September 30, 2020 For the Register
The Napa Valley Community Disaster Relief Fund is now accepting donations to help residents affected by the Glass Fire, the second major firestorm to hit Napa County in the last six weeks.
Contributions to the Fund will be used, in the near term, to provide gift cards to evacuees and emergency relief services to those affected by the fire, including temporary shelter, meals, counseling and assistance in navigating insurance claims.
In the weeks ahead, contributions will also be used to provide direct financial assistance to income-qualified homeowners and renters whose primary residences were damaged or destroyed by the Glass Fire.
The Glass Fire has displaced more than 12,000 individuals and has significantly impacted Napa Valley’s wine, vineyard and hospitality industries –- major sectors of employment that were already reeling from the coronavirus pandemic and the August wildfires in and around the region.
The economic challenges presented by multiple overlapping disasters are likely to be widespread and long term, affecting thousands of residents whose livelihoods are connected to Napa’s wine and tourism sectors, the Foundation said in a news release.
“We do two things after a disaster that other relief funds typically don’t,” said Terence Mulligan, president of Napa Valley Community Foundation, which manages the Disaster Relief Fund. “First, we distribute cash aid to survivors based on verified losses and different levels of need, instead of giving everybody a modest check for the same dollar amount. Second, we pay nonprofits to provide human services to survivors, so they can move forward past the trauma and the loss that they’ve been through.”
Distributing disaster aid to the community through local organizations is a model that has proven effective in previous emergencies, said Mulligan. “We fund nonprofits that are rooted in the Valley, trusted by their constituents and uniquely positioned to understand survivors’ needs as they emerge and change over time.”
After the 2017 wildfires in Napa County, Mulligan added, the Disaster Relief Fund used this model to provide nearly $6.5 million in direct cash assistance to more than 2,500 households in amounts ranging from $500 to $35,000.
To make a tax-deductible gift to the Fund, visit napavalleycf.org. Gift cards for groceries or gas are being accepted at the Center for Volunteer and Nonprofit Leadership (CVNL) at 433 Soscol Ave., Suite 120, in Napa, Monday-Friday, 9 a.m. to 5 p.m.
If you have been displaced by the Glass Fire in Napa County and need immediate assistance in the form of gift cards, please call 707-363-8390.