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Berkshire Roots Community

Berkshire Roots creates monthly charity spotlights through customer change roundups and roll-up programs, matching contributions, in-kind donation drives, and staff volunteers to participate with a wide variety of worthy groups, nonprofits, and community organizations.  

Learn more about unique educational, fellowship, and mentor programs we participate in such as CultivatED and the Berkshire Community College, and BRIDGE. 

NAACP In January 2021 Berkshire Roots allowed patrons to round up their purchase to donate to the NAACP.

Current Donation Spotlight

NAACP

Register Round-Up

2020 June = $5000
2021 January = Now tallying!

We are suggesting rounding up customer change at the register all month in support of the NACCP and restorative justice. 

Criminal Justice Reform provides financial assistance to individuals who do not have the money to cover legal expenses regarding their defense of criminal justice issues. 

Through our donations, we intend to help the NAACP take action with an intentional focus on the NAACP “game changers” in order to build community at their local chapters in both the Berkshires and Boston. 

  • Economic sustainability  
  • Education  
  • Health  
  • Public safety and criminal justice  
  • Voting rights and political representation  
  • Expanded youth and young adult engagement  
  • Climate justice  
  • Housing  

Advocate/defend/protect the equality of rights for all persons in the Berkshires Area 

Advocate for progressive change through collection of data, dissemination. of information, influencing policy, and being timely in our response to major issues of injustice in Pittsfield, Massachusetts, and the country.  

Support and advocate for individuals who experience specific incidents of discrimination.  

Advocate that systems, structures, and policies be in place to help create equal opportunity for all persons by using legal instruments, written and verbal advocacy, moral authority, and direct action when necessary, to challenge those in positions of power in the community. 

Berkshire Immigrant Center

 October Donation Spotlight 

Round-up and Match program = $2753.56! 

 

Berkshire Immigrant Center, (BIC) a local center providing advice, information, advocacy, referral, and support for immigrants on issues related to immigration, employment, citizenship, housing, and social services. 

Last fall the BIC put together a COVID-19 relief fund and were looking to raise additional funds for their familiesBerkshire Roots was honored to assist and with your help, we were able to surpass the amount anticipated and applied the additional proceeds to the other service provided at BIC. 

The mission of the Berkshire Immigrant Center is to assist individuals and families in making the economic, psychological, and cultural adjustment to a new land, not only by meeting basic needs but also by helping them to become active participants in our community. The Center also aims to build bridges of understanding and cooperation across cultures, to fight racism and discrimination in all forms, and to advocate for the rights of immigrants from all backgrounds. The Center offers comprehensive services for individuals from more than 80 countries to promote civic engagement, facilitate cultural integration, and assist in navigating the complex U.S. immigration system. 

Berkshire Community Action

Berkshire Community Action Council (BCAC)

December 2020 Donation Spotlight

BCAC
Register Round-up Total = $2,097.55 

2020 Participation 

The Berkshire Community Action Council (BCAC) incorporated in 1966 as a non-profit human service organization was designated the anti-poverty Community Action Agency for Berkshire County, Massachusetts. The administrative office is located at 1531 East Street, Pittsfield, with a satellite office at 85 Main Street, North Adams. The role of BCAC is to assist low-income residents of Berkshire County towards achieving sustainability and self-sufficiency.
 

Berkshire Roots sponsored a winter clothing drive to support BCAC’s “Elf Warm Clothing Program”. The BCAC Warm Winter Clothing Program provides children age 12 and under with brand-new warm coats, boots, hats, mittens, and scarves. This year more than ever they needed extra help. In 2019, the BCAC served over 2,000 children in the Berkshires and it’s all thanks to the community coming together. Thank you for your Register Round Up funds that helped us raise money to purchase winter clothing for the families we have sponsored. 

Last Prisoner Project

November 2020

Last Prisoner Project 

Register Round Up & BR Match = $9077.65 

$5092.65 from rounding up change 

$1485 cash donations 

$2500 BR match 

Berkshire Roots is beyond proud to be part of The Last Prisoner’s Project. We took part in the “Roll It Up for Justice” campaign in September and October. The Last Prisoner Project was formed by a coalition of cannabis industry leaders, executives, and artists dedicated to bringing restorative justice to the cannabis industry. LPP was founded out of the belief that if anyone can profit and build wealth in the legal cannabis industry, those individuals must also work to release and rebuild the lives of those who have suffered from cannabis criminalization. ⁠⠀
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During thmonth of September and October, we asked our customers to round up their change at check out or roll-it up. We at Berkshire Roots matched the first $2,500 donated by our customers for a total of $9,077.65

 

Berkshire Roots team volunteer at 2020 Thanksgiving Angels turkey drive.

