Berkshire Bank Employees Give Back to Local Communities Through Nearly...

Berkshire Bank Employees Give Back to Local Communities Through Nearly 7,000 Volunteer Hours During Xtraordinary Day on June 5

All Offices and Departments Closed to Allow Employees Volunteer

Pittsfield, MA –

Berkshire Bank completed its Xtraordinary Day on Tuesday, June 5, 2018, where more than 1,800 employees from the Company came together to give back to local communities across the country. Through more than 70 service projects, employees donated nearly 7,000 hours of community service. Xtraordinary Day is part of Berkshire's ongoing effort to support its local communities and customers. Last year, more than 92% of employees from across the country volunteered over 6,000 hours of community service.

"Xtraordinary Day is a source of pride for our employees, who are eager to make positive contributions in the communities where they live and work," said Lori Gazzillo, Senior Vice President, Foundation Director, "We're proud to dedicate an entire afternoon to corporate citizenship and inspire our employees to support those in need through projects rooted in our dedication to local non-profit organizations supporting our communities.

On this year's Xtraordinary Day, 92% of the Company, which equates to 1,839 employees, completed 74 volunteer projects. Employees donated nearly 7,000 hours of service, with a value of nearly $191,492. These projects, which included everything from building homes for families in need, to painting community centers and making summer literacy packets for students, supported 90 different nonprofit organizations across the Company's footprint. 502,802 individuals benefited from the 74 projects completed on Xtraordinary Day, contributing to the bank's larger goal to impact one million lives through their volunteer work in 2018.

For the third year the Company participated in community service events concurrently from 1pm - 4pm, closing the entire financial institution including Firestone Financial, 44 Business Capita l, Berkshire Insurance Group, First Choice Loan Services, Commerce Bank, a division of Berkshire Bank, and RNL& Associates as a united effort for community involvement.

Berkshire Bank recognizes that being a good corporate citizen is about more than just writing a check. As a result, employees receive paid time off to volunteer during regular business hours through its XTEAM® corporate volunteer program. The XTEAM® has become a central part of the America's Most Exciting Bank culture and Xtraordinary Day, is a way to show the true power of giving back on a grand scale, allowing all employees to be a part of something meaningful and impactful in the communities the company serves.

"Three years ago we launched the first Xtraordinary Day. We knew it was big, bold and unlike anything else but we never imagined how it would revolutionize our company and communities." stated Gary Levante, Vice President of Corporate Social Responsibility. "Our employees are at the heart of these results as they work tirelessly every day to enhance the vibrancy of the places where we live and work."

Projects included:

Berkshire County, MA – Habitat for Humanity multi-site build in partnership with Central Berkshire Habitat for Humanity; Assembling of teacher appreciation kits at Farmington River Elementary; Landscaping and painting with Hillcrest Educational Centers; Clean-ups with Housatonic River Walk, Northern Berkshire Community Coalition, Boys & Girls Club of the Berkshire's Camp Russell and West Stockbridge Historical Society.

Pioneer Valley, MA – Tree planting & park improvements with ReGreen Springfield; Painting and landscaping of the Amelia Park Children's Museum, Girls Club of Greenfield, YMCA of Springfield and Lupa Zoo; Painting the West Springfield Boys & Girls Club; Gift wrapping at Birthday Wishes; Shelving books and landscaping at the Westfield Athenaeum.

Central, MA – Assembling and decorating houses for Operation Playhouse with Habitat for Humanity of Metrowest-Greater Worcester; Packing of summer reading bags for all Worcester Public Schools' second grades students with United Way of Central MA; Building and painting of picnic tables for the YMCA of Central MA; Landscaping and cleaning of the Boys & Girls Club of Worcester.

Eastern MA – Creating and painting of murals for the Gilbert Albert Community Center; Sorting food donations at the Centre Street Food Pantry; Landscaping, building and painting at Gardner Pilot Academy in partnership with Boston Cares; Preparing for the 5k and 10k race to Crush Cancer with For Kids' Sake Foundation; Sorting books at More than Words; Building homes with Habitat for Humanity of Greater Lowell.

Capital District, NY – Performing yard work and painting with Rebuilding Together Saratoga; Sorting and stocking donations at Things of My Very Own; Making animal treats for the Mohawk Hudson Humane Society; Gardening at Liberty Enterprises; Sorting food at the Regional Food Bank of NENY; Painting and building fences at Equine Advocates.

Central NY – Painting rooms at Utica Children's Museum and Mohawk Valley Community Action Agency's Journey Home; Walking and caring for dogs at Helping Hounds Rescue; Making repairs and cleaning at Joseph's Experience; Landscaping and painting at the Boys & Girls Club of Syracuse; Painting the gathering room at Eastwood Community Center.

Connecticut – Multiple service projects across greater Hartford in partnership with Hands on Hartford to benefit the Keney Park Sustainability Project, South Park Inn, Breakthrough Magnet School, Hartford Food System and Hands On Hartford's Community Meals Program.

Vermont – Building benches and garden beds for Housing Trust of Rutland's new Senior Living Units; Gardening and landscaping with the Merck Forest Foundation; Painting the exterior of the Vermont Veterans' Home.

Mid-Atlantic and beyond – Creating meal packages for Rise Against Hunger in NJ, CA and AZ; Reading and serving snacks at Precious Lamb Child Care in CA; Collecting sponsorships for Hearts for Heroes; Bike build for Isles, Inc.; Packing backpacks with food at Mercer Street Friends; Park clean-up with Friends of the Wissahickon; Cleaning and stocking facilities for Plano Salvation Army; Sorting food with the Houston Food Bank.

In addition to volunteer service, Berkshire Bank and its Foundation provide over $2 million dollars annually to support non-profit organizations in the communities that the Bank serves.

About Berkshire Bank Foundation

Through foundation grants to nonprofits, scholarships to students, environmental programs, and employee volunteerism, Berkshire Bank is making a difference. Each year the Foundation donates $2 million to nonprofits throughout the Bank's footprint and 100% of bank employees provide over 40,000 hours of service through their XTEAM® corporate volunteer program. Berkshire Bank was named one of Massachusetts' Most Charitable Companies by the Boston Business Journal in 2017. To learn more about Berkshire Bank Foundation, visit

About Berkshire Bank

Berkshire Bank, America's Most Exciting Bank®, is recognized for its entrepreneurial approach, relationship customer experience and distinctive culture. With $11.5 billion in assets, Berkshire provides business and consumer banking, mortgage, wealth management, investment and insurance services through 114 full service branch offices throughout New York, Connecticut, Vermont, New Jersey, Pennsylvania, and Massachusetts, including Commerce Bank, a division of Berkshire Bank. Berkshire Hills Bancorp (NYSE: BHLB) is the parent of Berkshire Bank. To learn more, visit
, call 800-773-5601 or follow us on: Facebook, Twitter, Instagram and LinkedIn. Berkshire Bank is the official bank of NESN's Boston Bruins coverage, the Pan-Mass Challenge and the community partner of Boston Seasons at City Hall Plaza.

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Documents and/or Photos available for this release:

Habitat For Humanity Build - Berkshire County
Utica Children's Museum - Central New York
Operation Playhouse - Worcester, MA
Rise Against Hunger - FCLS
Isles, Inc. - Hamilton, NJ

To view supporting documents and/or photos, go to
and enter Release ID: 421280