It’s that time of year again, when island charities start mounting their holiday campaigns, and one of the oldest and most successful is the Red Stocking.
Applications for largess from the Red Stocking are now available at all Martha’s Vineyard schools, most banks, Health Care Access, Martha’s Vineyard Community Services, the Island Wide Youth Collaborative and the Food Pantry.
Other locations include the Department of Children and Families, the Boys and Girls Club, the Wampanoag Tribe of Gay Head and M.V. Insurance Agency offices.
Drop off your donations of clothing, toys and food at Grace Church, Williams St., Vineyard Haven, or St. Augustine church at 56 Franklin St, Vineyard Haven.
An All Volunteer Effort
The Red Stocking Fund is a completely volunteer-run, nonprofit organization that provides food and clothing for families in need for the holidays.
Additionally, the organization provides food when possible during the winter on Martha’s Vineyard. The organization does not buy toys, but depends totally upon the donation of toys for kids, newborn to 14 years old.
Red Stocking – Modest Beginnings
The Red Stocking was started in 1938 by Addie Slack Crist, a Vineyard Haven resident and organist at Grace Church. That first year Crist and a few friends knitted six stockings and filled them with toys and clothing and gave them away to needy families.
The annual effort has since grown into a large year-round campaign that culminates at Christmas time with distributions to more than 400 families. Addie Crist is the grandmother of David Lott, principal broker/owner of Vineyard Open House Real Estate. (See “When Santa Is Your Grandmother’)
The fund usually receives much of its donations through three major sources each year: the Great Chowder Contest, mvyradio’s Big Chili Contest and the annual fundraiser by the Martha’s Vineyard Harley Riders.
Interested families can mail a completed application by Nov. 7 to receive a Thanksgiving food certificate. All applications must be turned in by Nov. 16.
Distribution of clothing and toys is Friday, Dec. 14, from 9 am to 12 pm at St. Augustine’s Church.
Contact Sandy Joyce at 508-776-0801 or Susie Wallo at 508-776-6050 for additional information and to find out where and when to bring your donations.