To the Editor:
On behalf of our family, I thank you for the outstanding article that you wrote about my Aunt Lena [It's time to repay Lena Vanderhoop, an amazing caregiver, April 10].
The article not only highlighted Lena’s dedication to our Island community, it also portrayed her situation realistically yet sensitively. Not too many people want to be in the position that she is where they need help from so many others, and Lena is no exception. She is far more comfortable assisting those in need than being the recipient. As coordinator of the Lena Araujo Vanderhoop Benefit, I can tell you my phone rang off the hook immediately after the article was published. As I drove from my home in Virginia to Martha’s Vineyard, I fielded numerous calls about our benefit with offers of both monetary and auction donations. One such call resulted in a donation of a “priceless” piece of artwork that was our auction’s best seller.
Almost as important as the donations were the calls and cards that Lena received. Giving people like my aunt don’t do it for the recognition, they do it because it’s who they are. How fortunate for Lena that so many reached out to tell her what a difference her care had made in their lives. It says a lot about the MV Times as a paper that they would focus on such stories that describe what our Island community is about.
On another note, we thank countless Island businesses who donated their services and goods to our auction so willingly. As we called to get donations, it was surprising that these businesses offered items that were way more generous than we could have asked for. A personal note of thanks to my many Island friends and family who went above and beyond to help out and get involved. Friends of mine from nursery school through high school and those of our family all pitched in to make this event a success. On behalf of my family and myself, thank you, thank you from the bottom of our hearts.