One of the most incredible things about living on Martha’s Vineyard is the sense of community we share with our neighbors, friends, summer residents, and even first-time visitors. The Island is full of passionate individuals and dedicated organizations committed to making Martha’s Vineyard a compassionate and charitable place. Over the last thirty years, we have been able to deepen our connections to the people that surround us, enabling us to use our photography work to help further the missions of local non-profits and drive meaningful change.
This year, in light of COVID, we’re even more appreciative of our Island home and the resilient men and women that have been serving our community in crisis. As photographers we can provide real value for local organizations by highlighting what they do, effectively creating more awareness for their mission while capturing their tireless efforts along the way. Whether it’s providing images that make it into their newsletter, website, or annual report, our photography offers these groups high-quality assets that represent the importance of their work. It’s the least we can do for those that do so much.
Here’s a look back at some of the great work we’ve done in support of the selfless acts being done around us this year.
Who they are: Misty Meadows offers inclusive equine-assisted enrichment programs for people of all ages and abilities. They provide a nurturing environment where horses and humans work together to build relationships and overcome adversity. Their programs are a unique blend of teaching based on building mental, emotional, and physical connections with horses using non-verbal communication. Through observation, groundwork, and riding, their teachings go beyond handling horses to encourage critical thinking, empathy, and boundaries.
What we’ve done for them: We’ve long been inspired by the work that Misty Meadows does with animals, the confidence they build with their students, and the healing properties of the relationships they cultivate. Randi first came to learn about Misty Meadow while shooting their programs, staff, and herd for their website images in 2016. She continued her professional relationship with the organization over the last several years, then began volunteering and just joined the Board of Directors this year.
Who they are: Island Grown Initiative’s (IGI) mission is to build a regenerative and equitable food system on Martha’s Vineyard that engages, informs, and integrates the community. As a founding member of IGI and former Board President, Randi has been active with the organization since its inception in 2006.
Amid the pandemic IGI worked harder than ever to increase local food production, reduce and redirect food waste, and expand access to healthy food for all islanders, ensuring all that needed it had access to food during COVID. They continued to operate their mobile market, with strict safety precautions in place, and they provided thousands of packed lunches every week for school-age children through their free Community Lunch Program, regardless of whether the school was in session. This year IGI announced that they are merging with the Island Food Pantry as of January 1, 2021, effectively combining efforts to create a comprehensive community food equity hub to better serve families facing food insecurity.
What we’ve done for them: Over the years we’ve provided headshots for staff and Board members as well as photography services for the organization’s wide variety of events and programs, including their gleaning program, Food Hub production, Mobile Poultry Processor, and others. Our photography has helped them best illustrate the extent of their work, and it has been used across their website, blog, social media, and press.
*Additionally, to further combat food insecurity during the pandemic RBP will be donating 10% of its proceeds from 2020 to the Island Food Pantry.
Who they are: The Island Housing Trust (IHT) is a non-profit organization that supports a diverse and vital community on-Island by creating and sustaining permanently affordable housing solutions, both rental and ownership. Over the past fifteen years, they have sold and rented 102 homes and apartments, providing hope and opportunity to hundreds of low and moderate-income island families seeking a dignified solution to their affordable housing needs.
This year IHT showed no signs of slowing down and relentlessly continued their urgent work to end housing insecurity, even amid a pandemic. They completed three large-scale building projects which provided housing for dozens of year-round Island residents, while maintaining their mission to design and build simple, durable, healthy, energy-efficient homes that are affordable to purchase, own, and preserve for generations. Additionally, IHT adapted their operations by hosting their first virtual fundraising event (while exceeding its fundraising goals!) and conducted its first remote homeownership lottery via a video conference.
What we’ve done for them: Since their inception, we have regularly provided staff and Board headshots as well as architectural photography to document IHT’s projects; including final builds, in-process shots, and groundbreakings to help further promote their services to potential donors and recipients.
Who they are: Vineyard Havens is an organization that hosts families of adult and pediatric cancer patients in houses on Martha’s Vineyard for vacations of up to a week. Inspired by her own son’s fight against Wilms tumor, a rare form of kidney cancer, Jeanne DeSanto launched Vineyard Havens in 2019.
Vacations have the power to heal, and no one deserves to rest and relaxation more than a family in hard times. That’s why Vineyard Havens gives the gift of an all-expenses-paid vacation so families facing pediatric cancer are able to unwind and reconnect while appreciating the peace, beauty, and tranquility of Martha’s Vineyard. The organization is partnered with the Jimmy Fund Clinic at the Dana-Farber Cancer Institute, which recommends families for the program based on their child’s treatment schedule.
What we’ve done for them: Randi Baird Photography has offered family portrait sessions to the visiting families, giving them an unforgettable experience and leaving them with timeless mementos they can cherish forever.
If your means allow it our Martha’s Vineyard-based non-profits could use your support more this year than ever before. We at RBP wish everyone a safe and happy holiday season this year. While we know things will be different we hope you are able to appreciate your time with those closest to you and reflect back on all we have to be grateful for.