Hello BRIDGE friends, families and supporters!
We are asking you as we leave 2011 and move in to the new year to consider to support BRIDGE's mission in our community with a donation! Help us celebrate our successes & connections and build on our collaboration.
A Letter from Our Board President, 2010-2011:
I have had the privilege of knowing and working with Multicultural Bridge from its inception. Gwendolyn VanSant, a woman of great courage, sensed the growing need in our community for an organization that would know, advocate and understand the changing nature of the Berkshire’s population.
In the last 4 years operating on the proverbial shoestring, she has found an organization with a strong board, a clear vision, a realistic plan and a
substantial role in the community. At a time when unsung heroes are being recognized, I believe Gwendolyn belongs in that category. She has given a voice to many who have previously been silent. She has given them and many others knowledge of cultural diversity, she has literally trained hundreds in our communities. BRIDGE’s work is far from over - there is a long way to go still.
Now the organization, in order to achieve its cogent goals, needs your resources and financial support to leap forward. A financial gift to BRIDGE of any size will make a real difference. To say that this is a worthwhile cause is an understatement.
Join us please as we strive to truly make a difference in our community.
-Marcia Savage, Advisory Council Chair 2012
A Letter from Our New Board President:
I became involved with Multicultural BRIDGE through my work in the banking industry and serving on our Multicultural Committee. Since first working with BRIDGE on a few projects and helping to connect our immigrant population with financial services, my eyes have been opened to the many challenges and obstacles that those who come to this country for the first time face as well as those who are of non-white ethnic or racial backgrounds. As we go about our daily lives, we don’t often realize what others are encountering and I am pleased to play even a small role in helping to make our County more welcoming of all others. Gwendolyn does yeoman’s work in this effort with limited funds and staff assistance. I look forward to leading the Board toward helping this noble effort in the most efficient and effective manner.
-Lori Gazzillo, Board President 2012-2013
Dear Multicultural BRIDGE families, friends, and supporters:
Our Fourth Year has continued to pursue our mission of change and integration through building strong relationships throughout the county, state and region.
Multicultural BRIDGE’s services continue to grow with the youngest children in our Embracing Diversity and Bilingual Literacy program to Workplace Spanish Courses and Cultural Competence Trainings. In North, Central and South County, we have increased the number of youth participating in Diversity Leadership and Conflict Resolution Skills trainings and community members participating in community dialogues and task forces regarding racial disparities.
During the Spring and Summer of 2011, we celebrated three memorable events. First, we presented Migrations of the Heart as part of the Berkshire Festival of Women Writers, having immigrant women share their migration stories at a BRIDGE Multicultural Presentation. Second, we co-organized the first Ethnic Fair of Great Barrington in Housatonic as part of Great Barrington’s 250th Anniversary. Hundreds of folks enjoyed food, family activities and multicultural performances. Finally, Multicultural BRIDGE partnered and participated in the first ever Berkshire African American Celebration, “Lift Ev’ry Voice” throughout the summer.
In these very tumultuous financial times, our road to sustainability has been steady. The need for our program grows as the demographics continue to change in Berkshire County, and our approach has proven not only unique and effective but healing. We bridge communities and forge relationships to build a strong and integrated Berkshire County.
For now, I hope you will look deep into the heart of every person you meet and enjoy the inherent worth of each and every individual. One cannot underestimate the value of mutual respect and effective communication as the key to a vibrant and thriving community. This approach to all you meet will build strength and empower our Berkshire community and beyond.
Multicultural BRIDGE’s theme this coming year will be “Shared Leadership.” And I invite you to step forward and join our mission, spread the word about Multicultural BRIDGE, share in the good news and celebrations, and help us develop a base of strong families and friends who will support our work.
All the best to you and your families, as we all look forward to a great New Year! --Gwendolyn, BRIDGE Executive Director and Co-founder 2007-present
Please consider making a donation from $10, #30, $50, $100, $250, $500, $1000, and $5000. With this donation you can also choose to join BRIDGE as a member that demonstrates your support of the BRIDGE mission and our core values of learning, empowerment, collaboration, integration and celebration!
Happy New Year to all! Hoping we have a year filled with prosperity and peace,
The Multicultural BRIDGE team