Berkshire Roots has a long history of supporting organizations within our communities, across Massachusetts, and beyond.  

Check back as we regularly update this section. Scroll down to learn more about all our community activities and how you can participate.  

Berkshire Roots creates monthly charity spotlights through customer change roundups and roll-up programs, matching contributions, in-kind donation drives, and staff volunteering to participate with a wide variety of worthy groups, nonprofits, and community organizations. The groups are provided a spotlight through a number of in-store and online opportunities, promoting support, awareness, and education. Learn more about unique educational, fellowship, and mentor programs we have participated in such as CultivatED or our hands-on Cannabis practicum with Berkshire Community College.
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August Donation Spotlight - Pittsfield

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2023 September: Currently rounding up

2022 September: $4,541.89

2021 August Total: $10,907.63

2020 September $4,597.00

This month we are rounding up for¬†the¬†Elizabeth Freeman Center‚Äôs¬†Rise Together for Safety and Justice¬†Fundraiser.¬†For the past ten years, the Elizabeth Freeman Center (EFC) organized an annual campaign the third Thursday of September called ‚ÄúWalk a Mile in Her Shoes.‚ÄĚ This grew to be one of their biggest events, both in fundraising and in friend-raising, to build a community movement to end domestic, dating, and sexual violence. In 2019,2020, and 2021. Berkshire Roots participated in the Elizabeth Freeman Center‚Äôs Walk-A-Mile fundraiser to help those affected by domestic and sexual violence.¬†

This will be our 4rd year in a row participating in the Elizabeth Freeman Center’s Fundraisers.

We are encouraging donations in-store and by rounding up at the register or donating online to our Berkshire Roots team by clicking here: https://www.pledgereg.com/3975/t/berkshireroots 

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East Boston Community Soup Kitchen

September Donation Spotlight - East Boston

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2023 September Total: Currently rounding up

2023 January Total: Currently totaling

2022 May Total: $2,875.89

2021 December Total: $4,073.41

The East Boston Community Soup Kitchen provides free meals for all those who enter their doors. They strive to provide a sense of community to those affected by hunger, homelessness, and difficult life circumstances while offering the humane treatment and compassion many struggle to receive in their everyday lives.

In addition to being able to continue their mission of feeding the hungry in our community, they are also in need of an updated kitchen - one that is handicapped accessible, with enough working space for their volunteers, and lots of storage space for perishable and non-perishable donations. Today, there is always more need than they can meet. Round up your change at the register for the East Boston Community Soup Kitchen!

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BAAMS

August Donation Spotlight - Pittsfield

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2023 August Total: Currently totaling

the Berkshires' Academy for Advanced Musical Studies, Inc. ‚ÄĒ is a nonprofit music academy based in North Adams serving students ages 10-18 from all around Berkshire County and beyond with top-tier music instruction after school, on Saturdays, and through our annual Berkshires' Summer Jazz Band Day Camp, this year held Aug. 14-18, 2023 at our facility in the Heritage State Park, North Adams. Students attending are coming from Pittsfield, Lanesboro, Lenox, Adams, North Adams, Clarksburg, Williamstown, Springfield, Cambridge, Mass., and Providence, RI, Putney, VT, and Binghamton, NY. We also bring our faculty into area schools to teach short-term residencies. Additionally, as part of our mission, "BAAMS Presents" is an ongoing feature of our faculty's work, to perform for the public and provide master classes and other special events to which the public is invited to attend at nominal cost or free.¬†

 

At BAAMS, we believe students in Berkshire County deserve to study with world-class musicians who are also excellent educators, with a commitment to passing the baton to the next generation of young musicians. Further, we believe no child should be excluded from learning at BAAMS due to their family's financial circumstance. Round up your change at the register for BAAMS!

