(Brenda Petell, director of volunteer engagement at Berkshire United Way, right, hands over pledge forms to Gabrielle Vanderpool, employee campaign coordinator at Ray Murray Inc., during the company’s recent workplace campaign kickoff event. Image courtesy of Berkshire United Way)

This year will look different for Berkshire United Way’s 140 workplace campaigns, but the goal to raise money while having fun remains the same.

“These campaigns are the backbone of our fundraising efforts, so this year we have modified our processes due to the pandemic, from virtual kickoffs and creative special events to customized campaign web pages that enable employees to virtually make gifts,” said Duffy Judge, BUW development manager. “We have also launched a campaign kickoff video to replace in-person gatherings.”

Longtime supporter Unistress Corporation kicked off BUW’s fundraising year with a two-week campaign in September, reporting a 6 percent increase in participation, while new campaign Berkshire Sterile Manufacturing, an innovative company in the biotechnology field with 160 employees, has just kicked off.

“The last seven months have been challenging for many families and businesses, but we are overwhelmed and encouraged by the generosity in our community,” shared Candace Winkler, BUW president and chief executive officer.

“Charitable giving is a cornerstone of our culture and Guardian fosters it by matching nonprofit donations,” said Larry Hazzard, vice president, head of Disability Income Product, Underwriting and Claims, and president of Berkshire Life. “Our campaign coordinators Matt Cormier and Jacki Alibozek have devised creative fundraisers for our work-from-home reality, such as an online raffle, tequila seminar and drive-in movie night. We’re thankful to be 100 percent functional in our virtual work environment and look forward to a robust campaign.”

In partnership with Miraval Berkshires, BUW is offering a new incentive. Anyone who pledges to this year’s campaign will be entered to win a three-day, two-night wellness getaway to Miraval’s new resort in Lenox.

To learn more about the Annual Campaign, email djudge@berkshireunitedway.org.

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