In December of 2014, the Community Foundation for Nantucket awarded grants through the Nantucket Fund™ to 27 deserving Nantucket nonprofits. Now in 2015, we are excited to feature and highlight these nonprofits and their amazing efforts. We asked each recipient a series of questions that get to the heart of their organization and how it benefits our Island community. Our latest nonprofit in honor of the bACK to School season is MY Nantucket, an important organization in charge of mentoring our Island’s youth.
1) How does your nonprofit help the Nantucket community?
MYNantucket serves hundreds of Island children with its 4 programs: traditional mentoring; Breakfast Buddies where high school volunteers hang out and share a healthy breakfast with elementary students before the start of the school day; and 2 new tutoring/mentoring programs, one where high school volunteers tutor elementary school students and the other where volunteers from the community, primarily retirees, tutor middle school students.
2) What does our Nantucket community mean to you and your nonprofit?
In addition to the hundreds of Nantucket children MYNantucket serves:
1. Over 200 community volunteers (MYNantucket’s life blood,) keep the program running, including:
a. Close to 100 Nantucket High School students volunteer in 2 elementary school programs: Breakfast Buddies and Academic Mentoring.
b. Approximately 25 adults from the community (from recent college graduates to retirees) volunteer for the 1 to 1 mentoring program and middle school tutoring program.
c. Somewhere around 100 people volunteer for MYNantucket’s 2 fundraisers: the Iron Teams and Relay and Blooming Bids for kids.
2. The vast majority of money raised by MYNantucket comes from island individuals, business and foundations.
a. Dozens of island businesses donate in-kind services for MYN’s 2 fundraisers: the Iron Teams and Relay and Blooming Bids for Kids.
b. Over 80 island individuals and businesses donate planters, gifts and gift certificates for MYN’s fundraisers: the Iron Teams Relay and Blooming Bids for Kids.
c. Dozens of island individuals and businesses sponsor MYN’s 2 fundraisers (the Iron Teams Relay and Blooming Bids for Kids) with sponsorships ranging from $300 to $15,000.
d. Many island businesses and foundations provide MYNantucket with grant money.
e. Dozens of island individuals and businesses answer MYNantucket’s appeal and make outright donations to MYNantucket.
f. Many island agencies and businesses donate free match activities such as the Dreamland, Community Sailing, Theater Workshop of Nantucket, ACK Surfing School and Young’s Bicycle Shop.
MYNantucket literally cannot do what it does with out the financial and volunteer support of the Nantucket community.
3) Tell us a specific story of how your nonprofit has benefited someone in our Nantucket community
A Mentor’s story
It was all a “first” for her. Leaving her tranquil island on a plane, breaking through the “cotton ball” clouds to land amidst tall buildings and a mesh of highways, traffic lights, escalators, the “T,” brassy street performers, food vendors, even homeless people. For this little 8-year old girl, my Mentee, her isolated world of life on Nantucket morphed into something she had only ever seen on television. Her eyes were as wide as saucers and she hasn’t stopped talking about it since.”
4) In one sentence, tell us your thoughts on the Community Foundation for Nantucket and how you think it benefits the Nantucket community and all your efforts as a nonprofit.
Community Foundation supports through its funding, and other services, Nantucket non-profits that provide important, valuable and much-needed services, programs and opportunities for all segments of the island populations.
5) Where did your grant dollars specifically go this year?
Operating costs that allows MYNantucket to provide its 4 mentoring and tutor/mentoring programs.
6) Any event dates for your nonprofit we should know about in 2015?
The Nantucket Iron Teams Relay is a challenging, fun, and literally one-of-a-kind adventure race. Thirty three miles, six legs, that includes a short run, swim, beach/all terrain run, paddle, bike, and long run that crisscrosses the island’s beautiful historic districts, beaches, harbors and moors. The race finishes at The Muse at 44 Surfside Road, where it’s time to celebrate, and enjoy the BBQ and post race camaraderie. At 35 years old the Iron Teams Relay is an Island institution! (For the first time ever, this event was cancelled in 2015 due to persistent thunder and lightning! Participants’ safety must come first.) We can’t wait for next year for this beloved community event.
Blooming Bids for Kids is an evening of music, food and libations at Bartlett’s Farm’s beautiful garden center. Blooming Bids is a silent auction of an incredible collection of beautiful, creative planters, floral arrangements and landscaping offerings donated by the island’s landscape and gardening community. That’s not all; island businesses and restaurants also donate a wide array of wonderful gifts and gift certificates to be auctioned. Join in, bid and walk away with a one-of-a-kind planter, an original necklace from an island jeweler or a gift certificate to your favorite restaurant. There’s something for everyone!!! This year Blooming Bids for Kids was this summer as well on July 14, 2015.
To connect with MY Nantucket:
Mentoring Youth Nantucket, Inc. (MYNantucket)
David Zieff, Executive Director
PO Box 2653
Nantucket, MA 02584
or you can find them on Facebook!