To the Editor:
On Friday, April 30, Martha’s Vineyard Community Services (MVCS) held its first annual “Community of Caring” staff day. Several community partners joined with us to fill the day with learning, connection, and fun. After a year focused on protecting the health and safety of our staff, clients, and community during the coronavirus pandemic, the staff day had just the right touch of team building and camaraderie.
We extend our gratitude to our friends across the Island who helped MVCS kick the day off with highly anticipated morning sessions. Nearly 100 MVCS staff, divided into small groups of six to 10, congregated across Island locales to participate in a variety of activities. Among the favorite experiences were: equine-assisted learning at Misty Meadows; guided disc golf with Jake Gifford, owner of Lazy Frog; ropes course challenge with Sterling Bishop of Dukes County Sheriff’s Office; guided tour at Polly Hill Arboretum; guided walk at Felix Neck; bowling at Barn Bowl and Bistro; beach cleanup with MVCS staff member Courtney Atkins; yoga with Neva Goldstein; and exercise class at the YMCA of M.V.
We’d also like to thank members of MVCS’ “Community of Caring” planning committee, who coordinated the event and assigned a “staff host” at each community location to ensure COVID-19 protocols were in place. Each group took “spirited selfies” to capture the moment,
many of which can be found on MVCS’ social media pages.
The afternoon session started with lunch on the main campus to formally recognize our annual staff and volunteer award honorees. Special thanks to the Oak Bluffs health agent who worked closely with our planning committee to ensure a safe and healthy gathering on campus, which included a delicious self-service boxed lunch provided by Waterside Market and musical entertainment by the multitalented DJ Smooth B.
The afternoon closed out with training on professional communication and team building, led by Aline Wolff, affiliated with ACE MV, and a presentation and discussion on MVCS’ forthcoming three-year strategic plan. Over recent months, our agency has vigorously assessed all aspects of our programs, services, operations, and community needs. The unveiling of anticipated focus areas inspired all who have worked so hard to set MVCS’ strategic vision for the future.
As we reflect on this treasured and reinvigorating day, we are filled with gratitude to be a part of MVCS’ 60th year. With commitment and enthusiasm from our dedicated and growing staff, and support from our incredible clients, families, board, and community, we look forward to being a part of the organization’s bright and promising future.
Michael Goldsmith, board president
Beth Folcarelli, chief executive officer