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Berkshire Environmental Action Team

July Donation Spotlight - Pittsfield

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2023 July Total: Currently totaling

BEAT’s mission is to protect the environment for wildlife in support of the natural world that sustains us all. BEAT has three major focal areas: stewardship, education & outreach, and watchdogging. Through their work, they enact meaningful change throughout Berkshire County and western Massachusetts.  

Anyone who knows BEAT will tell you that they take the ‚Äúaction‚ÄĚ part of their name seriously, and they believe an informed and empowered citizenry is the environment‚Äôs best protection. BEAT involves hundreds of volunteers in programs to restore, protect, and improve the condition of our woods, wetlands, and waterways. Through their No Fracked Gas in Mass program, BEAT‚Äôs goals are to dismantle fossil fuel infrastructure and increase clean, renewable energy; increase communication and collaboration among a broad range of organizations, agencies, and individuals to achieve our common goals; and create a social movement that supports environmental protection.

 Round up your change at the register for BEATS!

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Harbor Arts

July Donation Spotlight - East Boston

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2023 July Total: Currently totaling

2023 August Total: Currently rounding up

Harbor Arts and East Boston Main Streets are teaming up to beautify the community! Their mission is to breathe new life into local communities by strategically placing engaging sculptures, vibrant murals, and interactive artworks on our Main Streets.

By doing so, they directly empower businesses, attract a surge of foot traffic, and fuel economic growth. Join us in creating a visually stunning East Boston that celebrates the arts and propels businesses to thrive in a more beautiful, vibrant, and economically prosperous environment.

Round up your change at the register for Harbor Arts and East Boston Main Streets!

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June Donation Spotlight - Pittsfield

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2023 June Total: Currently totaling

2022 June Total: $4809.78

The Berkshire Stonewall Community Coalition (BSCC) located in Pittsfield, MA is the longest-serving LGBTQ+ non-profit 501(c)3 organization in Berkshire county composed of representatives from LGBTQ+ organizations in the Berkshire Area, as well as interested individuals. BSCC's mission is to promote the well-being of LGBTQ+ people in the Berkshires. Affiliated groups include Berkshire Pride, BRIDGE, Berkshire Trans Group, Live Out Loud Community Conference, Rainbow Seniors, and 18 Degrees. Round up your change at the register for BSCC!

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Speak Out Organizations

June Donation Spotlight -  East Boston

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2023 June Total: $1,134.42

2022 June Total: $2411.05

2021 June Total: $4,803.00

The nation’s oldest LGBTQIA speaker's bureau was created in 1972, this small non-profit relies on the hard work and dedication of the staff, board of directors, speakers, and other volunteers to keep them driving.  

SpeakOUT Boston provides peer-led training programs to prepare community members to tell their personal stories to create positive and social changes. Through the development of speaking training, program development, and community outreaching, SpeakOUT is working to create a world free of prejudice by telling personal stories. 

Thank you for taking the time to read more about SpeakOut and consider rounding up at your next transaction. Connect on Facebook as well to provide more social support. Thank you. 

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Roots

May Donation Spotlight - Pittsfield

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2023 May Total: Currently totaling

2022 April Total: $3,589.94

2021 March Total: $4,875.00

For the month of May, we are spotlighting the amazing group Roots Rising, a local Berkshire organization that does so much to enrich the community. Roots Rising’s mission is to empower youth and build community through food and farming. Their vision is to lift up teens as community changemakers and strengthen the local food system through the transformational power of meaningful work. Roots Rising has two main initiatives: their Youth Crews and our Pittsfield Farmers Market. In their Youth Crews, they hire Pittsfield teens to work on farms, in food pantries and at their own market, which is the first teen-run market in the region. 

Roots Rising is excited to announce that their teen-run Pittsfield Farmers Market opens Saturday, May 13 for its 11th anniversary season. The market will run weekly, rain or shine, from 9am to 1pm in the First Street Common through October 14. Each week shoppers will find fresh, local and seasonal fruits, vegetables, meat, eggs, cheese, baked goods, flowers, artisan goods, as well as live music and children’s activities.

