Napa Valley Community Foundation distributes nearly $300,000 for food, shelter and emergency assistance
Dec 18, 2008
Calls on Community to Participate
Napa Valley Community Foundation (NVCF) today announced an emergency "safety net" grant program that will distribute nearly $300,000 to 16 local charities that meet basic needs for Napa County residents most at risk from the current economic downturn. "We've seen a sharp increase in demand from struggling local families for food, shelter and emergency assistance this holiday season," said NVCF President Terence Mulligan. "No one in our community should have to go hungry, or choose between heat and prescription medication. We've mobilized our Board and engaged our donor base to try and make sure that those most likely to be challenged by the recession will not be forgotten."
Mulligan noted that the severe economic downturn also was placing significant pressure on area nonprofits. “We’re fortunate to have strong, well-managed nonprofit organizations in Napa County. Still, demand for essential services is up by more than fifty percent compared to last year, even as donations and government grants are falling away.” The net effect is a widening gap between what is needed and what is available, said Mulligan. “We think this gap – just for safety net providers – will amount to $3 million to $5 million per year for the next two years. That’s why we’re trying to rally the community to help us, and encouraging our donors to think of the long term.” The organizations receiving Safety Net Grants totaling $283,250 are:
- American Canyon Family Resource Center: $10,000 in emergency assistance and general support
- Calistoga Family Center: $20,500 in emergency assistance and general support
- Community Resources for Children: $15,000 for emergency childcare assistance
- Community Action Napa Valley: $10,000 in general support for administration of county-wide emergency aid programs like Season of Sharing; $15,000 for Napa Valley Food Bank
- Cope Family Center: $35,000 in emergency assistance and general support
- Family Service of Napa Valley: $20,000 in general support for adult mental health counseling
- First Presbyterian Church of Napa: $7,500 for The Table program
- Greater Napa Valley Fair Housing Center: $7,500 in general support
- Legal Aid of Napa Valley: $15,000 for housing services
- Housing and Economic Rights Advocates (HERA) and Napa Valley Foreclosure Collaborative: $50,000 for foreclosure prevention and intervention services
- ParentsCAN, Inc: $10,000 in emergency assistance and general support
- Progress Foundation: $20,000 in emergency assistance and general support
- Salvation Army – Napa Corps: $10,000 for feeding programs
- Spirit of Unity in Napa, Inc.: $9,000 in emergency assistance and general support for Puertas Abiertas
- St. Helena Community Food Pantry: $2,500 in general support
- St. Helena Family Resource Center: $11,250 in emergency assistance and general support
- Held in reserve: an additional $15,000 is available by application in 2009 for two or more safety net nonprofits that wish to collaborate on projects that will increase revenues or reduce expenses.
Joelle Gallagher, Executive Director of COPE Family Center, said her organization would use the Community Foundation grant to provide emergency assistance to local families and their children. “The clients we see are working people. In the best of times, they fight to keep their heads above water. In an economic climate like this one, many are just a pink slip away from falling through the cracks.” Gallagher explained one new factor driving the dramatic increase in demand for services offered by her agency: “We’re seeing a different kind of client altogether this year – families who are dropping out of the ranks of the middle class because of rising unemployment or home foreclosure.”
"Traditional ‘angel’ donors are in short supply this season," remarked Mulligan, who underscored both the urgency of the short term situation, and the need for a collective and strategic approach for the long haul. "What makes us hopeful is that ordinary citizens in NapaCounty, when called on to help, consistently respond with compassion and generosity. We want to do our part to help, and encourage others to do so, too. Recent events have reminded all of us that small donors, working together, can have a major impact. The Community Foundation is here precisely for this reason – to pool resources from modest givers and major donors alike, and make distributions for the greater good of NapaValley. ”
To learn more about the Safety Net Grants program or make a contribution, visit www.napavalleycf.org or call 707.254.9565.
About Napa Valley Community Foundation
The Community Foundation works to multiply the impact of individual givers, pooling resources and investing in charitable projects that make a difference. Since 1994, the Community Foundation has served as a bridge between philanthropic families and hard-working nonprofit agencies, bringing people, ideas and resources together to enhance the quality of life in the Napa Valleycommunity. From American Canyonto Calistoga, the Community Foundation has distributed more than $15 million in grants in the last 14 years, and currently serves as the philanthropic partner to 100 individuals, families, nonprofit agencies and corporations in Napa Valley. To learn more, call 707.254.9565 or visit www.napavalleycf.org.