"I Wanted to Help"
Big Support from One Devoted Grandma
When Iren first learned of Cope from friends, she was interested in learning more and, at some point, getting involved. Her commitment to our mission was cemented about a year later when three year old Kayleigh Slusher died at the hands of her mother and her boyfriend. “The heartbreaking story impacted me so much that I couldn’t sleep at night,” Iren said. “I thought about my children, my grandchildren and my nieces and nephews. I couldn’t fathom how one child could be so privileged and another child so vulnerable that she could be killed by the people who were supposed to protect her”.
Kayleigh’s death inspired Iren to do what she could to help prevent child abuse in our community. “I began volunteering at Cope, donating money and telling others about Cope’s important work. Cope helps give parents what they need to care for their children. I believe that by supporting Cope, my contributions can have the biggest impact on preventing child abuse.”
When the Napa Complex Fires struck our community in October, Iren once again jumped into action. “The fire didn’t only impact people who lost their homes or businesses,” she said. “It also affected the people that worked in those homes and businesses. Housecleaners, gardeners and vineyard workers lost their jobs and many weren’t eligible for FEMA, unemployment and other government assistance because of immigration status. I was especially concerned for this part of the community that needed support but had even fewer resources to help them through the crisis.”
Iren knew that Cope’s doors are open to any family in need so she decided to ask her friends and family to join her in donating gift cards so struggling families could get immediate assistance for their urgent needs such as food, medicine, clothing and toiletries. “I wanted to help as many of those families as possible,” Iren said. “I knew that even a small gift card would make a big difference. Maybe my contribution would mean a child would have a fire truck under the tree or a ham on the table.”
Iren’s efforts raised over $4,000 in gift cards, helping Napa’s most vulnerable families in the wake of the devastating fires.
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