8/27/2014 – Napa, CA – In the spirit of neighbors helping neighbors, the Napa Valley Vintners (NVV) nonprofit trade association announced today that it will donate $10 million to create a Napa Valley Community Disaster Relief Fund to help meet the immediate needs of local residents and local businesses impacted by Sunday’s earthquake. 

“Hundreds of homes and businesses in the local community were damaged by this disaster,” said Russ Weis, chairman of the NVV Board of Directors and general manager of Silverado Vineyards. “Residents and business owners in the heart of the City of Napa, south of the city, including American Canyon, and surrounding neighborhoods were especially impacted. The Fund will provide resources and assistance to support the community as it rebuilds.”

The NVV is establishing the Fund with a lead pledge of $10 million and encourages other organizations and individuals to contribute. The NVV will partner with the Napa Valley Community Foundation (NVCF), a public charity with significant experience in responding to community needs, to administer the disaster relief fund. The NVV and NVCF will closely coordinate their efforts with other non-profit organizations and government entities to fulfill requests for support from Napa County residents and business owners. 

The goals of the Fund are: 

• To provide immediate financial support for the local community
• To quickly get resources into the hands of the local families and businesses most in need
• To provide a repository for earthquake-related donations
• To augment government relief efforts that are still uncertain

For Napa County residents, funding will be available for one-time immediate needs as well as short term assistance for things like temporary housing; basic needs (food, water, etc.); medical care and counseling; and repairs for immediate safety concerns, like replacement windows, debris removal or fallen chimneys.

For local businesses, the Fund will provide assistance to help them get them up and running allowing employees to return to work and local commerce to continue. Area nonprofits can use funds to help them to restore operations and can also apply for general support grants to serve earthquake victims.

Money to establish the Fund will come from proceeds of the NVV’s annual Auction Napa Valley charity event. NVCF will receive additional contributions from individual, corporate and foundation donors; develop eligibility criteria with input from nonprofit and government stakeholders; identify and select additional partners as necessary to ensure dollars flow quickly and appropriately to end recipients; and establish safeguards to ensure proper distribution of the funds. Further details on how residents and business owners can apply for assistance and how the funds will be distributed will be announced in the coming days.

The NVV and Community Foundation are still finalizing many details related to the Fund and are seeking guidance from other local nonprofits, government leaders and other communities that have faced similar disasters. However, understanding the urgency and extent of the needs of the Napa Valley community following the earthquake, both organizations agreed to move quickly to ensure that local residents and business owners know that immediate help is on the way.

For more information or to make a contribution, visit napavintners.com. Additional information will be provided as soon as it is available.