For over 20 years, Cope Family Center has been privileged to have the support of the Napa Valley Vintners (NVV), having received over $3 million of Auction Napa Valley proceeds in that time. This generosity has transformed the lives of thousands of children and their families and helped build a stronger community for all. NVV recently announced their support will continue in 2019 with a grant of $400,000.
In a year that saw a 45 percent jump in child abuse and neglect in our county, I wanted to particularly acknowledge how vital that support is to our mission to empower parents, nurture children and strengthen communities.
Today, Napa’s already vulnerable families are facing numerous challenges. The rising cost of living is making it harder to make ends meet. Over a year after wildfires ravaged our community, impacted families are still struggling to recover. The housing crisis is making it even more difficult to keep a roof over their heads.
Without support, the stress can become too much to manage. Despite their best intentions, a parent’s stress can impact their children, even leading to neglect and abuse. By funding Cope’s work, NVV is giving parents the support they need to keep their children healthy and safe. It teaches them how to break the cycle of abuse in their families. It provides emergency assistance to families in crisis. It connects them with other parents, building a network of support to draw upon during trying times.
In addition to changing the lives of the families we serve, NVV’s support impacts society at large. Child abuse is a core underlying factor to many of the ongoing struggles in our community such as high school dropout rates, homelessness, incarceration and chronic health issues resulting in a financial impact that costs our community millions of dollars per year in healthcare, criminal justice, child welfare, education and lifetime productivity costs. In fact, the cumulative financial impact to the Napa community for the 314 verified child victims in 2017 is $94.2 million.
As an organization of the region’s wine trade leaders, NVV is also well-acquainted with the need for family stability, since it has a direct bearing on the stability of their employees. The unfortunate reality is that the high cost of living and the extra burdens posed by recent natural disasters, in addition to the personal challenges specific to every family, can make Napa a tough place to raise kids. Unfortunately, too many good employees move away, in search of a situation that seems more manageable.
Cope helps address the problems that create the workforce crisis by helping families connect with resources and support to help them achieve stability in the home so they can live in the community they work in.
Like hundreds of other families, one family of 11 came to us during the Napa Complex Fires facing a seemingly insurmountable challenge due to circumstances beyond their control. The father’s employer suggested he contact Cope Family Center for assistance. Cope was able to relieve some of the stress by providing rental assistance through the Napa Valley Community Foundation’s Disaster Relief Fund, which was created in 2014 with a $10 million lead gift from NVV.
After the initial introduction to Cope, the family has continued to come in, seeking guidance and resources in their quest to maintain a secure situation for their children. I am proud that we have been a stable base for these hardworking parents through a difficult period in their lives and grateful to NVV for making our disaster relief and day-to-day work possible.
Demonstrating a keen understanding of nonprofit operations and deep trust in our Board and leadership, NVV funding is unrestricted, meaning we can apply the funds where they’re most needed rather than restricted to a specific program or project. The generosity and flexibility of this support makes it extremely effective, and the resources are multiplied by our collaborations with agencies in the Valley doing related work. By giving us that discretion, NVV greatly extends the impact of their donation.
In working together to support families, Cope and the vintners strengthen the network of our community connections, increase our collective resilience in the face of ongoing challenges, and support the workforce needed for a successful wine industry and tourist destination.
I would like to thank the Napa Valley Vintners for their philanthropic leadership, and for partnering with Cope Family Center for so many years. I appreciate your confidence in our ability to protect, support, and stabilize Napa Valley’s families.