Letter: Help Dad Quit Smoking for a Happy Father's Day

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To the Editor:

Are you looking for an original, meaningful, and inexpensive Father's Day gift? If your dad smokes, show him your love by supporting him in quitting smoking. Quitting can take many tries and he doesn't have to do it alone!

If your father is thinking about quitting, start by telling him about the Massachusetts Smokers Helpline. By calling 1-800-QUIT-NOW (1-800-784-8669), he can get free and confidential coaching 24 hours a day, as often as he wants.

Let your dad know you'll stand by him for as long as it takes. Even if he has tried to quit before, encourage him to keep trying – a smoker attempts to quit an average of seven times before quitting for good. Remind him that smokers who get support and use medicines are nearly three times as likely to quit for good.

Quitting smoking is one of the most difficult things your dad will ever do. Tell your dad not to get discouraged. If he slips up, let him know you're there for him when he’s ready to try again, no matter how many times he tries to quit.
To learn more about how you can help, visit KeepTryingMA.org.

Joyce Brewer
Brewer is coordinator of Berkshire AHEC's Tobacco-Free Community Partnership

 

 

 


Tags: health & wellness,   smoking awareness,   

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Berkshire Immigrant Center Celebrates National Immigrant Heritage Month

PITTSFIELD, Mass. — Beginning June 1, the Berkshire Immigrant Center invites the community to honor the more than 10,000 immigrants in the Berkshires and by joining the annual observance of national Immigrant Heritage Month and helping to launch a $10,000 fundraising campaign for the center.

"During Immigrant Heritage Month, we proudly honor the many ways immigrants make the Berkshires a better place," said BIC Executive Director Michelle Lopez. "This year we are especially grateful for the hundreds of foreign-born doctors, medical technicians, nurses and staff who are caring for people at Berkshire Medical Center, Fairview Hospital, and nursing homes, and for local immigrants who are essential workers at our grocery stores, restaurants and farms."

Since March 20, BIC has raised more than $70,000 for a COVID-19 Relief Fund. Through this fund, BIC has helped more than 140 clients and their families pay for basic needs like rent and utilities.

"We know that so many local people are hurting, both our clients and our supporters, yet even during this crisis people are asking us how they can help," Lopez said.

While 100 percent of emergency relief has been passed through to clients, donations to the Immigrant Heritage Month Campaign help ensure that BIC can serve the local immigrant community in crisis and beyond, including helping immigrants become US citizens. In this year of the U.S. Census count, BIC has also worked diligently to make sure that immigrants are counted and that Berkshire communities thus receive every dollar of federal aid that they should get.

Tax-deductible donations of any amount are welcome online. Contributions can also be made by check made out to Berkshire Immigrant Center and mailed to BIC, 67 East Street, Pittsfield MA 01201.

The center remains the only program in Berkshire County that focuses exclusively on meeting the unique challenges of a continuously growing immigrant and refugee population. In 2018 BIC was named "Best Small Nonprofit" in the state by Massachusetts Nonprofit Network.

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