Tuesday, April 9, 2019

Creating pathways to economic prosperity!

Did you know that many of our neighbors are working two to three part-time jobs, and are still struggling to make ends meet? In 2017, the median household income here in Berkshire County was just over $55,000.

The Economic Prosperity Impact Council (EPIC), comprised of nearly 40 members from businesses and organizations throughout the county, is committed to placing people in vacant, full-time jobs and addressing the hiring and retention needs of local businesses.

Our goal is to reduce the number and percentage of households earning less than $75,000. 
To support these efforts, the MassHire Berkshire Workforce Board is hosting a series of monthly job seeker meet-ups in North Adams, Pittsfield and Great Barrington!

The theme of this month’s event is, “Networking & Navigating the Hidden Job Market.” For information on future events, please join us on Facebook. In the meantime, if you or someone you know is currently looking for local employment opportunities, we’ve created this list of job search engines for you to use.

Julie Singley
Program Manager, Community Impact

Thursday, April 4, 2019

What is 411 in the 413?

What is the 411 in the 413?  Ask Miss Hall’s student and Berkshire United Way intern, Meredith Hall, and she’ll say, “It’s a whole day dedicated to youth that gives us access to new opportunities and tools for after high school. Most teens don’t have the opportunity to miss a day of school to learn about such interesting things like pet first aid, or yoga with therapy balls.”

A collaboration between Berkshire United Way, Northern Berkshire Community Coalition, and Railroad Street Youth Project as part of the Berkshire Youth Development Project, the 13th annual 411 in the 413 Youth Conference will take place at the Berkshire Museum on Thursday, April 11.

The countywide conference, organized by and created for local teens, offers a unique opportunity for students from 14 high schools across Berkshire County to meet new people, delve into their passions, and discuss useful tools for navigating today’s world through a variety of workshops. The theme of this year’s conference is “Staying Afloat in the Modern World.”

A unique feature of this year’s event is keynote speaker, Regi Wingo, a Berkshire native and staff member at the Elizabeth Freeman Center, an organization which provides life renewing help to survivors of domestic and sexual violence.

The conference aligns with Berkshire United Way’s efforts to provide young people with opportunities that will help them develop a plan for college or a career. For a look at what happens behind the scenes of the 411 in the 413, stay tuned for photos and updates on our Facebook page.

Talk with you soon!

Kat Toomey
Coordinator of Positive Youth Development

Monday, April 1, 2019

Preparing kids for Kindergarten

Which of the following things helps prepare your child for Kindergarten?
  • Talking and singing with your baby
  • Playing with play dough
  • Building things with blocks and legos
  • Walking on a nature trail
  • Learning your letters

     Of course, this is a trick question! The answer is everything you do with your child helps build skills needed for school readiness. Children need a variety of experiences from the time they are born to the time they enter school to gain background knowledge and build vocabulary.  Children (and adults!) learn from watching others, then doing. Repeat. Repeat. Repeat.  Getting dirty is a bonus!

On Saturday April 6th, from 10:30 am – 12:00 pm, Berkshire United Way will host the 7th Annual School Readiness Fair in partnership with the Berkshire Athenaeum and Wee Read - special thanks to Mountain One for sponsoring the event!

Children and families will have the opportunity to play and learn at activity stations. We will have a Mad Scientist on hand to make glow bracelets and Pittsfield Public Schools will be onsite for Kindergarten registrations. 

Through our collaborations with partners throughout the county, we are committed to making sure children get the skills they need to succeed. Come join the fun! 

Karen Vogel
Director of Community Impact

Monday, March 25, 2019

Making a difference, one volunteer hour at a time

April is National Volunteer Month. Every year hundreds of individuals, with various abilities, give thousands of hours as volunteers with Berkshire United Way. This doesn’t include the hours my colleagues spent volunteering outside of work at organizations throughout the county.

For some, it offers the chance to give something back to the community or make a difference to the people around them. For others, it provides an opportunity to develop new skills, build upon their knowledge and experience, or advocate for something they are passionate about. 

Positive Youth Development Coordinator, Kat Toomey, is passionate about mentoring; it was this passion that led Kat to become a mentor herself. Little did she know she would get just as much out of the relationship as she gave. “Mentoring changes both lives, making it the ultimate two-way street, yet it’s often seen as a one-lane highway. Something that often goes unnoticed when someone considers becoming a mentor is the new knowledge and experience you will gain. I can say from my own experience in a mentoring relationship with a young person, I have become more patient, open-minded, and understanding of the challenges youth are facing today,” she says.

