Cape Cod and Islands join to form Red Cross chapter
In a move to "provide better service to residents of Barnstable, Dukes and Nantucket counties," the American Red Cross on Cape Cod and Martha's Vineyard united this month under a single unit, the Cape Cod and Islands Chapter.
According to a statement issued Tuesday, the change, described as chiefly administrative, marks "a milestone in the 90-year histories of both chapters."
On the Vineyard, local volunteers will continue to carry out the work, based in its current office in the American Legion Hall in Vineyard Haven.
"By consolidating the chapters to form the Cape Cod and Islands Chapter of the American Red Cross, we will be able to improve service to all our communities, be responsible to our donor base, and maximize the efficiency of both our administration and operations," said Tom Rancich of West Tisbury, former Martha's Vineyard chapter board chairman. Under the new union, several members of the Martha's Vineyard board joined the new Cape Cod and Islands Chapter board, with the remaining members forming a new Martha's Vineyard advisory committee to assist in community coordination and to ensure a seamless transition.
"We are pleased that Deborah Medders will remain on board to facilitate the smooth transition," said Mr. Rancich. "The Cape Cod Chapter is a natural partner for Martha's Vineyard, with a regional understanding of our heritage and longstanding friendships between our communities."
Sharon Donegan, chairman of the new chapter's board of directors, said the partnership helps all three communities meet rigorous performance standards placed on the Red Cross by its donors and communities.
"As we examined the requirements placed on chapters to ensure a consistently high quality of service to our communities, it made sense to join forces," Ms. Donegan said in the prepared statement. "By centralizing our baseline administrative requirements, we will be able to stay focused on our important field work."
"As residents of the Cape and Islands, we all know the unique challenges that come with geographic isolation," chapter executive director Glen Beasley said. "This new partnership is an opportunity to provide even better service to our constituents, on a much more cost-effective basis."
Since the early 1900s, according to the press statement, the American Red Cross on Cape Cod and the Islands has helped people prevent, prepare for, and respond to emergencies. Each year, the chapters respond to disasters such as house fires; prepare for larger emergencies such as hurricanes; and train citizens in first aid, CPR, and other lifesaving skills. During the transition, both communities will continue to hold previously scheduled classes, events and fundraising campaigns.
The Cape Cod and Islands Chapter will provide Red Cross Emergency Preparedness and Response services to the communities of Cape Cod, Nantucket and Martha's Vineyard. The Chapter headquarters will be located at 286 South Street in Hyannis. The Martha's Vineyard office, located at the American Legion Hall, 47 Martin Road, Vineyard Haven, will continue to operate as an on-Island office of the Chapter.