be more free snack days (there is a small fee for snacks).
Joseph really likes the the gym. It’s so big and perfect for swamp ball, which I have no idea what that is, but if Joseph says it’s fun, then it must be. Learn something new everyday with this job.
I told him that perhaps the Martha’s Vineyard Teddy Bear Suite could help sponsor a couple free snack days. This would give everyone the chance to have something pretty healthy to munch on after school, before dinner.
Fundraising MVBGC fact: $15,000 = Free snacks and meals for over 90 kids each day after school for the entire school year!
Also working on her homework was the adorable Isadora who is 6. She was working on her homework which entailed interviewing a number of people to see what they were thankful for. I am so proud to say that I was actually interviewed by her. She is just so sweet and happy and full of energy.
When I asked her what she was thankful for, she said her family. Hearing her say this made me smile, the biggest smile. I love seeing kids take a moment and have time to reflect on the things that are important to them.
The Martha’s Vineyard Teddy Bear Suite raised almost $13,000 last year for the club. It would be so amazing to raise even more, perhaps $15,000 — our goal this year! With the cost to use the After School Program so low, much of what the Club accomplishes is made possible by generous donors. That’s why this magical holiday event is so important. It helps support such a vital resource for Island children and their families.
How does the Teddy Bear Suite fundraiser actually raise its money? There are a few key ways.
First, there is the Teddy Bear Suite itself, which we set up with the Harbor View Hotel, and there there is a donation box. Though there is no fee to enter the suite, we appreciate any money given. Every dollar donated goes directly to the Club.
Next, there are also a number of other special events done throughout the month that help the Martha’s Vineyard Teddy Bear Suite raise money. We got some good ones planned this year, and we can’t wait to fill you on them — so stay tuned.
Finally, we receive the bulk of our nonprofit donations through our Teddy Bear Suite online fundraising campaign, which emphasizes the importance of the Club and the After School Program.
The Club has a number of financial needs because all its programs are so affordable, and you too can help. Simply click here to donate, and know that you’re providing hundreds of Island children and their working families, a safe, fun place to go after school.
The Martha’s Vineyard Teddy Bear Suite opens Friday, November 27th and is open through Wednesday, December 23rd. The suite is located at the Captain’s Cottages at the Harbor View Hotel.
Tuesday – Friday, 10:00 a.m.to 12:00 p.m. & 4:00 p.m. to 6:00 p.m
Saturday – 10:00 a.m. to 6:00 p.m.
Sunday – 10:00 a.m. to 4:00 p.m.
Christmas in Edgartown (Extended Hours)
Friday, December 11th – 10:00 a.m. – 8:00 p.m.
Saturday, Deceber 12th – 12:00 p.m. – 6:00 p.m.
Sunday, December 13th – 10:00 a.m. – 4:00 p.m.
Speaking of events, the Martha’s Vineyard Teddy Bear Suite has it’s first special event, Saturday, November 28th. Paddington, the movie, will be shown in the Menemsha Room at the Harbor View Hotel. Popcorn and refreshments will be served. We invite you to BYOB – bring your own bear!
The movie begins at 4:00 p.m. Bring your bear to the Teddy Bear Suite first and then snuggle during this wonderful film with a timeless bear.
Thanks for reading the On Point Blog. You can learn more about the Martha’s Vineyard Teddy Bear Suite and the Martha’s Vineyard Boys & Girls Club on Facebook, including more about special holiday events. You can also discover the latest happenings on MVTeddybearsuite.com
Don’t forget to share your Martha’s Vineyard Teddy Bear Suite pics and when on Instagram please use #mvteddybearsuite.