Construct Announces Plans for Warm Up the Winter Call to Action for Emergency Assistance


Great Barrington, Mass. – Construct’s Warm Up the Winter Call to Action for Emergency Assistance scheduled for Saturday, February 6, at 7:00 p.m, will be online and free to attend for the entire community. This year’s event can be viewed at and will honor professional singer, actress, and song stylist Wanda Houston for her generous contributions to the annual winter benefit since its inception by Rabbi Deborah Zecher and the community at Hevreh over ten years ago. As always, Warm Up the Winter proceeds go directly to community members in need of emergency assistance for fuel, utility, and rental payments, including covering emergency accommodation costs and, this year, keeping those who are homeless safe.

Known as an entertaining, uplifting, and unifying showcase of diversified local talent, Warm Up the Winter will move from its traditional home at The Mahaiwe Performing Arts Center to online due to the ongoing coronavirus pandemic. The forty-minute long online event will be emceed by Construct Executive Director, Jane Ralph and board member, Barney Stein, and will feature music by The Wanda Houston Band along with vignettes from Construct clients and community members including appearances by actors and Construct supporters, Chris Noth and Lauren Ambrose.

The coronavirus pandemic made Construct’s annual winter gathering unsafe to continue, yet the urgency to raise funds to meet the increasing need remained. “Warm Up the Winter has always provided a winter safety net for those who need it most,” shares Jane Ralph, Construct executive director. “Construct usually receives $5,000-$10,000 in emergency assistance funds from the state to keep households who are homeless sheltered during the coldest winter nights. This year, due to the added pandemic expenses, Construct did not receive those funds. Therefore, this event is more important than ever, and we will need to stretch the funds farther than ever. For that reason, we recognize this event as a Call to Action more so than a traditional fundraiser.”  

Warm Up the Winter is supported by Construct’s dedicated volunteer board of directors and is generously underwritten by The Schnesel Family Fund. Community partners include Jewish Women’s Foundation of the Berkshires, Volunteers in Medicine–Berkshires, Southern Berkshire Rural Health Network, and the Nonprofit Center of the Berkshires.

There is no charge to join this year’s event that premieres online at on Saturday, February 6, at 7:00 p.m. However, Warm Up the Winter continues to be among Construct’s most critical and impactful fundraisers, and donations are encouraged. Donations can be made online at, by calling Construct’s Development Office at (413) 429-4433, or by texting ‘WARMUP2021’ to 855-202-2100 for a link to donate. Donations also can be sent directly to Construct “Warm Up the Winter” at 316A State Road, Great Barrington, MA, 01230. Information is available at and on Construct’s website at

About Construct, Inc.

Based in Great Barrington, Construct has been the leading nonprofit provider of affordable housing and supportive services to south Berkshire county residents in need for over 50 years. With a small, highly skilled staff and committed volunteers, Construct leverages time, talent, money, and long-standing community relationships to support their mission. Providing over 80 permanent, affordable housing options, Construct also offers 10 units for individuals transitioning out of homelessness. The bulk of Construct’s annual income comes from individual donors. With this support, Construct helps rebuild security, stability, and hope in the southern Berkshires. More information on Construct can be found at