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Berkshire Humane Society

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2023 April Total: Currently totaling

April Donation Spotlight - Pittsfield

The Berkshire Humane Society is a private, open-admission animal shelter, dedicated to providing a safe haven for over a thousand animals each year. The organization is dedicated to finding forever homes for all adoptable animals and is proud to have a 100% success rate in doing so. In addition, Most recently, the organization opened a wellness clinic for animals from Berkshire County, providing wellness services such as initial exams, vaccinations, parasitic treatments, FIV testing, microchipping, and flea and tick treatments.
March Spotlight

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East Boston 2023 April Total: $1,004.69

East Boston 2023 May Total: $868.55

Pittsfield 2023 March Total: Currently totaling

April Donation Spotlight - East Boston

We hope you will round up your change to help support the American Legion Riders Post 155 from Dalton, Mass. They will be hosting the replica of the Vietnam Memorial September 14th-18th 2023. The replica will be on display at the American Legion in Dalton, MA Rte. 9. 
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Register Round-Up & Matching

2023 March Total: $579.58

2022 March Total: $2,524.36

2021 April Total: $4,875.00

March Donation Spotlight - East Boston

Boston Women‚Äôs Fund (BWF) is a nonprofit investing in women, girls, and gender-expansive individuals leading grassroots organizations working toward racial, economic, social, and gender justice. BWF envisions a world where power, opportunity, and access exist for all. They strive toward this by advocating for and supporting predominantly Black and Brown leaders from communities persistently excluded from philanthropy, including people of color, elderly, disabled, LGBTQIA+, immigrant, refugee, youth, and low-income communities. BWF believes that progressive change begins with women, girls, and gender-expansive individuals in their own communities ‚ÄĒ when they have the resources they deserve to fund their ideas, absolutely everyone benefits. Founded in 1984, BWF was the first women‚Äôs foundation in Massachusetts and is one of the oldest nonprofit women‚Äôs foundations in the United States. Today, BWF has granted more than $7.2 million in over 363 grant awards.Facebook~ Instagram ~ Twitter
ELEVATE NE

February Donation Spotlight - East Boston

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2023 February Total: $637.59

The goal of ELEVATE Northeast’s Community Outreach program is to promote diversity, inclusiveness, equity, and economic growth in the nascent cannabis industry. All program initiatives and activities have been designed to expand industry access, education, and networking opportunities for underrepresented communities. ELEVATE Northeast aims to empower both industry participation and business ownership of women, minorities, veterans, lgbtqia+, the economically distressed, and communities disproportionately impacted by the war on drugs. As such, ELEVATE Northeast practices a community-centered approach, and also collaborates with and supports the efforts of like-minded organizations delivering direct goods or services to the previously identified empowerment communities. 

Through this program ELEVATE Northeast endeavors to attract to the cannabis industry students who have a passion for cannabis and who want to ensure the cannabis space is diverse, equitable, and fair. This program is designed to include students from targeted areas of disproportionate impact, as such ELEVATE Northeast will create outreach and enrollment activities to encourage participation from applicants who come from majority-minority and low-income communities. Round up your change and help support ELEVATE Northeast.

The Focus Is Our Children - After School Homework and Mentorship Program

February Donation Spotlight - Pittsfield

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2023 February Total: Currently totaling

The After-School Homework & Mentorship Program is held in the basement of Price Memorial A.M.E. Zion Church, located at 163 Linden St. in Pittsfield. Students aged 6 to 16 can come for the program from 4 to 6 p.m. Monday through Friday to receive help with homework and play educational games with adult supervision. This awesome program is free of charge and staffed entirely by local volunteers. Round up your change and help support the local after-School Homework & Mentorship Program.
UPC of Western Massachusetts

January Donation Spotlight- Pittsfield

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2023 January Total: $4,505.24

2022 January Total: $4,603.60

UCP of Western Massachusett's mission is to advance the independence, productivity, and full community participation of children and adults with all physical and developmental disabilities. One of the best ways we support our members is through Assistive Technology Programming which utilizes modern software and systems to create independent lives. Access to technology can be challenging if you have a disability. Whether it is a fixed income, lack of ‚Äúhelp desk‚ÄĚ support, or not even knowing what is available ‚Äď UCP is there to help. Not only do they evaluate each member and customize the technology, but also provide support throughout the use of the product. This leads to a life of independence re-imagined! Round up your change at the register for UCP of Western Massachusetts!

