ExtraSpecialTeas holds inaugural “Spread the Warmth” drive

GREAT BARRINGTON — A local nonprofit is giving the gift of warmth to those in need this winter.

ExtraSpecialTeas, a teahouse located in downtown Great Barrington, is hosting their inaugural “Spread the Warmth” campaign, in hopes to raise donations and warm clothing for shelters and soup kitchens across Berkshire County.

On Thursday, Jan. 16, the establishment will be open late, from 4 p.m. to 8 p.m., and is inviting volunteers to help deliver hot tea and Warmth Kits to those in need.

The Great Barrington establishment, which opened in April 2016, is following the lead of a national “Spread the Warmth” campaign started by a Chicago-based tea company, Tiesta Tea.

Cherri Sanes, executive director of the tea shop, says Tiesta Tea has helped raise funds for the tea shop in the past.

“We really learned about giving back from them,” Sanes said. “They really helped the tea shop get off the ground and open.”

The donations of warm clothing, includings hats, scarves, gloves, socks and other materials that could be used for Warmth Kits will be distributed across Berkshire County, including at the Berkshire County Kids’ Place in Pittsfield.

ExtraSpecialTeas is a nonprofit community teahouse and vocational program for adults with intellectual and developmental differences. The nonprofit organization employs 19 young adult workers and will be celebrating its fourth year in the Berkshires this April.

Donations can be made at ExtraSpecialTeas, located at 2 Elm St. If donations require being picked up, call 413-645-3247.

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