Letter: When funds arrive spend them here

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To the editor:

I suspect there are families that are extremely fortunate in that we have employment and an income that has minimal risk to its stability. For some, our worries may be exclusively for our extended families and friends well-being and the direction this pandemic is taking in our community and beyond. Those are tremendous concerns for anyone. The anxiety induced by this experience is significant.

For many, many others with those same worries and anxiety, there is the unfathomable financial crisis they are personally experiencing due to this unprecedented economic shutdown. I have deep concerns about what our society will look like if we don't help to financially support our community and help those who are in deep or imminent financial need.

This gets at the heart of the purpose of the aid in the first place. This aid, however, is not able to discriminate based on need. So, I suggest that recipients should do so as soon as it arrives. Rather than go on a shopping spree and stick it under the mattress, individuals who don't need the aid, should direct those funds specifically to members of our community who need it most. This aid should stay in the Berkshires.

I would further challenge the corporations in our community who are not in need of the aid they may receive from the government, to also step up. I appreciate corporations making contributions to help national organizations depending on the nature of the corporation, but certainly a portion can be earmarked for the community that corporation directly serves.

My fundamental issue is this: I don't know of an organization in the Berkshires that can efficiently direct funds to individuals in need while keeping 100 percent of those funds in our community. It might require a partnership between our local banks, our local community leaders, and the Unemployment Offices of Berkshire County (but remember, not all are able to file for unemployment). Sadly, for those who need this cash the most, the amounts provided will likely be inadequate. We can surely do something about this before the checks arrive. Problems can either spiral out of control, as we can plainly see before us, or they can spiral to a resolution. I'm hoping for the latter.

Be vigilant and support your community.

Matthew Gottfried,




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