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Soldier On

December Donation Spotlight- Pittsfield & East Boston

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2022 December Total: $1,272.95

2021 December Total: $6,520.31

2020 December Total: $4,608.00

Soldier On is a private, nonprofit organization committed to ending veteran homelessness. Their mission is to help veterans reclaim their place in the community while returning meaning, dignity, and hope to their lives. They offer a continuum of ongoing care to veterans and their families that includes immediate and long-term housing with an array of support services delivered where they live. Their ultimate goal is to provide formerly homeless veterans with permanent, supportive, sustainable housing with services. Round up your change at the register for the Soldier On!

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Toys for Tots

November Donation Spotlight- Pittsfield

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2022 December Total: $5,076.32

2021 November Total: $6,526.88

Toys for Tots enables boys and girls, newborns ‚Äď 14 years of age, in Berkshire County to receive gifts during the holidays. With the support and assistance of the Berkshire County Sheriff‚Äôs Office, Toys for Tots has been able to meet the challenge of the growing needs of the children in Berkshire County.


Berkshire Roots will collect funds and make a company donation, with the funds we will then go and buy gifts for the children and donate them to Toys for Tots. With the events over the past year and a half, there is more of a larger need for assistance and help to make sure that every child has something special to open this season. Round up your change at the register for the
 Toys For Tots!

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Terpene Papi

October & November Donation Spotlight- East Boston

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2022 November Total: $1979.13

2022 October Total: $2,108.15

2021 November Total: $3,864.56

In 2020 the Food & Toy Drive helped feed over 60 families and provide toys for over 100 children. This year they are working to at least double this effort with contributions from many organizations including Commonwealth Alternative Care, Target, Rev Clinics, Pure Oasis, MCR Labs, CDX Analytics, and more! Some of these sponsors that help make this event possible are Street Certified, Minorities for Medical Marijuana, Terpene Papi/Papis Angelz, AOA Supply, and Boston Got Next.

This drive serves as an exclusive assist to families and communities that are identified as areas of disproportionate impact due to the war on drugs. (Areas are identified by the CCC) Communities include but are not limited to Mattapan, Dorchester, Roxbury, and Lynn. Round up your change at the register for  Terpene Papi's Annual Food & Toy Drive!

Berkshire Roots team volunteer at 2020 Thanksgiving Angels turkey drive.

October Donation Spotlight- Pittsfield

Register Round-Up, Matching, & Volunteering at Drive

2022 October Total: $5,250.04

2021 October Total: $5,712.30

2020 November Total: $3,505.00

At the beginning of November 2019, 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 ‚ÄúThanksgiving Angels‚ÄĚ 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. The non-profit manager and distribution site¬†is¬†on South Church, 110 South Street, Pittsfield, MA, 01201. Round up your change at the register for the¬†Thanksgiving Angels!

Last-Prisoner-Project-logo

Sept. 2022, Sept. 2021, Sept. 2020, Oct. 2020, Spotlight - Pittsfield & East Boston

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2022 September Total: $7,017.04

2021 September Total: 10,688.53

2020 September/October= $9077.65

Berkshire Roots is beyond proud to be part of¬†The Last Prisoner Project. We¬†took part¬†in¬†the¬†‚ÄúRoll It Up¬†for¬†Justice‚ÄĚ campaign in September and October of 2020 & 2021 and are continuing to support the organization again in 2022. 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. ‚Ā†‚†Ä

We are continuing to support The Last Prisoner Project in September 2021 for both our Pittsfield and East Boston locations. Round up your change at checkout for The Last Prisoner Project.

