Embracing Opportunity to Make a Difference

“Immediate Positive Impact”
Embracing Opportunity to Make a Difference

  "The first time I came to Cope I thought that if I were a parent in need, this is where I would want to come to get help."

"The first time I came to Cope I thought that if I were a parent in need, this is where I would want to come to get help."

Joanna first got involved with Cope Family Center in 2009 during our inaugural Rock and Stroll Fun Run.  When her gym formed a fundraising team, Joanna enthusiastically joined and ended up being the top fundraiser that year. After learning more about our work, touring our Family Resource Center and meeting the staff, Joanna decided to make Cope one of her philanthropic priorities. “The first time I came to Cope,” Joanna recalled, “I thought that if I were a parent in need, this is where I would want to come to get help.  It was such a warm, welcoming and safe environment.” 

Since then, Joanna has continued to support our mission because she recognizes the important role we play in our community. “A strong community is built on strong families. It is so important to have a place whose focus is strengthening families. Seeing how well Cope did that inspired me to get involved.” Over the years, Joanna has been a loyal donor and volunteer, contributing funds each year and helping with fundraising, events and administrative support.

When the Napa Complex fires broke out in October and Cope filled a key role in relief efforts, we called on our volunteers to help us carry out this important work. Joanna responded and offered to help wherever it was needed. “In that dark time, giving my time to help with such a worthy endeavor felt right.”

She was an immense help in the Finance Department, assisting staff in processing Napa Valley Community Housing Emergency Financial Assistance grants. “It was very eye-opening,” said Joanna. “I got a real sense of the impact of the fires and of the different levels of need. There were so many people who were affected in small ways. The majority of the people that came to us for help hadn’t lost their homes in the fires. They were people who worked in the service industry who were out of work temporarily. For them, losing two or three weeks of wages is the difference between paying their bills or not. The insecurity was extremely real. We were able to help families cover their rent, pay their phone bills and keep their car insurance. It felt good to be part of providing that help to people.”

  "It feels good to volunteer here and know that it is helping families in our community."

"It feels good to volunteer here and know that it is helping families in our community."

Volunteering during the fires reaffirmed Joanna’s commitment to Cope. “It reminded me how important Cope is to our community, not just in disasters but for families facing all kinds of challenges. Families in crisis are scared, uncomfortable and hopeless. Thanks to Cope, they have a place to come to that welcomes them warmly and gives them the help they need.”

Joanna’s experience also reminded Joanna that doing volunteer work truly makes a difference. “This is a place with a direct and immediate positive impact on the community. Volunteers enable the organization to carry out its important work. It feels good to volunteer here and know that it is helping families in our community. It’s a wonderful environment; everyone is so kind and welcoming. To me, the people who work at Cope seem like a family and they welcome volunteers into their family.”

Thank you Joanna for all you have done and continue to do to help us serve families in Napa County. We are thankful to have you and all our volunteers in our family. 

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This story is featured in our 2017 Impact Report. You can view the full digital report to learn more about Cope's impact and read more featured stories like Joanna's.