The volunteer efforts of our team reflect the work we are doing as an organization to promote pathways for individuals and families to thrive. “Education plays a key role in the success of our children, and as the parent of a Pittsfield Public School student, I feel it’s important for me to be involved. Serving as a volunteer on the District’s Curriculum Advisory Council is a way for me to do that — I am able to use my voice to affect positive change and my participation enables me to remain informed,” shares Julie Golin, Coordinator of Marketing & Communications.

Volunteer Coach, Duffy Judge, pauses for a photo with his son, who is a player on his team.
The organizations below have each benefited from the time and talent of our team:
  • Multicultural Bridge at Conte Community School
  • Martin Luther King Day of Services
  • National Alliance of Mental Illness in Berkshire County
  • Temple Anshe
  • Pittsfield Little League
  • Jimmy’s Ride in support of Berkshire County Kids’ Place
  • Adams Community Bank
  • Monterey Friends of the Library Fundraising Committee
  • Pittsfield Human Services Advisory Council
  • Berkshire Community College Early Education Advisory Committee
  • Central Berkshire Habitat for Humanity
  • Curriculum Advisory Council, Pittsfield Public School District
  • Williamstown Youth Center
  • Williamstown Cal Ripken

Each year, we shine a light on volunteers throughout our community, recognizing and thanking those who lend their time, talent and voice to make a difference. Save the date for this year’s annual LIVE UNITED Community Celebration, at The Proprietor’s Lodge, on Thursday, April 25 from 4-6 p.m. and watch the event page on our website for details!

I look forward to seeing you there.
Development Manager

Wednesday, March 13, 2019

5 Things to Know for VITA’s 50th Birthday

1.  Non-spoiler alert: this year, VITA turns 50! The Volunteer Income Tax Assistance (VITA) program began operation in 1969, and provides free, high-quality tax preparation for low to moderate-income taxpayers. VITA is powered by IRS-certified volunteer tax preparers.

2.   VITA brings back billions of dollars to communities across the country. VITA’s stellar volunteer preparers help hardworking Americans to access the credits they’ve earned, like the Earned Income Tax Credit and Child Tax Credit. These refundable credits allow recipients to become financially stable by expanding their income enough to pay for rent, reliable transportation to work, and groceries. In 2018, thousands of VITA volunteers prepared millions of returns, and brought back $1.9 billion to communities across the country.

Reports from the IRS indicate that 731 Federal tax returns were filed by VITA partners funded by Berkshire United Way last year, returning $1million out of $2.2 million VITA dollars returned to Berkshire County residents. Thank you to Central Berkshire Habitat for Humanity and the Hilltown Community Development Corporation for joining us in this effort!

3.  Congress recently increased funding for the VITA program. In the latest spending package to pass Congress (FY19), funding for the VITA program was increased by 20% to $18 million. We’re grateful that decision makers recognize the value of VITA and the service it provides to our community, please join us in thanking Congress for their support! 

4.  Most VITA programs operate at full capacity. While the recent increase in funding was great news, the truth is that many VITA programs operate at full capacity and are not able to serve all those eligible in their communities. Therefore, we’re calling on Congress to further shore up investments in the program for Fiscal Year 2020. Join us by adding your organization to this sign-on letter, and by sending an email to your Member of Congress

5.  VITA is not a permanent program. Since 2008 VITA has been a demonstration pilot program. Congress has to authorize it every year. We think a great 50th birthday present from Congress would be to make the program permanent! Ask your Member of Congress today!

To make your appointment for free tax prep through the VITA program, please call us at 413.442.6948 today!

Julie Singley
Program Manager, Community Impact

Wednesday, March 6, 2019

Building a stronger community in a "United Way"

Johnny was the first one to arrive, anxiously waiting at the registration table to find out how he could get started with all the activities. I explained the process in detail as he listened intently.  At that moment, Johnny had become our 10x the Fun ambassador.  I heard him instructing other children how to join in on the activities, both inside and outside.  He was assisting a younger child with fishing – “There is a magnet on the end of the pole that helps catch the fish. This is how you do it.”

Educational events like 10x the Fun promote early literacy and help young children develop the skills they need to arrive at school ready to learn so they are reading proficiently by third grade – a key predictor of their future success in school and life. Simply stated, up to third grade, children learn to read; after third grade children read to learn!