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Berkshire Historical Society!

July Donation Spotlight - Pittsfield

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2022 July 15-31st Total: $2,163.09

Berkshire Historical Society is a local non-profit dedicated to collecting, preserving, and disseminating the history of Berkshire County in Western Massachusetts. Since its founding in 1962, the Berkshire County Historical Society has preserved and shared the memories of our communities. Photographs, manuscripts, artifacts, and oral histories all illustrate and chronicle these amazing stores of this region. The Historical Society continues the preservation and interpretation of Arrowhead, home of author Herman Melville, designated a National Historic Landmark. Round up your change at checkout for Berkshire Historical Society!
Harbor Arts Spotlight

July Donation Spotlight - East Boston

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2022 July Total: $2,017.14

HarborArts is an East Boston-based initiative that creates public art as a platform for dialogue. Through the installation of monumental public artworks on the waterfront and beyond, we are cultivating community at the intersection of environmentalism, social justice, and artistic expression. Round up your change at checkout for HarborArts!
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July Donation Spotlight - Pittsfield

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2022 July 1st-15th Total: $2,032.66

2022 March Total: $1,678.60

2021 July Total: $5,311.00

Barrington Stage Company (BSC) is a not-for-profit professional theatre company in the Berkshires (MA) with a three-fold mission: to produce top-notch, compelling work; to develop new plays and musicals; and to engage our community with vibrant, inclusive educational outreach programs.  

BSC attracts over 60,000 patrons annually and has gained national recognition for its superior quality productions and comprehensive educational programming, including the award-winning Playwright Mentoring Project, the Musical Theatre Conservatory, Youth Theatre, KidsAct! and other initiatives. The company has become integral to the economic revitalization of downtown Pittsfield. The theatre’s prominence grew with the world premiere of The 25th Annual Putnam County Spelling Bee by William Finn and Rachel Sheinkin (BSC 2004; Broadway 2005-2008, winner of two Tony Awards). BSC develops and commissions new work with two programs: PlayWorks, which supports the creation of new plays, and the Musical Theatre Lab, which develops new musicals. Since 1995, BSC has produced 36 new works, 19 of which have moved to New York and major US regional theatres.

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Garbage Trail Walk for Huntington's Disease

May Donation Spotlight - Pittsfield

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2022 May Total: $4075.58

2021 May Total: $5,116.00

This month is Huntington's Disease (HD) Awareness month, we are spotlighting the Garbage Trail Walk,¬†a local non-profit that began¬†20 years¬†to support those affected by¬†Huntington's Disease.¬†Every May folks gather to walk the 6 miles of the¬†Garbage Trail¬†which connects the key sites in Arlo Guthrie‚Äôs ‚ÄúAlices‚Äô Restaurant¬†Massacree‚ÄĚ s¬†song. Supporters¬†receive pledges to help fund other charities¬†that care for HD¬†families as well as an MA-based research foundation that works to advance¬†science in the quest for a cure.¬†¬†

Read more from Lisa Guthrie here. Support this month by rounding up at the register.

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April 1st-7th Donation Spotlight - East Boston

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2022 April Total: $634.58

East Boston Fire Fund

On March 29th there was a fire early in the morning on Meridian St. that affected a triple-decker multi-family home. Thankfully there were no injuries, however, this has left 19 residents in our community displaced. In efforts to help those families and individuals in our community, we are taking the donation round-ups from April 1st ‚Äď April 7th along with matching a portion to help the families and individuals who have been displaced from the fire. Thank you to the Fire Fighters, EMS, Boston Police, and all of the first responders. Thank you Eastie Farm for sharing your spotlight, if you would like to make donations to Eastie Farm you can directly through their website.
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April Donation Spotlight - East Boston

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2022 April Total: $1,857.03

Eastie Farm first planted seeds in the spring of 2015, by efforts of neighbors who joined together to propose the idea of a community garden at 294 Sumner St. here in East Boston. They have four main programs; the Eastie Farm CSA Program, a Composting Program, Junior Farmers Program, and Climate NATURE Program. Through their work, Eastie Farm is dedicated to pursuing climate change, improving food access, and fostering community resilience through the development of interactive urban agriculture spaces and environmental education programs for everyone to take part in.  Round up your change at the register for Eastie Farm.

