From NBC Bay Area: Napa Valley Community Foundation has grants for earthquake relief

Sunday, Sep 21, 2014

Individuals and families who are recovering from the South Napa Valley earthquake last month will get help immediate help from $1.2 million in grants from the Napa Valley Community Foundation.

The money will go to 20 trusted nonprofits, including the Salvation Army, American Red Cross and many in Napa County, for those who are in immediate need of assistance.

The $1.2 million in grants will provide medical care, counseling, temporary housing, short-term rental assistance, car repairs, prescription medications, food, clothing and legal aid.

Families and individuals can apply for earthquake-related emergency assistance funds on Oct. 1 with one of several organizations including the Salvation Army, American Canyon Family Resource Center, Cope Family Center, On the Move (VOICES) and McPherson Family Resource Center) and Puertas Abiertas Community Resource Center.

The second round of grants will move beyond short-term recovery and focus on rebuilding. Within the next several weeks, homeowners and renters will apply for grants for more capital-intensive household needs, such as repairs and replacing household items, so they can return to their homes and occupy them safely.

Napa Valley Community Foundation president Terence Mulligan said Internal Revenue Service regulations require public charities like the Foundation to verify losses and evaluate the financial ability of recipients when it provides financial assistance beyond the first hours and days after a natural disaster.

“It has taken eight to 15 weeks to publish guidelines and start taking applications,” Mulligan said regarding other communities hit with natural disasters.

“We plan to do better because we know too many families and businesses are enduring real hardships,” Mulligan said.

Business owners will be able to apply for grants or loans for physical or economic losses from the quake. The assistance for households and businesses will not come directly from the Napa Valley Community Foundation but from nonprofit organizations it will select as its partners.

The third and final round of grants in the first half of 2015 will focus on technical assistance and capacity building for local nonprofits and other community agencies so they can be better prepared to respond to future natural disasters.

The Napa Valley Community Disaster Relief Fund managed by the Foundation was created with a $10 million lead gift from Napa Valley Vintners after the Aug. 24 6.0 earthquake centered in American Canyon.

In the past three weeks, 315 additional individual and corporate donors have given $258,000 to the fund, Mulligan said.

The fund typically receives $3-4 million a year from 300-400 donors, Mulligan said.

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