On June 1, the Berkshire Immigrant Center (BIC) invites the community to honor the more than 10,000 immigrants in the Berkshires as they join an annual observance of national Immigrant Heritage Month and launch a $10,000 fundraising campaign for the Center.

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“During Immigrant Heritage Month we proudly honor the many ways immigrants make the Berkshires a better place,” says BIC Executive Director Michelle Lopez. “This year we are especially grateful for the hundreds of foreign-born doctors, medical technicians, nurses and staff who are caring for people at Berkshire Medical Center, Fairview Hospital, and nursing homes, and for local immigrants who are essential workers at our grocery stores, restaurants and farms.”

Since March 20, BIC has raised more than $70,000 for a COVID-19 Relief Fund. Through this fund BIC has helped more than 140 of their most vulnerable clients and their families pay for basic needs like rent and utilities.

The Center remains the only program in Berkshire County that focuses exclusively on meeting the unique challenges of a continuously growing immigrant and refugee population.

In 2018 BIC was named “Best Small Nonprofit” in the state by Massachusetts Nonprofit Network. Last year BIC served more than 700 clients in their offices, and hundreds more through workshops. BIC assists clients from more than 70 different countries to navigate the complex US immigration system, including help to reunite families, obtain work authorizations, visas, Green Cards, Temporary Protected Status, and Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA).

BIC also offers free Citizenship Exam preparation classes, emergency financial assistance, interpretation and translation services, and monthly clinics with an attorney on non-immigration issues. BIC's goal is to ensure that everyone in the Berkshires feels  welcome and able to thrive regardless of their country of birth.

You can more information by going to the Berkshire Immigrant Center's website.