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April 2022 Berkshire Roots Donation

This April, Berkshire Roots has donated $500 worth of Gift Cards to our friends at the Polish Falcon Club for their event supporting The Jimmy Fund.
Where arts and activism meet - Wam Theater logo

March 2022 Donation Spotlight - Pittsfield

2022 March - $1,813.46

2021 March - $5,880.00

In March, Berkshire Roots was supporting WAM, which is the first time we have worked with the organization during this year's National women's month. WAM stands for ‚ÄėWhere Arts and Activism Meet‚Äô. Through our monthly spotlight and register round-up at our¬†Pittsfield¬†location as well as our matching contributions, we were able to bring not only more awareness to the group but much-needed funds.¬†Learn more about WAM and¬†upcoming¬†virtual events by clicking¬†here.¬†¬†

‚ÄúWAM‚Äôs vision is to create opportunity for women and¬†girls,¬†and we do that through our mission of theatre as philanthropy. As we grow, we realize that we are also a civic institution that creates theatre for gender equity.¬†As a civic organization that embraces intersectional feminism (feminism that acknowledges how multiple forms of discrimination overlap), WAM understands that to address one piece of systemic discrimination means we¬†have to¬†address them all. This is ongoing personal and professional work at WAM for the staff and board.‚ÄĚ

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March Donation Spotlight - East Boston

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2022 March Total: $1,202.08

On February 28th there was a 6 alarm fire in East Boston that spread across three apartments, taking firefighters hours to put out. Thankfully there were no injuries, however, this has left at least 25 residents in our community displaced. In efforts to help those family members and individuals in our community, e are taking the donation round-ups from March 1st ‚Äď March 7th along with a match donation to help the families and individuals who have been displaced from the fire. Thank you to the Fire Fighters, EMS, Boston Police, and all of the first responders. Round up your change at the register for The community.
Multicultural bridge-logo-

February Donation Spotlight

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2022 February Total: $4,619.76

2021 February Total: $7,755.00

2020 February Total: $2,000.00

This February as well as 2020 & 2021, BR choose to spotlight the grassroots run, Berkshire local, Multicultural BRIDGE.

Multicultural BRIDGE is a minority, and women, non-profit supporting, Criminal Justice Reform through financial assistance to individuals who do not have the money to cover legal expenses. Certified competencies include training, education, language access, and multicultural awareness. 

Founded in 2007, BRIDGE (dba Multicultural BRIDGE) acts as a catalyst for change, through collaboration, education, training, dialogue, fellowship, and advocacy. Dedicated to advancing equity and justice reform, by promoting cultural competence, positive psychology, and mutual understanding and acceptance. 

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February Donation Spotlight - East Boston

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2022 February Total: $3,243.14

The Boston Black Hospitality Coalition was created out of a necessity to have a directed initiative that ensures the future of Boston's Black-owned hospitality community. Their priority is to preserve a 180+ year legacy of food, culture, and business in Boston's black communities. The impact of COVID-19 pandemic has impacted black communities at disproportionate rates. During this devastating public health crisis, they are also forced to grapple with an economic crisis that has disrupted livelihoods and significantly undermined the financial security of our most vulnerable community members. Round up your change at the register for The Boston Black Hospitality Coalition.

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Veronica Robles Cultural Center

January Donation Spotlight- East Boston

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2022 January Total: $3,207.04

The Veronica Robles Cultural Center (VROCC) uplifts the cultural identities of Latino immigrant communities in Boston through dance, music, and arts programming that includes classes, performances, and hosting cultural events that bring people together to enjoy and celebrate diversity.

