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At a recent Monday night free Community Supper, a quiet five-year-old boy from Sunshine Preschool (we’ll call him Will), was having dinner with his family. He had been learning sign language with his class and, usually shy to speak, was signing with a woman with adaptive needs who had been seated at his table by chance.
In that brief moment, a child not only came out of his shell, but he also learned to be respectful of those different from him; a busy mom was relieved of the burden of cooking dinner for one night; and a person with adaptive needs was embraced as part of the community of people with whom she shared dinner. You would be hard pressed to find any other dinner table in the Southern Berkshires that looks like this. And certainly not one so magical. Those Monday night tables reflect everything that it means to be a part of Berkshire South.
It’s because of the generosity of this community that these moments are possible. When you donate to Berkshire South, you don’t just fund the teaching staff in our preschool, you help children like Will learn to be part of a diverse community. When you contribute to the Center, you don’t simply buy food for a free weekly supper, you help seniors who are isolated feel like they are a part of something larger than themselves, and you help those who could never afford a meal out, dine together with dignity; you provide an opportunity for your neighbors to connect and to grow.
Community Suppers are just one of the ways in which your generosity enables Berkshire South to achieve its mission. Your gift to Berkshire South funds equipment for our fitness room – the place where we watch members gain strength and determination every day. Your gift pays for instructors in our French and Spanish classes, where people make intergenerational connections and learn about other cultures. And your contribution underwrites our financial assistance program, meaning that all of our programs are available to everyone, regardless of the ability to pay, because health, wellness, friendship and belonging should not be limited to those in a particular income bracket.
As a non-profit, Berkshire South must raise 40% of its annual income – about $1 million – though grants and gifts from people like you. Thank you for your support, and for all that you do to make your community thrive.
© Berkshire South 2014
Berkshire South Regional Community Center
15 Crissey Road
Great Barrington, MA 01230