Greater Westfield Chamber of Commerce

BERKSHIRE BANK FOUNDATION ANNOUNCES GRANT TO BENEFIT HURRICANE SANDY RELIEF EFFORTS

Berkshire Bank Foundation announced today that it has awarded a $5,000 grant to the American Red Cross to support ongoing relief efforts in communities affected by Hurricane Sandy. The funds will be used to assist individuals meet basic needs such as food, clothing, and shelter as the recovery process continues.

The American Red Cross, a humanitarian organization led by volunteers and guided by its Congressional Charter, provides relief to victims of disaster and helps people prevent, prepare for, and respond to emergencies. Each year, in communities large and small, victims of disasters turn to more than half a million volunteers and 35,000 employees of the Red Cross for help and support. Through nearly 700 locally supported chapters, more than 15 million people gain the skills they need to prepare for and respond to emergencies in their homes, communities and world. To date the Red Cross has been able to provide 75,000 overnight stays in shelters, 6 million meals and snacks, and distributed more than 2 million relief items to help those who were affected by Hurricane Sandy.

Peter J. Lafayette, Executive Director of Berkshire Bank Foundation said “Berkshire Bank is pleased to provide this grant to support the work of the American Red Cross as they continue to meet basic needs of those affected by the devastation caused by Hurricane Sandy. We feel that it is our responsibility to help those who have suffered from this Hurricane and know that this investment in the Red Cross will help them to continue to address the many needs along the coast.”

In addition to financial support, the Foundation oversees the bank’s large Employee Volunteer Program that carries out group community service projects benefiting schools, non-profit organizations and communities within the bank’s service area.  In 2011, Berkshire Bank employees completed 67 volunteer projects in which over 50% of Berkshire’s employees participated donating over 26,000 hours of service through both company-sponsored and individual volunteer efforts to help their local communities.

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