Martha's Vineyard Community Services

FY20 Annual Report

Breaking Ground. Building Resilience.

On the frontlines of COVID-19

From the very beginning, Community Services has been on the front lines of this pandemic by:

  • Creating an Emergency Financial Assistance program to directly support Islanders struggling to make ends meet;
  • Providing Emergency Childcare to our essential workers at our Early Education and Care Center;
  • And providing grocery store gift cards to clients facing food Insecurity.

Nimble, Flexible and Urgent are our mainstays.

Our relationship with the hospital and local law enforcement is stronger than ever. Our Urgent Care clinicians are tied into the MVH Emergency Department via telehealth technology allowing us to remotely assess clients in crisis. Our Emergency Services team also stands ready to provide Urgent Care services directly to individuals in crisis.

CONNECT to End Violence counselors also use telehealth technology to work with our law enforcement partners and the MVH Emergency Department to address the needs of survivors of domestic violence and sexual assault.

A look at our CONTINUED response

When the pandemic forced many businesses to slow down or close, we only accelerated - pivoting quickly to prioritize the health and safety of our community. Together, we continue to come up with new and creative ways to meet the ever-changing needs of our Island community. 


Transition to Telehealth 

Closing our doors was never an option, but our Island Counseling Center did not have the resources to operate fully remotely. Thankfully, one generous donor committed $15,000 to help solve this urgent problem. Together, we successfully gave every clinician access to computers with specialized telehealth software to ensure the privacy and confidentiality of our clients.



In late March, it became clear that nonprofits across the Island needed extra support. Our team launched a volunteer initiative: Care for Community to connect volunteers to the most urgent needs. The program was designed to match volunteers directly to Island non-profits rushing to fill the gaps in service.


With daycares and schools closed across the Island, parents on the frontlines or unable to work from home were forced to choose between work and family. MV Community Services stepped in to answer the call for emergency childcare - providing quality education and care to our Island's essential workers. 

Staying connected with Island children and families

Technology enabled our Early Education and Care Center educators and caregivers to stay connected to our families. Our Head Start team conducts virtual home visits, teachers are sharing videos and staff continue to innovate beyond the classroom. The MV Family Center continued their monthly programming with a virtual calendar, hosting playgroups on Zoom, Facebook live storytimes and more.

Chicken Alley Thrift Shop Reopens

Despite being forced to close for 100 days, staff at The Thrift Shop never stopped supporting the community.
The team helped source more than 13,000 diapers and formula for families in need, sewed masks for our frontline workers and worked closely with our clinicians to get clients access to basic needs. 

Chicken Alley safely and successfully reopened in June and also launched their online storefront - Chicken Alley Online to broaden access to The Thrift Shop. 

Virtually, Anything is Possible

Possible Dreams is the largest annual fundraiser for MV Community Services, giving people the opportunity to purchase unique on and off-Island experiences, all while giving back to their Island community. When an in-person event was no longer feasible - our team quickly transformed the event into an online live-stream event hosted by Seth Meyers. Possible Dreams raised more than $500k to benefit our wide range of programs and services. 

Chicken Alley Thrift Shop's annual Arts and Collectibles Sale was also held online, attracting art lovers from across the country. The Annual Art and Collectibles Sale raised more than $30,000 to benefit our wide range of programs and services.

Emergency Childcare Center Opens


Hours of telehealth provided by the Island Counseling Center (March - June 2020)


Of emergency grocery store gift cards given to clients facing food insecurity (March - June 2020)