Napa Valley Community Disaster Relief Update
Photo Credit_ Josh Edelson_AFP_Getty
Photo Credit: Josh Edelson/AFP/Getty
A newsletter of Napa Valley Community Foundation  
November 2017
Dear Friends,
It's been six weeks since the terrifying fires began.  Since that time, we've been awed by the more than $8.8 million we've received from 11,200 schoolkids, local businesses, international corporations, and individuals near and far. We've also been working diligently to get funds out to those most in need, when they need it most.

At this time of giving thanks, we are sharing an update on the work that we've been funding to support those suffering from the fires.  We are incredibly grateful to the thousands, like you, who have given so generously to those in need.  And, we also are thankful to the strong nonprofit community that is working so hard to meet those needs.

Please find below a press release about our expenditures from the Napa Valley Community Disaster Relief Fund to-date.
Please let me know if you have any questions.

With thanks,
Terence P. Mulligan

Photo credit: Josh Edelson/AFP/Getty
Since the outbreak of the Napa Fire Complex in early October, a special fund established to provide immediate and long-term assistance to those affected by the disaster has helped more than 7,000 residents to-date.  The Napa Valley Community Disaster Relief Fund, which is housed at and managed by Napa Valley Community Foundation (NVCF), has approved distributions totaling $4 million in the last six weeks, including:
  • $565,000 that provided immediate relief services to more than 6,000 residents since October 8, such as meals, temporary shelter, emergency childcare during school closures (and at the various shelter sites in Napa County), medical care, mental health services and assistance for the elderly and those with special needs.  Sixteen local nonprofits which had been pre-approved for disaster funding from NVCF helped local residents at several sites in Napa County, including the Local Assistance Center (LAC). 
  • $3 million to launch an Emergency Financial Assistance program that has provided cash aid so far to approximately 1,000 families since October 27, all of whom live or work in Napa County and are facing serious financial hardships because of the economic slow-down brought about by the October wildfires.   Financial assistance is currently scheduled to be distributed through December 15, an extension from the original application deadline of November 9. Appointments can be made by contacting On the Move at 707-251-9432.
"Disaster relief is charity in its truest form," said NVCF President Terence Mulligan. "We're fortunate to work  year-round with great partners in the nonprofit sector and local government.   These relationships help us understand current and emerging disaster-related needs, and enable us to direct our resources to fire victims that might otherwise fall through the gaps.  We know that many of the nonprofits helping us now have given up other sources of funding to be of immediate service to fire victims, so part of our approach is to support them financially as we also fund direct services and cash aid to those affected by the fires."  

Michele Grupe, Executive Director of Cope Family Center, one of the distribution sites for Emergency Financial Assistance, said: "Since the fires started, we reallocated most of our resources to support the shelters, staff the LAC, and develop and execute the Emergency Financial Assistance program. Our regular services are primarily paid for by government contracts and foundation grants. We cannot ethically or legally bill those contracts for emergency and recovery services, so financial support from the Disaster Relief Fund has been essential to our being able to do the work of helping fire victims.  Because we help families manage crisis and trauma year-round, our staff's expertise has been essential to helping the individuals who came through our family resource center, many of whom had been experiencing pretty severe fire-related trauma and anxiety. Through a partnership with Napa County Mental Health, we had these families immediately seen in our office for more intensive mental health support."
The next round of grants from NVCF will include a series of workshops to help Napa County residents navigate the application process for private insurance reimbursements, and also is likely to include additional funding to further extend the Emergency Financial Assistance program.  NVCF will make a grant to United Policyholders (UP), a nonprofit insurance consumer advocacy group with extensive disaster-related experience, to conduct these workshops and provide individualized assistance at no-cost to Napa County residents, with a particular focus on small businesses, low-income residents, and Latino families.  The first workshop is being planned now for mid-December.
Napa Valley Community Foundation