I am often ask how donations are used through our non-profit, I Love My Island, Inc. So, this blog is an attempt to share some of the things we do to help support our Island community.

First, we need to review our mission statement: To provide and support resources for seniors, to sponsor and support a variety of youth activities from academics to athletics, to offer relief to individuals and families in times of crisis, and to collaborate with others to contribute to the welfare of the Merritt Island area.

Our website briefly reviews some of the work we do – but not all. Just this week we donated supplies for a school program, provided furniture for a previously homeless mother and her children, supplied a gift card for school shoes for children in need, and met with an older islander to provide support after she lost her husband of over 60 years. And it is only Wednesday! We donated to participated in the First Responders Community Bar-B-Q – boy, was it hot!

Last week we provided beds for two children who are able to move back home after their mother completed treatment, we worked with an older islander to help make her home safer and we helped several individuals who needed assistance. We also held our 1st post-COVID (OK, we are NOT really post COVID but the participants had all had their vaccinations) Coffee with Seniors. Another is planned for early August.

In July, we awarded $6,000 in scholarships to Merritt Island Seniors.

We believe in collaboration with other agencies and routinely work to help place homeless families with children, provide food for children and adults who are food insecure and work with mental health organizations to support people in recovery.

Our Thrift Store, My Island Boutique and Thrift Store, supplies much of our funding. When the non-profit began paying staff and contributing to the local economy was an important part of what we wanted to do and that continues as part of our mission. We welcome volunteers and we are working to build an energetic team of volunteers to help in our store and at special events. We are proud of our store and believe it presents our donations in a clean and nice environment and that it provides the community with an affordable place to shop for clothing, household items and furniture.

We also benefit from donations from individuals, often made for a dedicated program. For example, we are currently participating in the A Community Thrives fundraising event where we hope to qualify for a grant. This effort is specifically dedicated to our Older Islanders Programs.

We are hoping the Seniors At Lunch program reopens soon and we will be supplying take home food for those participants. We are beginning to work on our Holiday Gift Programs for Seniors and Children -these program provided gift for over 350 individuals last year.

I hope this provides some insight into where we spend your donations. We accept applications for assistance at any time and process those requests with 48 hours. Please let me know if you would like more information or ant to refer someone for assistance. Email is the easiest way cjp.ilmi1@yahoo.com.

Carolyn Pincheck

Community Outreach