image description

Northern Berkshire Santa Fund Changes Focus

Print Story | Email Story

NORTH ADAMS, Mass. —The Northern Berkshire Santa Fund will be changing its focus from toys to coats this year.

The change is part of a new initiative to look at the year-round needs of the Northern Berkshire community, according to Santa Fund President Tammy Daniels.
 
"The Santa Fund has been solidifying ties with other community agencies over the last few years in an effort to sustain the program, which has a long history dating back to the days of Sprague Electric of providing toys for children in the community during the holidays,” Daniels said. “We saw that other programs were providing toys but there was a gap in other items, so when we were asked to consider providing coats in October when children need them, we were excited about the opportunity.”

Daniels and other staff at iBerkshires.com took over operation of the Santa Fund several years ago after the closure of the North Adams Transcript, which had run the program for many years. Santa Fund organizers worked with the North Adams WalMart for a couple years; while Wal-Mart was extremely generous with its time and money in helping with the transition, the logistics were difficult for a small, volunteer organization. More recently, Santa Fund volunteers had purchased and distributed toys to families at the holidays.

But now, starting this year, the Santa Fund will focus on distributing warm winter coats at the end of October, before the cold weather really sets in. This is a partnership with Northern Berkshire United Way, Berkshire Community Action Council and the Rotary Club of North Adams.



The program will work with Operation Warm, a national organization that creates its own line of brand new winter coats. Operation Warm partners with organizations across North America to give coats to children in need. The partnership with the North Adams Rotary Club gives the Santa Fund added benefits and funding as well as additional program and administrative support.

But what about the toys? The Elf Program at Berkshire Community Action Council generally provides toys with their warm winter clothing distributed in December. This program serves 800 eligible children in Northern Berkshire while the Santa Fund typically served 500. All toys currently stored with the Santa Fund will be given to Berkshire Community Action Council for their Elf program this year.

The Santa Fund also will develop a list of other needs it wants to support throughout the year, particularly in the summer. These needs are still being developed and will evolve over time, as do community issues.

If anyone in the community would like to contribute to the Operation Warm Coat Fund, the cost to serve one child and provide one coat is $20. Donations can be made securely online. However, because this is a transition year, the fund will only be able to take in a limited number of applications and the due date is Sept. 27. The goal this year is to serve 300 children and increase that number next year. For more information or to apply, contact BCAC at 413-663-3014.


Tags: santa fund,   

0 Comments
iBerkshires.com welcomes critical, respectful dialogue; please keep comments focused on the issues and not on personalities. Profanity, obscenity, racist language and harassment are not allowed. iBerkshires reserves the right to ban commenters or remove commenting on any article at any time. Concerns may be sent to info@iberkshires.com.

North Adams' Pandemic State of Emergency Expires June 15

NORTH ADAMS, Mass. — The city's state of emergency comes to an end next Tuesday, June 15, 459 days after it was declared at the start of the novel coronavirus pandemic on March 13, 2020.
 
In a statement announcing its termination, Mayor Thomas Bernard cautioned that it doesn't mean residents should throw caution to the wind. 
 
"This action does not mean that the COVID-19 pandemic is over, but with the expiration of the Governor's emergency declaration, I wanted to align the city with the statewide status," he wrote. "For everyone in our community, this means that I encourage you please to continue to take sensible public health precautions for cleaning and personal hygiene, avoiding gatherings and public spaces when you're not feeling well, and continuing to practice self-care.
 
"People who are not fully vaccinated should continue to wear a face covering and practice social distancing in most cases, and to get vaccinated as soon as you can."
View Full Story

More North Adams Stories