4/8/20 newsletter

Dear Greylock Together,

There are three big ways we’re asking for your help tonight.  First, there’s the fundraiser tomorrow.  Second, we need able bodies to help volunteer at the Friendship Center food pantry.  And third, we need donors for Monday’s blood drive.

In a time of tyrants and plagues, heroes step up to volunteer their gold, their sweat, and their blood.  Be a hero.

Fundraiser.  We need to flip the Senate.  For years, Mitch McConnell and the Republican majority have abused their power.  There’s simply no other word for it: from first to last, they have abandoned the good of their country to pursue the good of their party.  It didn’t used to be thus.  There was a time when Republicans claimed to believe in important values — values other than their own power and pursuit of the same.  Rigorous oversight, fiscal responsibility, federalism, a country unified in the face of adversity.  But that time seems to be gone in Mitch McConnell’s Senate.  All of that has been sacrificed, and their slain virtues have stained the altar of power a dark and bitter red.

Tomorrow night we are hosting a virtual fundraiser for Democratic Senate candidates. Buy a ticket and join Professors Jim Mahon and Nicole Mellow discuss politics in the age of Covid.  Click here for tickets and here for more information.

Volunteers.  You’re going to remember this time for the rest of your life.  How do you want to remember it?  As a bystander?  Or as someone who rolled up their sleeves and did that most important of things: feeding the hungry?  We need five volunteers.  Be one of them.

Organizers of the Al Nelson Friendship Center Food Pantry, North Adams, are looking to build a database of potential and actual new volunteers. Some of their regular volunteers have stepped back temporarily because they fall into groups most threatened by COVID-19. They also expect and already have experienced increased need due to layoffs and gaps in the Northern Berkshire emergency food system.  Potential new volunteers should be in good health without underlying conditions and should be able to lift and move a 35-pound box. Our weekly hours of operation are 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. and 3:30 to 5:30 p.m. every Wednesday. Some tasks are completed Friday through Sunday.

If interested, contact them at northernberkshireinterfaith@gmail.com or through their website, friendshipfoodpantry.org or through Facebook at Northern Berkshire Interfaith Action Initiative Al Nelson Friendship Center.  Their new set-up is at the St. Elizabeth of Hungary Parish Center. Their phone number remains 413-664-0123.

Blood Drive.  You may have heard about how blood banks have been in desperate need.  Give when it counts this Monday at the Williamstown Police Department, from 9:00 to 2:30.  They are taking extraordinary precautions so that you can safely donate.  Call (413) 447-2597 or email camuso@bhs1.org.

Census.  Take the census if you haven’t done so already.  It’s the right thing to do, and it directly impacts our local political power.  Districts are apportioned by population.

Reminder: 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.

Reminder: 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.

Reminder: 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!

Reminder: 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.

Reminder: 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.

Check out more news from this week at Muckraker Farm.

Events (GCal,iCal)

Join our virtual fundraiser tomorrow night at five.  Also, it’s nice outside. Go out for a walk.


Resist and persist!

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