Berkshire United Way’s Pittsfield Promise joined the Zion Lutheran Church to host 10x the Fun as part of Cultural Pittsfield’s 10x10 Upstreet Winter Arts Festival.  I'd like to give special thanks to the following who gave their time and talent to make the event such a success: Berkshire County Head Start; Berkshire North WIC (Women, Infants & Children); Berkshire Nursing Families; Child Care of the Berkshires; Department of Children and Families; KidZone; the Pittsfield Parks Department and Zion Lutheran Church.

Together we are building a stronger community in a “United Way.”

Karen Vogel
Director of Community Impact

Wednesday, February 27, 2019

Career exploration opportunity for local teens

“We put a strong emphasis on lifelong learning and curiosity – don’t be afraid to ask questions,” said Stephen Boyd, president and CEO of Boyd Technologies in Lee as he spoke to a room of 12 Monument Mountain High School students interested in pursuing a career in STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering, and Math). The students visited Boyd in February to learn more about the company and potential career pathways in the sciences. Boyd, a graduate of Monument Mountain himself, answered questions from students and encouraged his staff to share how they came to work at Boyd Technologies.

Brianna Sporbert completed an internship at Boyd as a Pittsfield High School student; she is now the vice president of engineering overseeing commercialization of new products, material sourcing and product development platforms, and enacting the company’s strategic growth plan. In her spare time, she enjoys mentoring young women in STEM through Berkshire United Way’s community partner, Flying Cloud Institute. Lindsey Berkowitz, Young Women In Science Programs Director, helped recruit the young women who attended that day. Sean Flynn, Career and Vocational Technical Education (CVTE) and Internship Coordinator at Monument, recruited the other students for this career exploration opportunity.

Donned with hair nets (and beard nets for some), students enjoyed an informative tour of the facilities at Boyd Technologies. Development Engineer, Stephen Fitzgerald, advised the students, “School is important, and give it your all, but you’ll only learn about 10% in school of what we do in business. There’s going to be opportunities outside of school such as internships, projects, co-ops, research opportunities - and those kinds of experiences are hugely valuable. Make sure to jump at those opportunities. If you want to come to Boyd, I can’t recommend it enough!”

Berkshire United Way is committed to providing career exploration opportunities for young people here in the Berkshires. By partnering with local agencies such as Flying Cloud Institute, businesses, and community members, Berkshire United Way helps local youth develop a college or career plan that places them on the path to success.

To learn more about career readiness opportunities and initiatives, or if you’re a local business looking to host the next generation of employees for a similar field trip, please reach out to me at ktoomey@berkshireunitedway.org or 413-442-6948 x15.

I hope to hear from you!

Kat Toomey
Coordinator of Positive Youth Development


Wednesday, February 20, 2019

3 Things the Director of Development worries about

I'm Ilene Marcus and I am the new Director of Development at Berkshire United Way. I am honored to be chosen to work with you in strengthening our community and bringing together resources, people and ideas to build the future of Berkshire County. 

As Development Director, my primary responsibility is to help each person and organization find the best way they can engage with Berkshire United Way and be part of the fabric of helping our neighbors succeed, so we all grow stronger together.

Here are the things I worry about in my new position: 

1. You Don't Know Our Mission

To fully engage, first you must fully understand.

Berkshire United Way ignites the collective power of individuals and organizations to build a stronger community together.

What does it mean? We are a human service agency focused on helping Berkshire County residents thrive by promoting early childhood literacy, giving young people the support they need to develop a college or career plan, and helping working families increase their income and assets.

2. You Aren't Sure How Your Contribution Matters

Everyone has a stake in making Berkshire County thrive. Community members from all walks of life with a variety of skills give what they can to Berkshire United Way:
  • Business leaders and local employees donate to our annual fundraising goals through workplace campaigns
  • Community leaders support our work by getting involved; serving on committees and donating financially to our efforts
  • Funded partners, who work with us to improve the lives of our friends and neighbors here in the Berkshires, provide feedback, stories and support for Berkshire United Way
  • Volunteers who are retired and give specialized skills; others give back to the community by volunteering their time
The cumulative contributions of each person make up our community efforts. We need each of you, regardless of the size of your contribution, to achieve our mission.

3. You Want to Get More Involved and Don't Know How

Reach out to our team and schedule a time to talk or meet. We love to meet community members and work with you to craft a plan that will engage your soul, your mind and your charitable dollars. Remember, when you give more, you get more. We can help you find the best way to give to Berkshire United Way and make a real difference in our community.

