Those are some of the success stories the Berkshire United Way shared on Friday at Cranwell. The organization is perpetually fundraising to continue to support various programs. At the luncheon on Friday, it focused its work on positive youth development, one of three main focuses of the organization.
Prevention is just one aspect of tackling the opioid problem in the county. So far signs show local efforts are working, but that local effort still have a lot of work ahead of them.
Over the last 10 years data collected from the Berkshire United Way is showing a decreasing percentage of county students using alcohol, marijuana, and tobacco products. However, compared to the national average, Berkshire students are still using those substances at a greater frequency than national averages.
Every child entering kindergarten next year will have a backpack full of supplies.
Berkshire Bank employees will be filling 1,200 backpacks with books, supplies, reading lists, and informational fliers as part of the Berkshire United Way's day of caring.
It's coming up on tax time, a chance to catch up on bills, build a savings, or make investments. And there are community groups just waiting to help people with the filing.
The Berkshire United Way and the Central Berkshire Habitat for Humanity have put together a pool of volunteers to help individuals and families file income tax with the IRS securely and for free through the Volunteer Income Tax Assistance Program.
By the end of the year SABIC may be gone. But not forgotten.
Saudi Arabia Basic Industries Corp.'s Innovative Plastics is leaving a legacy of philanthropy and community engagement behind with a parting gift of a $1 million endowment for the Berkshire United Way. The company has made major impacts in the city of Pittsfield over the years with donation to the Berkshire United Way, employees serving on boards and commissions, and volunteer efforts on a number of projects.
At the heart of the 2016 event was the installation of 50 Berkshire Book Houses in 24 communities throughout the county. With the help of Jack Geary Builders, dozens of SABIC and JRL Construction volunteers, using materials donated by LP Adams, built 50 book houses, each of which can house 100 children’s books.
Hundreds of people shook it up on the dance floor at Hancock Shaker Village on Friday night.
The dance party Friday night capped of the Berkshire United Way's Day of Caring during which dozens go businesses found ways to donated to the organization's childhood literacy efforts. Further, 50 book houses were installed all over the county as a mini lending library.
By the third grade, half of the county's youth are not proficient at reading.
But the Berkshire United Way is continuing its efforts to change that. For the last five or so years the organization has run a number of programs and projects aimed to bring that percentage close to 90 percent by 2020 and this year the efforts are ramping up even more.
"This year, because that is how we are, we are going bigger and we're going better," CEO Kristine Hazzard said on Monday when the organization a