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Berkshire Humane Society has been getting support from local cannabis dispensaries.

Local Cannabis Dispensaries Support Berkshire Humane Society

By Brittany PolitoiBerkshires Staff
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Berkshire Humane Society posted this picture of Casper the cat (available for adoption) on Facebook in thanking Temesca Wellness for it $1,700 donation.
PITTSFIELD, Mass. — A number of local cannabis dispensaries are supporting the Berkshire Humane Society with volunteer work and donations.
 
Last month, Temescal Wellness donated $1,700 to the shelter, its largest donation yet.
 
"The staff here at Temescal are all animal lovers," dispensary manager Megan Wendling-Kane said. "We allow guests to bring their dogs inside instead of leaving them in the car, we know many of them by name and enjoy seeing them on a regular basis so when it came to volunteering, Berkshire Humane was a logical choice.  
 
"Many staff members have adopted great pets at the shelter, and we have always felt appreciated and welcome there."
 
The dispensary began volunteering at Berkshire Humane in December 2019.  Executive Director John Perreault said a Temescal staff member would come at least once a month to assist with shelter cleaning, a job that most people don't want.
 
"They do a great job when they're here, too," he added. "They come in, they're excited. They're quiet. They know they're making a difference."
 
Perreault said this trend first began around two years ago with Canna Provisions in Lee, which raised money with a donation canister in the facility and did a volunteer day at the shelter before its grand opening.
 
"I think we had over 30 of them here. We did a major cleaning project around the shelter," he said. "And it was fabulous to have that many hands and they were young, strong hands, most of them, so there were a lot of things we normally wouldn't get done we got done."
 
Berkshire Humane Society also has a great relationship with Bloom Brothers, Perreault reported and has received volunteer interest from Canna Corner in Becket and food donation inquiries from Theory Wellness in Great Barrington.
 
"They want to help out and they're certainly, certainly great volunteers doing really good things," he said.
 
Temescal is all about funding the community, Wendling-Kane explained. Each month, the dispensary has raised money for a different local organization including Thanksgiving Angels, ServiceNet, Berkshire Humane, and the local chapter of the NAACP.
 
This month, it is accepting donations for the Elizabeth Freeman Center.
 
"We have taken in-kind donations for the Berkshire Dream Center, and Project Just Because. We have also shown our support in person, helping out in local soup kitchens, Berkshire Humane, and offering cannabis community outreach to anyone who asks," Wendling-Kane said.
 
"Temescal Wellness is involved in giving at the corporate level, but as individual stores, we like to choose organizations that are near and dear to our hearts and ones that will benefit the community that we live and work in. 
 
"At Temescal Wellness we do not accept tips, instead, customers may donate change or give tips for great service to the organizations we love to support, it is a great way for us to positively impact the community."

Tags: Berkshire Humane Society,   donations,   

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Pittsfield Walks for Safety and Justice with Elizabeth Freeman Center

By Brittany PolitoiBerkshires Staff

Berkshire Pride Chair Kelan O'Brien asks for a moment of silence for murder victims Jahaira Dealto and Fatima Yasin.

PITTSFIELD, Mass. — There were 11 domestic violence murders during a six-year period in Berkshire County and the area has a rate of protection order filings for domestic and sexual violence that is 57 percent higher than the state average.

On Tuesday, local officials and organizations marched the length of North Street in the Elizabeth Freeman Center’s annual "Rise Together For Safety and Justice" fundraiser to stand against gender-based violence.

This walk was part of a series of smaller fundraising walks throughout Berkshire County, including one in North Adams on Monday.

The Freeman Center has a goal of raising $110,000 to support its efforts in counseling, shelter, and legal advocacy to victims of domestic and sexual violence.  At the time of the Pittsfield walk, it had already raised close to $93,000.

Executive Director Janis Broderick said one in four women and one in seven men suffer severe intimate partner violence nationwide.

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