Greylock Federal Credit Union Donates $5,000 to Berkshire Community Diaper Project

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PITTSFIELD, Mass. — Greylock Federal Credit Union has donated $5,000 to the Berkshire Community Diaper Project (BCDP) to help them supply an anticipated need of 275,000 diapers in 2021. 
 
Diapers are distributed free of charge to families in need, local shelters, childcare centers, food banks and through BCDP's large network of local non-profit partners.
 
"BCDP fills a critical need for our local families," said Greylock Senior Vice President and Chief Administrative Officer JamieEllen Moncecchi. "With in-person donations limited due to COVID, cash is crucial to keeping the supply up with demand."
 
According to the BCDP, one out of three low-income families struggle to buy diapers. In the Berkshires, 2,000 children from birth to age five are receiving nutritional help from the federal Women, Infants and Children program and likely have diaper needs. BCDP is completely volunteer run and 100 percent of all donations go directly to purchasing diapers.
 
"Under normal circumstances, we are the beneficiary of local diaper drives, but we haven't been able to hold one since February of 2020," said BCDP Founder Marie Rudden. "COVID has put a full stop to those efforts. We need a lot of cash to purchase the large amounts of diapers that are required to get wholesale prices. Greylock's gift was used immediately to purchase 10,000 diapers."
 
Diapers are not covered by WIC or by food stamps, which classifies them with cigarettes, alcohol, and pet food as disallowed items.
 
According to a press release, families without washers/dryers must rely on store-bought diapers. If they lack gas money or a car, they must rely on expensive convenience stores.
 
Children without a supply of diapers are not allowed at day care centers, so parents miss work when they can't supply them, thus losing money needed for their families.
 
Diaper need was an even stronger predictor of stress and mental health difficulties in parents than was food insecurity. (Smith, et al, Pediatrics, 2013) Parents who can't provide diapers feel guilty, powerless, frustrated, and depressed.
 
Children who wear soiled diapers are at risk of rashes and infections; their irritable crying may put them at risk for abuse or neglect from frustrated, depressed parents.

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Elizabeth Freeman Center Launches Rise Together for Safety and Justice

PITTSFIELD, Mass — Elizabeth Freeman Center (EFC) announced the launch of "Rise Together for Safety and Justice," an evolution of their annual Third Thursday Walk a Mile fundraiser. 
 
Like the previous 10 years, EFC will continue to hold its annual event in September, soliciting the support and participation of local businesses, organizations, and individuals to help raise awareness and support for the work its staff, board and volunteers do every day in domestic and sexual violence prevention and response.
 
"While our fundraiser theme has changed, our vision remains the same. We envision our community free from domestic and sexual violence in which all people live in safety, with dignity and justice," Executive Director Janis Broderick said. "We have been so grateful for the support of our annual fundraisers that grew each year. We hope that you will continue to support Elizabeth Freeman Center and Rise Together with us."
 
Rise Together will continue to be a family-friendly, community event, gathering together (as much as public health advisories allow) to walk, march, stroll, dance, and move together against domestic and sexual violence and for safety and justice. The safety of the community is EFC's priority. Like last year, walks will be held throughout Berkshire County for increased accessibility and due to COVID-19 precautions.
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