Nantucket Wheelers Fund, ©2013

Happy Wheelers

A creative idea and the fund that made it a reality

Nantucket Wheelers Fund
Darcy Creech with a volunteer rider and two happy Wheelers!

Last Valentine’s day, Darcy Creech watched a video online about true love that inspired her to jump into action to improve the lives of elderly island residents by bringing special bicycles to Nantucket that accommodate wheelchairs. Through her involvement with the Friends of Our Island Home, who have also created a fund with the Foundation, Darcy was familiar with the particular needs of that population. She felt strongly that everyone should have the opportunity to be outside enjoying the beauty of the island and getting some fresh air.

Darcy reached out to the Community Foundation for Nantucket to think-tank options to fund her idea for Nantucket Wheelers. When she realized that a specific fund through the Foundation could easily—and quickly—be created for the project, she set up the  Nantucket Wheelers Fund immediately. That afternoon, she began to promote the fund  and created an online giving profile with Indigogo, aiming to raise $35,000 in 35 days. The support for the program exceeded expectations and over $40,000 was raised! In a very short amount of time, the Nantucket Wheelers became a reality.

Darcy was able to purchase three duet bicycles and through a collaboration with Don Allen Auto Center and the enthusiasm of 12 trained volunteers, Nantucket Wheelers has been touring wheelchair-bound and elderly residents around the Island’s bike paths during the late summer and early fall of 2013.

It has been so incredibly popular with the residents of Our Island Home that additional volunteers are being trained so that they can offer more rides to more residents in 2014, and plans are afoot to purchase a 4th bike.

“Setting up our fund with the Community Foundation for Nantucket gave us the extraordinary opportunity to devote our time and energy solely to fundraising and implementation, rather than on board meetings, paperwork, and filings with the state, while still allowing our sponsors and donors to make a tax free contribution. Our collaboration with CFN also gave us credibility, and a distinct advantage over other charities that were also looking for funding”. —Darcy Creech

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