VROCC empowers youth through education, employment, community, and culture. Through the Dancing Elotes Entrepreneurship program, VROCC serves 120 youth between the ages of 14 through 21 years old.

Since the Pandemic started the VROCC team have been at the forefront proving to be the key to reaching out to some of the most vulnerable families in East Boston in collaboration with other community organization and local governments VROCC helped in vaccinating approximately 500 individuals and distributed the same number of Vaccinated Kits in 2021. Since 2020 VROCC has directly served over 5000 East Boston residents by providing food; financial assistance, cultural enrichment, employment for youth, incubation to local entrepreneurs, and paid gigs to artists. Round up your change at the register for The Veronica Robles Cultural Center!

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My Brothers Table

October Donation Spotlight- East Boston

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2021 October Total: $4,068.42

My Brother's Table is the largest free soup kitchen on the North Shore of Boston and has served 5.2+ million meals since being founded in 1982. Its mission is to nourish the community with hospitality, free meals, and unconditional love. Meals are served 7 days a week and the Table is open 365 days a year - never closing its doors despite holidays, hurricanes, blizzards, and even a pandemic.

My Brothers Table has been open for over 13,000 consecutive days, offering free meals to everyone, regardless of race, color, creed, or sex. We hope you will help us in supporting this awesome organization! Round up your change at checkout for My Brothers Table!

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August Donation Spotlight - East Boston

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2021 August Total: $6,709.75

This month’s Community Spotlight in Boston is, SqashBusters which challenges and nurtures urban youth (Students, Athletes, Citizens) so that they can recognize and fulfill their greatest potential in life. Since its inception, SquashBusters has served more than 1000 urban youth and has grown its impact to reach young people in Boston, Lawrence, and Providence. 

Founded in 1996 by former squash professional Greg Zaff, SquashBusters set out to connect two seemingly different worlds by introducing the sport of squash to young people in urban public schools. By connecting these worlds, SquashBusters provides young people with a bridge to college success, broadens their access to opportunities, and improves their health and fitness. 

More than twenty years later,¬†SquashBusters¬†has developed a replicable model for changing the lives of young people.¬†There are now urban squash programs in more than 20 cities worldwide, including New York, Chicago, Baltimore, Philadelphia, Detroit, Oakland, Cleveland, Johannesburg, and Toronto.¬†These programs collectively serve 2,500 young people all over the world with the guidance of the‚ÄĮSquash and Education Alliance (SEA).¬†

One of Berkshire Roots' core philosophies is giving back to the community that supports us and that is just what we did in Boston even before our dispensary was open to the public! Chanler Hotspot, a 25-year-old Boston resident was slated to run the Boston Marathon in April 2020. She was running and raising money on behalf of a special organization in the Boston area, SquashBusters. Berkshire Roots was happy to assist in her goal of not only raising awareness but raising money for the organization. Berkshire Roots Boston is proud to announce that we donated $1,500 to Squash Busters! Unfortunately, due to COVID-19, the Boston Marathon was canceled and Chanler was unable to run, but she successfully raised $7,100 for SquashBusters! Go Chanler! 

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HarborKeepers Organization

July Donation Spotlight - East Boston

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2021 July Total: $4,605.00

This month we are rounding up for the Harborkeepers organization, with local residents, community members, and leaders at the core, who all have the same mission, coastal resiliency, and environmental stewardship. Focusing on ways to bring awareness, education, and understanding of the best programs and everyday interactions and engagements that can ensure environment protection and infrastructure of the island community from increasing climate and environmental impacts.  

Through programs like Vision Chelsea Creek, Education Partnerships; including Climate NaTURE, after-school programs as well as targeted events, the organization spreads awareness. Their Stewardship program, Resilience Programs, and Preparedness initiatives cover multiple resources for the community to put into place, with many tactics to support the neighborhood and create infrastructure for a better future. Check out the site for more information about Harborkeepers and all they do to protect East Boston's coastline, shorelines, waterways, and harbors. 

