2021 President's Letter

Webster defines pressure as “a compelling or constraining force on the mind or will.”

It is no small irony that the Vineyard; long enjoyed as a refuge from the stresses of life, commerce and now pandemics, has itself become a pressure cooker of desires and apprehensions. As new technologies and the lure of a safe haven have made the Vineyard more attractive to a new wave of residents and visitors, everything that we love about Martha’s Vineyard feels under siege. If ever a place had the potential to be loved to death, this is it.

An island is the very definition of finite. There are limits on everything. For those who live and work here, decent affordable housing is, embarrassingly, becoming a thing of the past. For those who rest and recreate here, the peace, tranquility and simplicity that everyone is seeking is under daily assault. For visitor and resident alike, it is becoming ominously clear that regardless of the topic, be it our clogged roads, our shrinking resources, our natural beauty or simply our way of life, the pressure for change --- both for and against, is growing intense. What to do?

Fortunately, there continues to be a remarkable corps of civic minded Vineyard agencies and volunteers that, although diverse in their missions and perspectives, are collectively dedicated to both assisting those in need and helping to preserve and protect all that makes the Vineyard such a special place for all of us. Their response to these new pressures will help shape what the Vineyard looks like in the future. However, they can’t do it alone.

The Farm Neck Foundation exists as a way for us to cooperatively do our part. We must be willing to live by the adage, “To give back more than we take.” Never has the fragility of what makes this place so unique been more obvious. Your contributions to the Foundation allow us to offer assistance to the many dedicated Islanders working in our behalf for the betterment of Martha’s Vineyard. This is our way to step up when needed.

May we once again ask for your help. (Click Here to Donate)

Timothy D. Sweet