What’s Next? Come Visit. Call me at 413.442.6948 x18 and I’ll come visit you. Join us on our mission to promote pathways for individuals and families to thrive. Together, we build a stronger community in a “United Way.”

I look forward to hearing from you!

Wednesday, February 13, 2019

FREE tax prep is available!

Here at Berkshire United Way, we are entering our second year of coordinating the Volunteer Income Tax Assistance (VITA) program in Great Barrington and Lee. VITA is a free tax preparation program for individuals and families making $55,000 or less. Together with our funded VITA partners at Central Berkshire Habitat for Humanity and the Hilltown Community Development Corporation, we returned $1 million out of the total $2.2 million VITA dollars returned to Berkshire County residents last year.

VITA volunteers Alan Thiel and Jennifer Moriarty help a client with her tax return.

Our VITA sites opened on Monday, February 4th at the Berkshire Community College South County Center in Great Barrington. We’re currently scheduling appointments for free tax prep at the following five locations: Berkshire South Regional Community Center, Construct, Berkshire Community College South County Center, Community Health Programs in Great Barrington and October Mountain Financial Advisors in Lee - simply call 413.442.6948.

We could not do this work without our funded partners who are available to help residents in other parts of the county. If a central county or hill town location is more convenient for you, we encourage you to contact Central Berkshire Habitat for Humanity at 413.442.0002 or the Hilltown Community Development Center at 413.296.4536 x100.

In addition, MCLA has partnered with Central Berkshire Habitat for Humanity and Berkshire United Way to offer free tax prep on campus for students and members of the community.

Regardless of where you are in Berkshire County - free tax prep for qualifying individuals and families is just a call away.

James Swinchoski
VISTA Volunteer and VITA site coordinator

Wednesday, February 6, 2019

Engaging in advocacy - local youth visit Beacon Hill!

January was National Mentoring Month, and young people from the Berkshires had a chance to make their voices heard in support of mentoring far outside the county - on Beacon Hill! Berkshire United Way supported a field trip for youth and adults involved in two of our funded programs, Railroad Street Youth Project’s RSYP Mentoring Program and Berkshire Children and Families’ Pittsfield Community Connection (PCC), to tell their stories about the positive impact of mentoring at the Massachusetts State House. 

Mentoring plays an important role in our work with young people – increasing high school graduation rates, reducing teenage pregnancy, and ensuring young people have the support they need to graduate high school with a college or career plan. We currently invest in four local mentoring programs; last year, those programs connected 281 young people with a caring adult.

Youth Mentoring Day is an annual advocacy day at the State House, sponsored by Mass Mentoring Partnership. A total of 15 mentees met with their respective Representatives, Tricia Farley-Bouvier of Pittsfield and Smitty Pignetelli of south county as well as Adam Hinds’ team to advocate for the mentoring line item in the state budget. This funding helps support mentoring programs across the state.  

Deonte, a mentee in the PCC program, told Tricia Farley-Bouvier, “I’ve been with the program for a few years. It really helped me because in the beginning, I was not on the best path, I wasn’t hanging out with the best crowd. But PCC and my mentors helped me with school and applying to college. I just found out I got accepted – I’m not sure where I’m going yet. But I’m really happy to be on that path now.”

So why mentor? Research confirms that quality mentoring relationships have powerful positive effects on young people. Ultimately, mentoring connects a young person to personal growth and development, and social and economic opportunity. Yet one in three young people will grow up without this critical asset (source: mentoring.org).

To view a list of mentor opportunities in the Berkshires, visit this link and simply type in your zip code to view programs in your area.  You may also reach out to me to learn more about mentoring opportunities at ktoomey@berkshireunitedway.org ; 413-442-6948 x 15. I hope to hear from you!

Kat Toomey
Coordinator of Positive Youth Development

Friday, February 1, 2019

Helping Our Children Succeed

Do you know that the Massachusetts Department of Early Education and Care has a team of five early childhood experts helping to “build brains” in libraries and museums throughout Berkshire County? These experts are known as family engagement specialists, and they provide a wide range of learning opportunities for families and children - from the time they are born until they enter school.