Thanksgiving Angels

November 2020

Thanksgiving Angels

Round-up and Match = $1000!

2019,2020 Participation

Round-up and Match program = $1000! 

At the beginning of November, we started a new annual tradition here at Berkshire Roots. We like to assist this local Pittsfield organization, supporting families with much-needed meals and volunteered for this year’s Thanksgiving Angels food drive as well as round-up at the register. 

November 23, 2020, marked the ninth annual “Thanksgiving Angels” community days of sharing in Pittsfield. Sponsored by a collaboration of 19 food pantries, organizations, and faith communities, Thanksgiving Angels addresses local food insufficiency by providing more than 1,450 families with uncooked turkeys and the fixings to celebrate a traditional Thanksgiving meal in their own homes. Last year, more than 350 volunteers assisted with the distributions. Thank you to all who roundup at the register and donated, we were able to provide $1000 to the non-profit. We will be volunteering next year and doing this once again. The non-profit manager and distribution site is on South Church, 110 South Street, Pittsfield, MA, 01201. 

We are looking forward to doing even more next year. 

November Donation Spotlight

Soldier On

November Donation Spotlight

Soldier On
Soldier On is a nonprofit organization committed to ending veteran homelessness. They have a 71-bed transitional living facility in Pittsfield, MA, and the first of its kind, award-winning 39-unit housing cooperative Gordon H. Mansfield Veterans Community in Pittsfield. The treatment program is focused on building social skills, creating an enhanced sense of togetherness, and providing motivation for residents to spend their free time serving others instead of themselves.
This year Berkshire Roots sponsored a winter clothing and essential item drive for Solider On. Your Register Round-Up Funds will help us raise money to purchase winter clothing and essential items for our cherished veteran community! 

Walk a Mile

September Donation Spotlight

Walk-A-Mile

In 2020 Berkshire Roots participated in the Elizabeth Freeman Center’s Walk-A-Mile fundraiser to help those affected by domestic and sexual violence for the second year in a row. This is our 2nd year in a row participating. We created online teams, round-up at the register, and accepted donations in-store. We’d like to start out by saying THANK YOU, THANK YOU, THANK YOU to everyone who donated!
With your help, we were able to raise $5,226.25!!! 

This made us the second-highest fundraising team of the event! We beat hometown celebrity Elizabeth Banks! Our contribution helped them surpass their goal of $90,000 bringing the grand total to $103,148.50!!  Outstanding job to everyone who participated. 

 

 

BR team at Walk A Mile Elizabeth Freeman Foundation 9 2020

Berkshire Community College & Berkshire Roots – Cannabis Curriculum

Fellowship Program

Berkshire Community College(BCC) in partnership with Berkshire Roots created a Cannabis Curriculum, in which 2 full semesters have been completed and we hired over 6 students who are now part of the team. 

Working directly with the BCC, we initiated this partnership in January 2019 as a unique opportunity for students to gain a holistic and practical understanding of the cannabis industry. Maya Richards, Berkshire Roots’ Community Outreach Senior Manager, and Matt Culkin, Berkshire Roots’ Production Director, offered guidance on the courses to include in the curriculum and were also guest lectured throughout the Fall and Spring semesters. George Ambriz, Director of Academic and Career Advising, and Dr. Frank Schikor, Interim Dean of STEM and Allied Health collaborated with Richards and Culkin to shape the required courses that matched the necessary skill set needed to work in a cannabis facility and dispensary.  Ambriz and Schikor approached the Massachusetts Department of Higher Education back in 2019 to receive permission to make the course a full certificate offering; the program is now fully accredited. 

The curriculum is a unique combination of expert Professors teaching in the classroom, lab-style instruction, and hands-on experience through the partnership with Berkshire Roots. 

According to BCC’s Frank Schikor “Berkshire Roots offered us the real key to enhancing an already strong curriculum.  No other program in the state provides students course credit and an amazing learning opportunity working side-by-side with experts in the cannabis industry.  Our students are being trained for a job in the industry with direct experience inside a grow operation and working in a dispensary, they get immersed in the business and have a much better appreciation of the type of job that best suits them.” 

For Berkshire Roots, partnering with the BCC offered two great opportunities.  According to Richards, “When BCC determined they would like to collaborate with us, we jumped at the opportunity.  Cannabis is still such a nascent business we are always looking for opportunities to educate people about the plant itself as well as the business and all the related opportunities.   

THE BERKSHIRE RECORD

 

COMMONWEALTH CANNABIS COMPETITON

 

BEST OF THE BERKSHIRES

 

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