From Napa Valley Register: Napa Valley Community Foundation activates relief fund for fire victims

August 20, 2020 for the Register

Napa Valley Community Foundation has established a special fund in response to the LNU Lightning Complex fires in parts of Napa County to provide relief and recovery services to those affected by this most recent natural disaster in the Napa Valley.

The fires have displaced thousands of area residents thus far.

The Foundation has committed an initial and immediate $100,000 to the 2020 Napa County Wildfire Fund.

Like the foundation’s COVID-19 Response Fund, the 2020 Napa County Wildfire Fund is part of the Napa Valley Community Disaster Relief Fund. It was established after the 2014 South Napa Earthquake, and has been continually active since October 2017 — the last time major firestorms prompted a community-wide disaster declaration. On Tuesday, Gov. Gavin Newsom declared a state of emergency for the fires, including those in Napa County.

NVCF is working with Napa Valley Community Organizations Active in Disaster (aka, the Napa Valley COAD), a grouping of community service organizations whose mission is to improve coordination and communication among nonprofits — and between local government agencies, the charitable sector, faith communities and the private sector — before, during and after disasters.

During a disaster, the Napa Valley COAD works with the Napa County Emergency Operation Center to assess urgent needs, identify short-term gaps and gather information that will inform longer-term recovery efforts.

“Our community is now confronted with two active disasters: the COVID-19 pandemic and the fires now burning,” said NVCF Vice President of Community Impact Julia DeNatale, who added that NVCF is raising funds for both of these disasters, and that gifts to the Foundation can be earmarked for one or both.

“Fortunately, our community has used its past experience and hardships to make solid plans for future emergencies, like this one. Many of the nonprofits that we are currently funding to provide services and cash assistance to those affected by COVID-19 will be pressed into service to help those in need because of the fires.”

The foundation is prepared to distribute immediate response grants as circumstances warrant to a targeted list of local nonprofits that were pre-approved to receive such grants following the 2014 earthquake, 2017 wildfires and now the COVID-19 pandemic.

Grants likely will focus on organizations providing services such as medical care, counseling, temporary shelter and meals to the individuals and families affected by the fires.

Tax-deductible contributions to the 2020 Napa County Wildfire Fund are welcome in any amount; and can be made by visiting this page of the foundation’s website: https://www.napavalleycf.org/2020-napa-county-wildfire-giving/

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