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  • Napa Valley Marketplace Magazine

We are the Next Responders

The October fires that ravaged the hills of Napa Valley and its environs affected each of us in unique ways, and they affected all of us as a community. Healing from this traumatic event will come at the community level, too.

The wave of #NapaStrong posters and social media posts that followed the fires represented a part of that healing. They represented feelings of resolve and resiliency and a positive outlook for the future.

Yet, it’s important to remember now and long after this holiday season that there are those among us who do not feel Napa Strong. There are those who feel Napa Fragile, Napa Vulnerable, and Napa Wounded. Homes will not all be rebuilt and lives will not all be restored when the posters come down and the hashtag gives way to more current popular leanings.

It’s natural to want to hurry the healing and rebuilding processes and return to normal life as quickly as possible. It’s also easy to feel Napa Exhausted as we recover from our tragedy in the midst of so many other tragedies around the country and around the world.

But so much kindness and compassion that has come to the fore during these challenging times, too. We can keep that goodwill going. One way to do that is to remember that Napa Valley’s vibrant nonprofit community continues to do the work that could be called that of 2nd or 3rd responders. During and immediately following the wildfires, many of the organizations featured in CanDo’s 2017 Napa Valley Give!Guide kicked into overdrive, often providing even more of the services that they offer year round to a community whose needs had increased overnight.

Fair Housing Napa Valley, new to the Give!Guide this year, remembers the mother and son who sat in their office after losing their home in the Skyline fire. “They had moved from shelter to shelter with nothing except the clothes on their backs.” Recognizing the urgency of their situation, FHNV promised to help. A representative of the agency made sure they had dinner that night and lined up an extra bit of clothing. And first thing the next morning, they worked with the mother in search of permanent housing. Your donation to any of the 46 nonprofits featured in the 2017 Give!Guide is more important this year than it has ever been before. Your contribution of $10 or more recognizes that what happened to our family, friends and neighbors affects all of us – and continues to do so even now that the smoke has cleared.

Whether you feel Napa Strong or Napa Fragile, now is the time stand together in what is a new, post-wildfire Napa Valley. Give what you can to the agencies that serve our most vulnerable. For many of the nonprofits featured, the money collected during the holiday season sustains them throughout the year. Go to to donate with a credit card or check or use the catalog in last month’s Marketplace Magazine and mail in a check.

When we support our local nonprofit organizations, we become the next responders. We allow the important work of healing to continue. We stand with our community.

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