The Thanksgiving Angels program is the single largest volunteer event effort in the community each year and this year, Berkshire United Way was happy to help make the volunteer signup process easier while maintaining that personal connection. Committee chairs Hope Amandos and Gretchen DeBartolo, and the all volunteer committee, entrusted this effort to Brenda Petell, BUW's Director of Volunteer Engagement, and the BUW team.
There were over 300 volunteers who logged an estimated 2,000 hours to support several hundred families. All box assembly, food packing and pickup activities took part at South Congregational Church on South Street in Pittsfield.
Efforts began this summer when BUW's intern through MassHire Berkshire Career Center, Italytiza Ruiz Santana, created the database and worked with Brenda to get the Volunteer Center ready for this undertaking. The Volunteer Center is supported by Greylock Federal Credit Union. Also over the summer, 23 civic and faith-based organizations and the committee met several times.
Leading up to this event, Lisa Udel organizes bakers who donate approximately 1,200 loaves of bread to this effort.
This event always has great media coverage and was no different this year. Read more from:
- Berkshire Eagle's Matt Martinez and Ben Garver: Over 1,700 families sign up for meals through Thanksgiving Angels at South Congregational Church in Pittsfield
- Dan Reidy at Spectrum News 1 Worcester: Annual 'Thanksgiving Angels' provide food for nearly 2,000 Berkshire families
- Brittany Polito at iBerkshires: Thanksgiving Angels Descend with Meal Kits for Residents
- Josh Landes at WAMC Northeast Public Radio: “Friends helping friends:” Thanksgiving Angels program distributes thousands of holiday meals to Berkshire residents
- Shaw Israel Izikson at The Berkshire Edge: Something to be thankful for: Thanksgiving Angels come out to feed the need