I am writing to you today to request a year-end gift to Berkshire South. Our Board of Trustees and Advisory Board have presented us with an incredible opportunity to double gifts made to the Center before the end of the year and I am hopeful that you will participate in our fundraising.
As a human service organization, Berkshire South has always strived to meet community needs and fill in where there are gaps in services elsewhere. The COVID-19 pandemic has created a set of very challenging circumstances for everyone, and we’ve been doing all that we can to help alleviate some of those challenges. We’re proud to have been able to do so much to benefit our community since the first COVID-related closures in March, and we’ve done so almost entirely thanks to the generosity of our donors.
For seventeen weeks this spring and summer, you helped us fund the Nourishing Neighbors food assistance program, which provided 10,000 free weekly take-out meals prepared by local restaurants for essential workers and those in need. Recipients were so appreciative.
Your gifts made our free virtual fitness classes possible so that our community could care for their mental and physical health in a safe way at a time when it was most needed. Because of you, we operated our first offsite summer camp, where children could learn and play together in a spacious outdoor setting while their parents worked. You helped us launch outdoor programming, like yoga and hiking, before the weather turned cold, and re-open some of our indoor facilities by appointment. Thanks to your generosity we started Community Learning in the Berkshires (CLuB) with other local nonprofits so that area school children would have a safe place to work and meaningful enrichment programming during this period of remote and hybrid learning. Over half of the students enrolled in the program are receiving financial assistance to participate. And finally, we’re thrilled to be here for you this holiday season providing a free, take-out Community Thanks Supper and the Shining Star supplemental gift program so that everyone, regardless of circumstance, can celebrate with dignity and joy.
All of these things have been happening while our earned income streams have been reduced by 43 percent from this time last year. Sixty-three percent of our members have been unable to renew their memberships because of their own financial constraints, and our fee-based programs like Sunshine Pre-School, personal training, and swim lessons are all operating with a very limited capacity.
The Center’s Board of Trustees and Advisory Board have stepped up to help at this time. They have announced that they will match all gifts made to the Center up to a total of $60,000. This means that effectively, any gift made today through Dec 31st will be doubled. You have already been so generous, but we must ask again for your help.
Berkshire South is YOUR community center and its mission is one that was developed by the community for the community. Please help us continue to meet the needs of your friends and neighbors by making a gift today.
With sincere gratitude,
P.S. Your gift will double in strength! Help us meet the match and achieve our fundraising goals to stay open!
Donate via monthly electronic funds transfer (EFT) and help Berkshire South year-round. Call 413.528.2810, ext. 28, or print out a donation form.
We encourage you to buy locally this holiday season, but if there are things you can’t buy in the local community,
don’t forget that Amazon will donate a percentage of your purchases to Berkshire South when you shop at smile.amazon.com. To register, go to your Amazon account and select AmazonSmile Charity Lists.