Disaster Relief Edition       

September 2, 2011  

"Dedicated to improving
the quality of life for people
in Northern Berkshire by

organizing, supporting, and
empowering the community"

In This Issue
Help for Victims
How You Can Help

Dear Friends of the nbCC:


In response to the many calls about Hurricane Irene's disaster relief, we are offering the following special edition of nbCC's e-zine to provide information about how you can help. This Disaster Relief Edition is published in partnership with the Northern Berkshire Clergy. It will be published when appropriate. Faith leaders, consider passing along this electronic version of the e-zine to your congregants.  


Read below to see what help is available for victims and how you can help as well.


We understand that residents in all Northern Berkshire communities have been impacted by Hurricane Irene.
We'll forward helpful information from other communities as we receive it. 


We would like to thank everyone who has coordinated these efforts and relayed this information to us to distribute. Once again it is proven that the folks in Northern Berkshire come together to help in times of need.


The Staff at nbCC.  

Help for Victims


If you know someone affected by Hurricane Irene and they need help:


(1) Send people to the Williamstown Elementary School to register for help. There is now a disaster assistance relief center at Williamstown Elementary School to take information from the victims of this storm, and help them get connected with services that are available to them, including mental health services. It is open 9-4 Monday-Friday (not weekends or Labor Day).


(2) Send people to the Red Cross shelter at the St. John's Episcopal Church on Park Street in Williamstown for (petless) shelter or for an evening meal.


(3) Come by the Williamstown First Congregational Church. The First Congregational Church of Williamstown has been trying to meet whatever needs are presented to it: gasoline vouchers, grocery vouchers, and most importantly, finding shelter at local hotels. Some of this has come from the immediate amount of money in the voucher fund system, but much more has come from individual efforts. The First Congregational Church will continue to try to meet whatever immediate needs are presented to it.


(4) Come to the St. Patrick's food pantry in Williamstown. The food pantry will be open special hours today (Friday) from 1:00 p.m. to 3:00 p.m. to serve those in need of clothing or food. 

How You Can Help

Beyond the victim immediate needs, it is hard for us to know what to do to help. It's not easy losing a home to a flood. Survivors must leave their precious memories behind, something that is hard to understand unless we are faced with it. We do not always know where to begin. Here's what you can do now to help:


(1) Donate money or gift cards to this cause.

  • The First Congregational Church in Williamstown is offering immediate assistance. Gift cards for places like Rite Aid and Stop & Shop are especially needed. Contact Gail Burns at (413) 458-4273.
  • The Tenants Association of the Spruces has set up a fund at South Adams Savings Bank which will receive contributions for repairs and rebuilding. Contributions can be sent to: Spruces Tenants Association, memo: disaster relief, c/o South Adams Savings Bank, 273 Main St., Williamstown, MA 01267. 

(2) Donate food to any local food pantry: the St. Patrick's food pantry in Williamstown, The Friendship Center and Salvation Army in North Adams and the Pope John Paul the Great Charity Center in Adams.  


(3) Visit  www.redcross.org, 1-800-RED-CROSS or text REDCROSS to 90999 to make a $10 donation. Contributions can be sent to American Red Cross Berkshire County Chapter, 480 West St., Pittsfield, MA 01201 or American Red Cross, PO Box 37243 Washington, DC, 20013.


(4) Attend "Pray for the Spruces," an Interfaith prayer service in response to the local emergency caused by Hurricane Irene on Sunday, September 4 at 4 p.m. at First Congregational Church, 906 Main Street, Williamstown, MA. Clergy from area congregations will lead the time of prayer and reflection. Williams College will provide dinner for those who have been displaced from their homes following the service. All are welcome to participate in this time of prayer, whether displaced person or a sympathetic neighbor. No special dress code. The facility is handicapped accessible and has parking at the rear. For more information, contact First Congregational Church at 458-4273 or First United Methodist Church 458-3183.