Overview of our work
Berkshire United Way ignites the collective power of individuals and organizations to build a stronger community. It does this by leading coalitions, funding evidenced-based programs, and developing effective strategies that will lead to lasting change in our community. We do this by bringing people and organizations together to help improve outcomes in the following areas:
Asset Based Community Development
Asset based community development starts with the simple truth that everyone has gifts and has something to contribute to build strong and healthy communities. Both individual and organizational assets must be identified and mobilized to build on the strengths and capacities of residents. This process of asset mapping creates the path for residents to move from clients (recipients of service) to producers (co-producers of their own and their community’s well-being).
Two Generation Approach
As part of a two-generation approach, programs/activities must provide opportunities for and meet the needs of children, youth, parents and caregivers together. Research shows the impact of a parent’s education level, economic stability, and overall health on a child/youth’s trajectory. Similarly, children’s education and healthy development are powerful catalysts for parents.
As the above graphic shows, whole-family approaches focus equally and intentionally on services and opportunities for the parent and the child. Programs/activities must break through the silos of fragmented policies in order to harness a family’s full potential and put the entire family on a path to economic security.
See more at Annie E. Casey Foundation - Creating Opportunities for Families.