November 30, 2021, is a day recognized worldwide as a celebration of generosity. Spearheaded in 2012, Giving Tuesday is an opportunity for people to share acts of kindness as well as to give time, money, and goods to support communities and causes.
All of the non-profit and not-for-profit organizations that keep Nantucket residents safe, warm, fed, entertained, and educated gratefully accept donations, and some also offer ways for you to share the concept of giving by offering gifts you can give that give back holiday season.
Nantucket Island has an amazing history, and you can help the Nantucket Historical Association preserve and share it with their Nantucket Whaling Museum, Hadwen House, Old Mill, Greater Light, Oldest House, and all their properties. In addition to these historic sites, the NHA also offers a variety of programs including classes, workshops, lectures, and activities for children. A gift membership to the NHA will help support their work and give the recipient access to all their sites.
For those whose passion is science, the gift of a membership in Nantucket’s Maria Mitchell Association will give the recipient a chance to explore the sky, sea, and land around our island with professional and student scientists. Members get free unlimited admission to the MMA Aquarium, Natural Science Museum, Vestal Street Observatory, and Historic Mitchell House, as well as free admission to Open Nights and lectures, discounts on camps, field trips, workshops, and other programs. To give a gift membership (and to renew yours) visit mariamitchell.org/membership. And, thanks to a generous board member, all online donations received through December 1, 2021 will be matched up to $5,000/
A great holiday gift for budding artists is a gift certificate toward classes at the Artists Association of Nantucket. These are available in any amount and can be purchased in-person at either the Cecelia Joyce & Seward Johnson Gallery at 19 Washington Street or at the AAN Visual Arts Center at 24 Amelia Drive. AAN also sells gift certificates that can be used to purchase works of art by AAN members. Both types of gift certificates may also be purchased by calling the Artists Association VAC at 508-228-0722 Monday through Friday from 9am to 5pm.
For nearly a generation, Nantucket Cottage Hospital has honored islanders who were born at the hospital on their Wall of Nantucket Natives. The Wall of Natives has become a beloved tradition for many island families with new babies. For a $100 donation, the name of a Nantucket Native can be added to the Wall with an engraved tile. Buy one online at givenantuckethospital.partners.org/honoring-nantucket-natives: for details call the Foundation at 508-825-8250.
You can help island families and lighten your load after the holiday season by participating in the Christmas Tree pick-up offered by Montessori Children’s House. With the help of many parents and volunteers, The Montessori Children’s House will pick up your Christmas tree after the holiday season. For more than 40 years The Children’s House has provided a warm, nurturing, and dynamic environment to children ages 2.9 to 6. Christmas trees at Moor’s End Farm, Marine Home, and Island Lumber have tags with an order form that can be mailed to P.O. Box 2121, Nantucket, MA 02854 with a $25 donation. The school website also has a page where community members can request a tree pick-up online.
You can even give a gift of entertainment that gives back on-island. Wrap up a Dreamland gift card or membership to slip into a Christmas stocking or a holiday card. Memberships start at just $50 for students and seniors and at $175 for a family. If you have a real film buff on your list, consider the Brant Point membership. Details on memberships and gift cards are at nantucketdreamland.org.
If your gift recipient prefers live theatre, then give memberships and gift cards to White Heron Theatre and to Theatre Workshop of Nantucket. Members of White Heron Theatre can purchase tickets before the general public at member discounts and get member-only access to special behind- the-scenes events. White Heron memberships start at $100 for two people. Theatre Workshop of Nantucket offers a variety of gift cards in denominations, individual subscriptions, and as season subscriptions that include Islander Pass, 40 Below Club, and Play Pass. All can easily be ordered online at theatrenantucket.org and printed or emailed. And TWN has just announced that all contributions will help them meet an historic $250,000 challenge gift from Judy Seinfeld.
Prefer to give just for the joy of giving? Here’s a list of more Nantucket organizations to consider on this Giving Tuesday and beyond:
Fairwinds – provides mental health and substance misuse services to those who need them regardless of financial barriers or lack of insurance.
Nantucket Atheneum – too chicken to take their Cold Turkey Plunge? No worries, you can still donate to our free community library, to help support their programs.
Nantucket Book Festival – you can join the community of readers and writers on Nantucket and beyond who support connection through the written word.
Nantucket Preservation Trust – Nantucket Preservation Trust works to preserve the island’s unique architectural heritage, the very fabric that makes Nantucket so special, all year long.
Trustees of Reservations – this organization owns and manages one of Nantucket’s most dramatic and beautiful places, the Coskata-Coatue Wildlife Refuge. And for Giving Tuesday, THEY HAVE A TRIPLE MATCH in place!
Nantucket Conservation Foundation – another island organization that is a steward of the natural beauty here, preserving it for us all.
A Safe Place, Inc. – providing free, confidential services to survivors of domestic violence and sexual assault. Services include direct services as well as preventive education, supervised family visitation, crisis intervention, counseling, advocacy, and more.