"That's a choice a community makes, whether we're going to fall apart or face the challenges head-on," Sen. Benjamin Downing said. "When we're at our best, it's not just the glass is half full. But we know if we work hard enough, we're going to find the water to make the glass overflow."
That is part of a strategy called "looking upstream," and in the Berkshires right now, the analogy is being used to describe a way to tackle the region's substance abuse problem.
In this case, said Wendy Pender, direction of prevention and wellness at the Northern Berkshire Community Coalition, "upstream" is actually the children of today who we hope to prevent from becoming the addicts of tomorrow.
Friends, family and many supporters gathered to honor and congratulate individuals and groups in the Northern Berkshire communities whose acts of kindness and volunteer efforts have made a significant difference in the lives of their neighbors and the community.
These specially trained, paid workers fill a lot of different roles, from direct services like health screenings and home assessments to helping residents navigate systems of care and advocate for themselves.
The program will include the presentation of this year's MLK Peacemaker Award to PopCares Inc., in recognition of the difference the nonprofit organization makes in the lives of more than 310 local families who are battling cancer.
“I am excited because I feel my background and current work match nbCC priorities related to community dialogue and problem solving, building strong neighborhoods, and youth-focused prevention programs.” — Adam Hinds