Your Nonprofit Community Resource

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Dear Friends of Berkshire South,

Our doors have now been shuttered for fifteen weeks. In that time, we’ve listened carefully to our community members to learn where the greatest need for services exists. And we’ve had to think creatively about how we can offer those services in ways that will make the biggest impact. As a result, 

  • fourteen fitness and cooking classes have been offered virtually; 
  • we’ve created the Nourishing Neighbors supplemental food program, to provide an extra meal each week for those families who could use the assistance; 
  • we are providing staff for the local parks and lakes so that everyone can enjoy them safely; 
  • we have just opened our Action Adventures Day Camp at a temporary off-site location, a service that is desperately needed by those people who don’t have the option to work from home this summer. It is also a service that is needed by our campers, especially those who have struggled with social distancing – who have not fared well with the disruption to their routines and the inability to socialize with other children. 

As a working parent, the uncertainty around COVID and work and childcare has been overwhelming. Tempering that has been the transparency and care of the childhood staff at Berkshire South throughout.  As I prepare to send my two kids to camp this summer, I am comforted knowing that they are with a team who really loves them and cares about their safety and their well-being. Without this camp, my family would have had to make difficult job choices and sacrifices that would extend long after COVID restrictions are lifted.  I can rely on Berkshire South, I don’t take that for granted anymore!
 
-Elizabeth Walker, day camp parent

Already these programs are making a difference in the lives of your friends and neighbors. But each program comes at a cost to the Center at a time when we have very little income being generated. What’s more, when we open once again, things will initially need to be run very differently from usual, with fewer people and more adaptations to our programming and spaces. This crisis has helped us recognize how flexible we can be – which is something that we are truly proud of – but it has also placed a very real strain on our finances. Today we ask for your help.

In a typical year, Berkshire South must raise forty percent of its annual income – or about $1 million – through gifts from generous donors like you. This year, that figure has risen to sixty percent – or $1.5 million that needs to be raised from foundations and individuals who care deeply about Berkshire South. 

Many have already made gifts to the Center, and these gifts along with federal Paycheck Protection Program funds, have helped us stay afloat during this difficult moment.  But the funds are dwindling and the future remains uncertain. We are deeply grateful to those that have stepped up already, but we need more help to survive this trying time. Please will you help, by making a gift to Berkshire South today? Your gift will sustain the programming listed above, and will enable us remain adaptable as we rise to meet the changing needs of our community.

We understand that the virus has touched a great number of people in various ways and that you may not be in a position to make a gift at this time. Please know that the Center will continue to support you as we are able – with a meal, with financial assistance for childcare, with free online programming. But if you do have the capacity to help sustain this vital community organization, now is the time. We are so grateful to you.

 With sincere thanks and warm regards,

Jenise Lucey
Executive Director