Thank you for helping us to support this great organization.

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Berkshire Pride Logo

June Donation Spotlight - Pittsfield

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2021 June Total: $4,701.00

Berkshire Pride is a community alliance, created in 2017, Berkshire Pride welcomes over 1,000 members of the LGBTQ+ community and supporters every June to come together and celebrate unity, acceptance, and inclusion.  

 “Berkshire Pride is a freeform project with the goal of providing a platform for individuals and community organizations who want to make the Berkshires an even better, more inclusive, and more welcoming place to visit and live for all people. Berkshire Pride is not meant as a replacement or additional organization. It is a launching point where already existing and new organizations can come together with non-affiliated community organizers and work together." 

Comprised of individuals who represent diverse organizations and projects, through education, empowering, enhancing equity, and engaging the LGBTQ+ community. 

We thank you for your register round-up and for embracing all. 

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Aspire Asian sisters participating in reaching excellence

May Donation Spotlight - East Boston

Register Round-Up & Matching

2021 May Total: $4,900.00

This month is Asian American Pacific Islander Heritage Month, in East Boston we are spotlighting the Boston-based nonprofit ASPIRE. Founded in 2001 and¬†entirely¬†run by¬†volunteers whose¬†goal is to support the professional personal growth of Asian American Women. Their mission¬†‚Äúto build and empower a community of Asian American women leaders through identity development, mentorship and education.‚Ä̬† Learn more about this organization, how to get involved, and connect on social media as well. Thank you for supporting this organization through our register round-up and connecting directly online.¬†Check back to see at the end of the month what the total tally is. Thank you all again.¬†

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East Boston Main Streets logo

March 2021 Donation Spotlight - Boston

Register Round-Up & Matching

2021 March Total: $4,195.00

East Boston Main Streets (EBMS) - Eastie Strong

East Boston Main Streets is a wonderful neighborhood organization we are proud to support. Lead by executor director Gladys Oliveros and supported by a volunteer Board of Directors, the organization is committed to fostering inclusion, growth, and the well-being of the small business community and residents of East Boston.  

They do this through several services: 

  • Providing¬†technical¬†assistance, workshops, and one-on-one support¬†
  • Keeping the neighborhood beautiful through storefront renovations, signage improvements, and community clean-up events¬†
  • Bringing the community together and promoting East Boston‚Äôs businesses through local events¬†
  • Advocating for policies that support East Boston business owners and residents¬†

 

Eastie Strong was a program created to support businesses like restaurants and others who have been through the immediate shocks of the pandemic and focuses on jumpstarting the East Boston economy. 

  • ¬†Adopt A Patio ‚Äďprovides¬†direct funds¬†for restaurants¬†for patio furniture, umbrellas,¬†heaters,¬†and other items¬†required¬†to adapt and reopen.

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NAACP

January 2021 Donation Spotlight

Register Round-Up & Matching

2021 January Total: $6,737.00

2020 June Total: $5,000.00

This past January and in prior years, we have been in support¬†of¬†the NACCP¬†and¬†restorative justice through register round-up donations and matching contributions. 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 ‚Äúgame changers‚Ä̬†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 a collection of data, and 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.

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Berkshire Immigrant Center logo

October 2021 Donation Spotlight

Register Round-Up & Matching

2020 October Total: $2,753.00

Berkshire Immigrant Center (BIC) is 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 was looking to raise additional funds for their families. Berkshire 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.

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Berkshire Community College & Berkshire Roots – Cannabis Curriculum

Fellowship Program

BCC & Berkshire Roots Cannabis Practicum

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.

Round Up Application

Please Support Our Local Partners

We are always looking for great non-profits and partners to work with. Send us a note at Marketing@BerkshireRoots.com to connect.

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