The programs they offer range from preschool gym time to story times to STEAM activities for little scientists and everything in between. For example, in partnership with South Berkshire Kids, the Berkshire Museum takes some of their most popular programs on the road to south county locations, introducing young minds to reptiles and small animals. Miss Jess invites the children in attendance to touch them, as she cautions, “This reptile is small, so you need to pet him with just one finger, very gently. He likes to be stroked from his head down to his tail.”  As each child patiently waits his or her turn, with a pointed finger and an inquiring mind, they make observations and ask questions - “He is soft, and really cold,” and “Why does he have spots?” 

Learning happens everywhere, and we all want our children to succeed. To learn more about these and other early learning programs, please visit our website. By supporting families and promoting early literacy, we can all help our kids arrive at school ready to learn!

Karen Vogel
Director of Community Impact

Thursday, January 24, 2019

Your gift builds a stronger community

As the Workplace Campaign for Berkshire United Way wraps up, I want to share how your gift helps more than 17,000 people from Clarksburg to Sheffield and everywhere in between.

When you give to Berkshire United Way, your gift is combined with donations from more than 5,000 donors, and the impact is enormous! We use that money to invest in a broad range of programs to meet the needs and interests of all. Our commitment to donors is to do the research and invest your money where it is needed most. By working together, we help strengthen our funded programs and increase their reach, bringing the community together to solve problems that no single program, organization or sector can do alone. 

Together, we are building a stronger community in a “United Way” by:

Helping parents become their child’s first teacher through 6,000 home visits by Child Care of the Berkshires and Community Health Programs.

Connecting more than 250 young people with a caring adult at the Railroad Street Youth Project, Dalton CRA, Pittsfield Community Connection and Barrington Stage Company.

Returning more than $1 million out of $2.2 million Volunteer Income Tax Assistance (VITA) dollars to Berkshire County residents through Central Berkshire Habitat for Humanity, Hilltown Community Development Center and Berkshire United Way.

If you’d like to join us in making a difference, you can make a gift online, or by calling us at 413.442.6948. On behalf of our friends and neighbors throughout the Berkshires, thank you for your support.

Duffy Judge
Development Manager

Wednesday, January 16, 2019

A rewarding volunteer opportunity!

Do you want to make lasting changes in our community? As we begin a new year, it’s rewarding to look back and see the impact we made together.

Thanks to the support of our generous donors, we were able to invest more than $2 million in a broad range of local programs last year. Our commitment to donors is to do the research and invest your money where it is needed most.

Every two years, local nonprofit organizations, whose work aligns with our community goals, are invited to apply for funding.
A team of more than 30 trained community volunteers work with experienced Berkshire United Way staff members to review each proposal, then deliberates to make funding recommendations to our board of directors.

According to one of our experienced proposal reviewers, Judith Douville, “Reviewing funding requests has afforded me the opportunity to become more knowledgeable regarding the programs that are being offered to individuals and families.  It has been an awesome and informative experience for me knowing that I am part of this process.” 

Together, with our donors, volunteers and funded programs, we helped more than 17,000 neighbors here in the Berkshires last year. Most of you probably know someone whose life has been touched, in some way, by one of the programs supported by Berkshire United Way.

If you are interested in reviewing funding proposals this spring, please email me at jsingley@berkshireunitedway.org or give me a call at 413.442.6948 x32.

This is a great opportunity to help build a stronger community here in the Berkshires - I look forward to hearing from you!

Julie Singley
Program Manager, Community Impact

Friday, January 11, 2019

Mentoring changes lives

You may have noticed an increase in mentoring stories on your social media feeds the past couple of weeks. January is National Mentoring Month – a time when we focus even more on the need for mentors and celebrate mentoring and the positive effects it can have.

Mentoring plays an important role in Berkshire United Way’s positive youth development work– increasing high school graduation rates, reducing teenage pregnancy, and ensuring young people have the support they need to graduate high school with a college or career plan.

The following story is from one of the four local mentoring programs Berkshire United Way invests in. Last year, those programs provided mentors for 281 young people. “Upon completing the culinary program at Railroad Street Youth Project, a mentee realized s/he wanted to focus on a possible future as a chef or baker and was matched with a professional pastry chef as a mentor. The pair worked together weekly in a local restaurant kitchen, where the mentee learned first-hand how to bake complex baked goods including crème brulee, panna cotta and rosemary lemon cake.”

Mentoring changes both lives, making it the ultimate two-way street, yet it’s often seen as a one-lane highway. Something that often goes unnoticed when someone considers becoming a mentor is the new knowledge and experience you will gain. I can say from my own experience in a mentoring relationship with a young person, I have become more patient, open-minded, and understanding of the challenges youth are facing today.

