Red Cross launches Island preparedness initiative

A fundraising campaign for the Red Cross Martha’s Vineyard Preparedness Initiative recently received a $4,000 donation from the Cape and Islands United Way, intended as a “challenge grant” to spur additional contributions from Island businesses and community members.

The Martha’s Vineyard Savings Bank (MVSB) Charitable Foundation already has donated $1,000, according to Glen Beasley, executive director of the American Red Cross Cape and Islands (CCI) Chapter.

The $58,000 preparedness initiative will support the Martha’s Vineyard Red Cross service delivery operations, expand the number of Island volunteers, increase shelter supplies, and provide community outreach programs.

“Our goal is to give Martha’s Vineyard the entire package, so that in the event of an emergency, if Islanders are isolated or need help in the first 24 to 48 hours before the ferries can get there, they will be able to take care of themselves,” Mr. Beasley said.

The CCI Chapter’s goal is to equip the Island with 1,000 shelter kits. Berkshire Blankets in Ware already has donated 1,000 blankets for the kits.

To donate or learn more about the preparedness initiative, go online to or call toll-free at 508-775-1540.

The American Red Cross CCI Chapter does not receive government funding nor charge for lifesaving emergency and disaster relief services. The chapter depends on charitable donations, grants, and in-kind support from individuals, foundations, and businesses.