4/1/20 newsletter

Dear Greylock Together,

It’s scary out there.  But we’re all in this together.

Thank you to those who have forwarded these newsletters to people who need the information.  If you haven’t already, you can subscribe on our website.  Please think who else might need to find out about these things or who might want opportunities to help (even with a phone call!  Call the sheriff!).  Forward this to them.  If you’re on Facebook, make sure you join our group.  We sometimes have quick requests for assistance from people in our communities who need help.  It’s been primarily an Indivisible political group dedicated to advancing progressive values, but any port in a storm!

We Need People for Errands!  The Williamstown Council on Aging is looking for people to run basic errands for elderly citizens who are afraid to leave their houses.  This is low-risk and just takes a small amount of time and kindness on your part!  Contact Bonny DiTomasso, Home and Community Based Programs Supervisor for Elder Services of Berkshire County at bditomasso@esbci.org or (413) 499-0524 x750.  You can also call the Williamstown Council on Aging at (413) 459-8250.

Think You Might Be Sick?  There’s a new site from the state that will walk through your symptoms and talk about your risks, plus recommend things to do and where to find care.  Visit it here at buoy.com/mass.

Donate/Sell/Acquire PPE.  If you are a member of an organization that needs Personal Protective Equipment (PPE) or if you have some to donate or sell, go to this state site to do so.  They’re looking for donations of the usual stuff (N95 masks, surgical masks, etc).  You might actually have some extra bottles of hand sanitizer — donate them!

Healthcare Workers Volunteers.  Are you a former or current healthcare worker interested in volunteering to help during this terrible time?  Go to this site to step up and assist.

Donate for Undocumented Workers.  Undocumented workers throughout Massachusetts have been badly hurt by COVID-19.  Not only are they suffering from the same economic straits and social distancing (if they’re even able to do that!), but they’re also deliberately excluded from most of the relief and rescue efforts.  Donate a few dollars to help them at the MassUndocuFund.

Reminder: Mutual Aid.  Facebook group for mutual aid and dispensing info in the county here, with a website here.  The Greylock Glass has also set up this mutual aid board.

Reminder: Sheriff.  Please call Berkshire County Sheriff Thomas Bowler and ask him to use his authority to release with GPS bracelets any inmates who are on mandatory minimum sentences and don’t present significant threat to the public. The focus should be on the populations most at risk (60+, immunosuppressed, or other underlying problems).  Call Assistant Deputy Superintendent Diane Maynes at (413) 443-7220 ext. 1102 to leave feedback as a member of the public and ask for the Sheriff to take this important step:
Hi there, I’m <NAME> and I live in <TOWN>, and I was calling to ask if the Sheriff would please begin releasing people from the county jail on GPS bracelets where possible, to help limit the risk from the coronavirus.  There’s a lot of people on mandatory minimums who aren’t a threat to anyone, and they should be helping their families and not sitting packed in close quarters with others.
Consider also leaving a message on their Facebook page.

Reminder: Masks.  If you are willing and able to sew surgical masks, please consider making some for the front-liners who need them.  Instructions are here.  Contact Jessica Chittenden at Jchittendenlmhc@gmail.com if you’re willing.

Food and Resources Info.  Here’s a fast visual emergency food locator from The Greylock Glass.  Here’s info from the Northern Berkshire COVID Operation Center regarding food and community resources:

  • As a reminder, the First Baptist Church in North Adams will be providing a grab-n-go hot meal on Saturday from 11-12. There will also be some grocery supplies available.
  • Berkshire Food Project is open for grab-n-go meals and emergency groceries on Monday, Wednesday, and Friday from 11:30-1pm. More information: www.berkshirefoodproject.org 
  • Friendship Food Pantry will be open on 4/1 from 10-2 & 3:30-5:30. The pantry is now being operated out of the St. Elizabeth Friendship Food Pantry. Watch for updates at www.friendshipfoodpantry.org. 
  • Salvation Army Food Pantry, Tuesdays, 12-3 pm. Meet at the front door. COVID Emergency Food boxes are available. Please call Major Corno at 663-7987
  • The Northern Berkshire Community Coalition is open by appointment only, Monday to Friday from 9-4:30 pm. They can be reached at (413) 663-7588. For a listing of services please visitwww.nbccoaltion.org.  Our 510 North Street & North Adams WIC sites are currently closed until further notice, but we are serving our Participants over the phone. If you already have an upcoming appointment, we will call you in the near future to help you and to load your benefits onto your WIC Card. If you do not have a scheduled appointment or if you have questions, please call our Pittsfield office at (413) 447-3495 – if we are unable to answer, please leave a voicemail. We will call you back as soon as possible and apologize for the delay.
  • MassHealth has expanded eligibility and coverage in response to COVID19. See https://www.mass.gov/topics/masshealth for more information. 
Check out more news from this week at Muckraker Farm.

Events (GCal,iCal)
None.  Stay inside.  We do have a digital fundraiser coming up, though!  Stay tuned!
Resist and persist!

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