Four Decades of Commitment to Cope's Mission

“Such Caring People”
Four Decades of Commitment to Cope’s Mission

Jackie O'Neil (third from the left) at the ribbon cutting ceremony at Cope's original location at 1340 Fourth Street in Napa. 

Jackie learned about Cope as a new mother in the 1980s. Several of the women in her moms’ group were volunteers at Cope. With a background in social services, Jackie knew how important it was to support struggling parents. “I felt that Cope’s work with the family as a whole unit was really important and would help build a good strong community by helping reduce the stress of parenting,” Jackie recalled. “So, I started out as a volunteer on the parent hotline and later got involved as a Board member. Over the years, I’ve assisted with fundraising, served on committees and helped with various administrative projects.”

Jackie demonstrating how to use the parent-child activity bags she was instrumental in creating. 

Jackie demonstrating how to use the parent-child activity bags she was instrumental in creating. 

Recently, Jackie has been volunteering in our Healthy Families™ Home Visiting program. She was instrumental in creating the parent-child activity bags our Family Support Providers use to educate parents about how they can support their children’s physical and mental development. As a retired teacher, she understands that healthy development in the first five years has lasting impact. “I saw firsthand the difference that having that support at home can make. When parents engage in age-appropriate developmental activities with their kids, it helps build skills that are the base for later learning. The better prepared they are before Kindergarten, the better advantage they have in succeeding in school. The Healthy Families™ curriculum helps parents understand child development, how to support it and why that is important.”

One of Jackie’s favorite things about volunteering at Cope is working with the staff. “They are such caring people. They are truly dedicated to helping families. It is very gratifying to be a part of the Cope community. I highly recommend volunteering at Cope to anyone looking to get more involved in our community. ”

Now retired from her teaching career and with children grown, Jackie is happy to continue improving the lives of children and families through her volunteer work at Cope. “Even if my contributions seem minor, it feels good to know that something I am doing helps a little.”

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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 Jackie's.