My husband Tim and I first moved to the Berkshires in the summer of 2016, and were so fortunate to get connected with BRIDGE through the Towards Racial Justice community meetings and Real Talk on Race classes. We remain supporters because BRIDGE’s impact on our lives—and the lives of so many people we know and who live in our community—is truly immeasurable.
This Giving Tuesday, we are putting up a $5000 match to support BRIDGE’s mutual aid network, which provides food, resources, connection and care to hundreds of people throughout the county. We hope you’ll donate today!
BRIDGE has always been a trusted resource and partner to people in our community who often go unheard, undervalued and ignored. As volunteers and activists in many BRIDGE spaces, the last few years have made this even clearer to me and Tim. When COVID hit, BRIDGE developed a new program in response to its community voices, and got it up and running in just days—providing groceries, hot meals, fresh farm meat, veggies, seedlings, masks, cleaning and hygiene related supplies, gas, pharmacy items, gift cards and more to vulnerable families throughout the Berkshires. Supplies are sourced from local farms and farm stores that are owned and run by people of color, queer folks and women. This program is still running uninterrupted in our third year of the pandemic. And this summer, BRIDGE also launched the Solidarity Garden and Farm with donated land access to provide farming space for historically marginalized or vulnerable groups with limited or no access to land, with TA and guaranteed buyers for building community and starting a business to sell crops, locally grown and sourced natural products, and/or feed their communities.
Today, BRIDGE is reaching 120-130 BIPOC families twice a month through the winter with fresh groceries, minimally Universal Basic Income of $25 a month, and weekly prepared meals for those families intersecting with elders and families with disabilities. Tim and I have come to learn and respect that BRIDGE centers the voices, wisdom and experiences of those underrepresented and meets them in culturally appropriate ways. As community members and volunteers, we aim to support and amplify this holistic approach with our time, professional expertise and financial resources.
BRIDGE is supporting people in our community in direct, common-sense, culturally relevant ways—meeting basic needs to build a vibrant future for everyone, rooted in dignity, care, trust and mutuality. Please join our family in supporting BRIDGE’s vital, revolutionary, and life-changing work with a donation today!
-Lily Swartz Ellis
Volunteer BRIDGE Development Co-Coordinator
Multicultural BRIDGE helps to improve the lives of community members throughout the Berkshires, and provides consultation and training to groups and businesses across the state and throughout the country.