BUW Announces Over $1M in Community Investments

July 1, 2021

Berkshire United Way announces $1,116,000 in community grant investments to support 42 programs addressing issues related to early child development, youth development and economic prosperity across Berkshire County.

The COVID -19 pandemic made it more challenging for organizations to support children and families, as basic needs like food, child care and health services became a priority. BUW recognized this and immediately responded, but is now focusing on recovery and remains committed to investing in quality programs that help children and families succeed.

girl shows artwork to family
Leah, a student in the Expressive Arts program at Lee Elementary Schools, shows her artwork to her family at an end-of-year celebration. Expressive Arts is supported through funding from BUW.

“Families are the foundation of our community. When families are safe, healthy and financially secure, they are more likely to reach the goals they have for themselves and their children,” said Candace Winkler, BUW CEO and president. “Over 3,500 individuals and businesses contributed to Berkshire United Way’s campaign this year. These donations will have the greatest impact to make lasting, positive change in the Berkshires.”

Grantees are selected through a rigorous review process. This year, 32 board and community members dedicated 480 hours of volunteer service, and through new coordination efforts, 24 new volunteers signed up. Grant awards were selected based on alignment with BUW’s focus areas, program design, two-generation approach, target population and ability to measure outcomes.

BUW’s main intention with these grants is to support family well-being and to address gaps in services in the community. Programs will generate a whole-family, integrated approach that focuses on educational advancement and economic mobility.

While BUW staff, board and volunteers are pleased to be able to support the community, requests for funding exceeded the amount available by $500,000. To increase investments in quality, impactful programs, join BUW in being Here For Good with a contribution to the next fundraising campaign, which starts July 1.