Every young person deserves a caring adult in their lives. To view a list of mentor opportunities in the Berkshires, visit this link and simply type in your zip code to view programs in your area. You may also reach out to me to learn more about mentoring opportunities by calling 413.442.6948 or sending an email to ktoomey@berkshireunitedway.org.

Kat Toomey
Coordinator of Positive Youth Development

Monday, January 7, 2019

Keeping our promise to give every child a successful start

Six years ago, Pittsfield Promise introduced us to story of a young child named Marquis born to a young, single mother, named Tina. Tina was living with her grandmother and had limited access to resources in the community, and very little support at home to help raise her child.  Marquis arrived at Kindergarten lacking many of the skills needed to be successful in school; he was significantly behind his peers.  

If Marquis were born today, Tina would have immediately been connected to a home visiting program by the hospital.  The home visiting program would provide intensive weekly sessions with Tina, providing her with parenting skills, and knowledge about child development.  They would connect her to housing, and food pantries to meet some of her basic needs.  As Tina’s confidence grew as a parent, along with the promise to secure a better life for her child, she’d decide to go back to work; she’d be connected to a training program and child care.  The child care center would provide monthly family nights; Tina would build friendships and a support network with the families there.  Reports from teachers would show that Marquis was progressing nicely and offer some suggestions to continue his development at home.  Tina would carve out an extra 30 minutes in her day to read to him daily, and on weekends, they’d attend the library, museum, and free community events. As Marquis entered kindergarten he received a screening during his first week of school and scored in the in the 80th percentile of his class.  

Cynthia Segui, Coordinator of the Berkshire United Way funded Parent-Child Home Program at Community Health Programs, reads to a local child during a home visit.
Since 2012, we have mobilized community partners to assure our young families have a strong start, yet less than 50% of our students reading proficiently by 3rd Grade. What have we missed?  Berkshire United Way is working with a nationally recognized research firm with support of a grant from the Tri-Mix Foundation to help answer this question.  Through a mix of anonymous parent surveys, focus groups, interviews with key stakeholders, and research of national models, we plan to understand what is working for our families and what is not.  We want to keep our promise, to make sure that every child, like Marquis, has a successful start in life.  

Please join us at our next Pittsfield Promise meeting on January 11th at 8:30 am at the Family Resource Center to us build a family strong community.  Contact Karen Vogel at kvogel@berkshireunitedway.org for more information.

We look forward to seeing you there!
Stephanie Adornetto
Coordinator of Early Childhood Development

Wednesday, January 2, 2019

Volunteers contribute to our success

The arrival of a new year brings with it hope and opportunity; it also marks a threshold that invites us to reflect upon our successes during the past year.

A key factor in the success of Berkshire United Way’s efforts to make Berkshire County a dynamic, engaged community with opportunities for all is the dedication and commitment of our hardworking volunteers. This is especially true during our workplace campaign—which takes place each fall in more than 150 Berkshire County businesses—where volunteers serve as ambassadors for Berkshire United Way.

These volunteers, commonly referred to as Employee Campaign Coordinators (ECCs), wear many hats in support of our fundraising efforts. In addition to overseeing their company’s annual Berkshire United Way fundraising campaign, ECCs plan special events throughout the year, which raise money to support our investments in the community. Examples of past events include paint and sip nights, gift basket giveaways, casual days and a baby photo contest where employees tried to identify their colleagues by the baby photo submitted by each employee.

They also help coordinate teams of volunteers that support the work we do throughout our community. Some ECC’s organize teams that care for one of the 52 Book Houses that give kids free access to books throughout the county or run book drives at their workplace to ensure each House is adequately filled with books for the children of our community to enjoy.

Last year workplace employees gave more than $1.2 million dollars to help build a stronger community here in the Berkshires. As we pause to reflect, we’d like to thank our many workplace campaign volunteers for helping us achieve that success – we couldn’t have done it without you!

Sandy Girard and Jennifer Vasolino of Pittsfield Cooperative Bank, recipients of the 2018 Target Employee Campaign Coordinator of the Year Award with Kristine Hazzard, President and CEO of Berkshire United Way. 
To learn more about becoming an ECC, and other volunteer opportunities with Berkshire United Way, please contact me at djudge@berkshireunitedway.org.

Happy New Year!
Development Manager