Ten Ways to Help for the Holidays
1 Donate warm clothing to Sheffield Kiwanis Warm the Children, Community Health Program, Berkshire Dream Center, Salvation Army, or Goodwill.
2 Purchase gift items from nonprofits like notecards, calendars, and jewelry from CATA, handwoven scarves from Stanton Home, African decorative items from Saint Francis Gallery, and local museum shops.
3 Donate toys to children in need: John S. Watson Fund, Laliberte Toy Fund, Toys for Tots.
4 Make a charitable donation in someone’s honor. These “gifts that give back” usually come with a card you can present to the recipient. Check out Pungl.com for a local marketplace of donation gift ideas. Berkshire Taconic Community Foundation and Berkshire United Way have information on our county’s greatest needs.
5 Help with heating assistance: Donate to Berkshire Community Action Council, Construct Inc., or Northern Berkshire Community Action.
6 Attend a holiday concert by one of our many local music groups, including Crescendo, Berkshire Bach Society, Cantilena Chamber Choir, Berkshire Lyric Theatre, Berkshire Children’s Chorus, Close Encounters with Music.
7 Donate to your local food pantry: People’s Food Pantry (Great Barrington), Berkshire Food Project (North Adams),
Lee Congregational Church, Dalton United Methodist Church, Christian Center of Pittsfield.
8 Find a mission to support in the Nonprofit Center’s “Giving Back Guide,” available free throughout the county at coffee shops and eateries, and online at npcberkshires.org.
9 Drive an elderly person to the grocery store or simply visit for an hour. Check in with Elder Services of Berkshire County for volunteer opportunities.
10 “Man” the Red Kettle: The Salvation Army’s Red Kettle history goes back to the late 1890s. Ring the bell, spread good cheer, and collect spare change for local needs such as heating assistance and temporary housing. Call Sally Harris at Saint James Place, 917-763-5027, if you want to be a bell ringer.