PITTSFIELD - Berkshire County has made sure no child got left behind this year in the Berkshire Community Action Council Giving Tree Holiday Elf warm clothing program.
The campaign kicked off on Nov. 29 - Black Friday - with the message of giving back during the peak holiday retail season. A total of 1,200 children from families facing financial hardships in the central Berkshire County region were enrolled in this year's program.
BCAC community services director Janie McCormick said the last 40 children on the list were helped with a donation of gift cards from Greylock Federal Credit Union.
On Friday, the bank threw a special celebration to give BCAC the gift cards as well as mittens, scarves and hats that its branches have been collecting this month, also to benefit the drive.
BCAC is one of several charitable organizations in Berkshire County that organizes warm clothing and gift drives for local kids and teens.
BCAC's North County division also organizes a similar drive. Aleta Moncecchi, director of community partnerships for BCAC North Adams, said approximately 700 families were helped through its Elf Program this year. The tree is operated at the Walmart Supercenter in North Adams.
"We're really lucky in North County. We get a lot of support," Moncecchi said. "This year we had help from everyone from individuals and the local churches. Even the Hells Angels donated to sponsor a family."
In Great Barrington, through Berkshire South Regional Community Center, there is " The Shining Star Supplemental Holiday Program."
The Christian Center in Pittsfield and Hillcrest Educational Centers Inc., manage programs just for teens. Village Ambulance and Berkshire Young Professionals hosts its annual 9- 1- 1 Coat and Can drive at the Berkshire Mall to support local families.
Other community centers, youth centers and religious organizations and myriad volunteers also worked to run smaller drives for youths.