New Berkshire United Way CEO ready to meet, listen — and learn (copy)

Candace Winkler, president and CEO of the Berkshire United Way, says a new grant round will again help nonprofits assist Berkshire County residents to cope with the pandemic. “We want to help our children and youth get back on track with their social and emotional development, and hope to see some fun and innovative grant proposals," she said in a statement. 

PITTSFIELD — Nonprofit groups have another shot at getting financial help to pursue their missions through the pandemic.

The COVID-19 Emergency Response Fund for Berkshire County is accepting applications until May 15 for a new round of funding, with grant decisions to be made by May 30. The grants help groups respond to the social and emotional impact of the COVID-19 pandemic on children, families, and communities in Berkshire County, according to its sponsors — the Berkshire United Way, Berkshire Taconic Community Foundation, Northern Berkshire United Way, and Williamstown Community Chest.

The grants are designed to support innovative approaches to improve the emotional well-being of children, youth, and families, the groups say.

“As we pivot to recovery, we see the toll this pandemic has taken,” said Candace Winkler, CEO and president of Berkshire United Way. “We want to help our children and youth get back on track with their social and emotional development, and hope to see some fun and innovative grant proposals.”

The program will award up to $5,000 to programs that serve at least 10 people. Some awards may be higher, the groups say, depending on available funding and need. The money must be used by Sept. 30. For information, visit t.ly/CiLp.

The partnership was created at the start of the pandemic in March 2020. From March 19, 2020, to Aug. 3, it awarded more than $2 million through 132 grants to 95 nonprofits. Their missions included supporting low-income families, communities of color, immigrants and seniors. Services included food pantries, health care, and housing.