An Open Letter to the Community
Two years ago this month, we went from reading about a global pandemic to living anxiously in its daily grasp.
Today, as we cautiously lift our masks and begin to live and work with some semblance of normalcy, Napa Valley Community Foundation would like to offer our heartfelt thanks to the 344 donors whose generous contributions to our Disaster Relief Fund helped to blunt the economic and health effects of the pandemic for our Valley’s most vulnerable residents.
In the last 24 months, the Foundation has distributed more than $6 million to support emergency financial assistance, childcare, vaccine outreach, testing, remote learning for students and critical services for families like legal aid and counseling — benefitting thousands of people who came into harm’s way because of the pandemic.
Like everything we do, this work was a joint venture with 18 local nonprofits, each of which played a key role in delivering financial aid or services to those who desperately needed a lifeline to make it through the past two years.
We are deeply grateful to our donors, our nonprofit partners and the community at large for stepping up, the #NapaStrong way, to sustain so many at a time of unprecedented need.
Keep reading to learn more.
Terence P. Mulligan, President & CEO
Two-Year Anniversary Report: Our Response to COVID-19
Since the 2014 South Napa Earthquake, Napa Valley Community Foundation has taken the lead in gathering resources to address short-term needs and longer-term recovery each time disaster strikes our Valley.
We’ve learned, over the years, that disasters don’t discriminate, but recovery does.
Some families have savings, insurance, and access to government aid. Many others do not. And because we want everyone in our community to be able to get back on their feet, after a disaster, our funding makes emergency services available to all, no matter their age or income, while targeting cash aid to those with fewer resources to bring to bear to their own recovery: the elderly, the poor, the medically frail, the uninsured, and the undocumented.
Our response to the pandemic has included the following programs.
- EMERGENCY FINANCIAL ASSISTANCE. The Foundation provided $4.2 million for an emergency financial assistance and wraparound support program benefitting more than 1,800 households who lost jobs or wages because of the pandemic or were mandated to quarantine but needed a financial safety net to do so. Almost all those receiving cash aid were undocumented heads of household or farmworkers — community members who are not typically eligible to receive unemployment benefits or stimulus checks because of their immigration status, and most received at least two months of financial aid to pay the rent and remain housed. Recipients also got connected to other support services, like food assistance and counseling.
- CHILDCARE. We distributed $560,000 to stabilize the childcare sector and open more childcare slots to low-income and essential workers, as well as to provide supervision and targeted academic support to elementary, middle and high school students whose parents were at work during remote schooling.
- HUMAN SERVICES. The Foundation awarded $552,000 to 16 nonprofits to provide immediate relief and recovery services to more than 27,000 residents. Services included physical and mental healthcare, legal and fair housing services, hot meals and groceries, and domestic violence response.
- VACCINE OUTREACH. We provided seed funding of $60,000 to build the Vaccine Outreach Collaborative. This first-of-its-kind effort deployed trusted nonprofit organizations to engage with the Valley’s most vulnerable and hardest to reach residents, so they could step forward and be vaccinated.
- TESTING. The Foundation supported the County’s Public Health Department and St. Helena Hospital Foundation with funding of $82,000 to provide COVID-19 testing to uninsured and under-insured residents. As a result, nearly 3,200 people, including farmworkers and fire evacuees, received a COVID-19 test.
- NAVIGATING BUREAUCRACY. We committed $500,000 to help renters and landlords apply for funding, from the State of California, to pay rents that had been suspended during the pandemic. The design and implementation of this state program have been deeply flawed, but our support has helped make it possible for 605 households in Napa County to receive $6.5 million in state-funded rent relief funds thus far. (SPECIAL NOTE: APPLICATION DEADLINE IS MARCH 31, 2022. If you are a landlord or tenant facing pandemic-related financial hardship, please call 707-965-5010 if you live up Valley, or 707-277-2721 if you live in Napa and American Canyon.)
- LOCAL COORDINATION. The Foundation provided $160,000 to support the operations of the Napa Valley COAD over the past two years. The COAD (which stands for Community Organizations Active in Disaster) is a network of more than 100 nonprofit, faith community and government sector partners. It exists to coordinate the delivery of services and cash aid, thought its members, to people who have been affected by disasters.
Our response to the pandemic would not have been possible without the generous support of nearly 350 donors, the hardworking nonprofit organizations listed below, and our local government partners.
Aldea Children & Family Services
Bay Area Legal Aid
Community Action of Napa Valley
Community Health Initiative
Community Resources for Children
Cope Family Center
Fair Housing Napa Valley
Napa Valley Community Organizations Active in Disaster (COAD)
On the Move
Puertas Abierta Community Resource Center
Salvation Army Napa Corps
St. Helena Hospital Foundation
UpValley Family Centers
About the Napa Valley Community Disaster Relief Fund
The Napa Valley Community Disaster Relief Fund is managed by Napa Valley Community Foundation and was established with a $10 million lead gift from Napa Valley Vintners following the 2014 South Napa Earthquake. So far, the Fund has distributed almost $26 million for readiness for, and relief and recovery from, recent disasters.