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Brenda Petell, director of volunteer engagement at Berkshire United Way, right, hands over pledge forms to Gabrielle Vanderpool, employee campaign coordinator at Ray Murray Inc., during the company’s recent workplace campaign kickoff event.

Berkshire United Way Starts Campaign Year

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PITTSFIELD, Mass. — The Berkshire United Way kicked off its 2020 to 2021 campaign year with virtual fundraising efforts
 
This year will look different for Berkshire United Way's 140 workplace campaigns, but the goal to raise money while having fun remains the same.
 
"These campaigns are the backbone of our fundraising efforts, so this year we have modified our processes due to the pandemic, from virtual kickoffs and creative special events to customized campaign web pages that enable employees to virtually make gifts," Duffy Judge, BUW development manager said. "We have also launched a campaign kickoff video to replace in-person gatherings."
 
The organization has modified its processes due to the pandemic, from virtual kickoff celebrations and creative special events to customized campaign web pages that enable employees to virtually make gifts. BUW has also launched a campaign kickoff video to replace in-person gatherings.
 
Longtime supporter Unistress Corporation kicked off BUW's fundraising year with a two-week campaign in September, reporting a 6 percent increase in participation. 
 
"Here at Unistress we are acutely aware of how important a role Berkshire United Way plays in improving the lives in our community," Perri Petricca, Unistress president said. "As such, we were pleased to be their first workplace campaign this year, as hundreds of our employees generously made pledges to support BUW."
 
To date, all the businesses that ran campaigns last year plan to participate again this year, and BUW welcomed a new workplace partner Berkshire Sterile Manufacturing. Berkshire Sterile recently held its first special event – a socially distant company picnic featuring a dunk tank.
 
"We are encouraged. The last seven months have been challenging for many families and businesses, but we are overwhelmed by the generosity in our community," Candace Winkler, president and chief executive officer of BUW said. "We recognize the effort it takes to run a campaign during this public health crisis, but we also know the need is great this year. Every gift makes a difference in someone's life."
 
In partnership with Miraval Berkshires, BUW is offering a new incentive for participation. Anyone who pledges to this year's campaign will be entered to win a three-day, two-night wellness getaway to Miraval's new resort in Lenox.
 
To learn more about Berkshire United Way's Annual Campaign, contact Duffy Judge at djudge@berkshireunitedway.org.
 

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Pittsfield Schools Subcommittee OKs Policies on Education Stability

By Brittany PolitoiBerkshires Staff

PITTSFIELD, Mass. — Pittsfield Public School's Policy Subcommittee adopted three policies to make sure that homeless, foster, and connected military students have education stability.  

The policies are to ensure that these students are receiving proficient education and that they are immediately enrolled upon entering the district.

Director of Curriculum Judy Rush's examination of the current policy resulted in her offering a revised homeless student policy and two new policies to the subcommittee.

Last week, the subcommittee voted unanimously in favor of each policy's approval on first reading.

The Homeless Students policy is a revised policy that has been driven by the McKinney-Vento Homeless Assistance Act that ensures homeless children and youth have equal access to the same free and appropriate public education, including public preschool education, as provided to other children and youths.

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