After 11 months of planning, the Cirque de Napa, Celebrating the Power of Age event, that was to be held at the Napa Valley Expo on Saturday, Oct. 14, was cancelled due to the emergency situation developed by the devastating fires. This event was the primary fundraiser for Share the Care Napa Valley, which is going on its fourth year as a local nonprofit, community-based, agency advocating for, and providing assistance to our aging population.

In May, Share the Care became a stand-alone 501 c (3) nonprofit corporation. This entailed forming a Board of Directors that would guide the future of the agency. Currently, Share the Care operates a home health supply recycling and exchange closet, a dental financial assistance program, a friendly visitor/volunteer program and advocates/case manages difficult situations where gaps in services currently exist in our community. With director Yvonne Baginski at its helm, the eight volunteers work tirelessly in making sure that Napa is a wonderful place to grow old.

But this work costs money, and, frankly, not being able to hold the event, as scheduled, is a financial setback. As our community struggles to gain a foothold in the areas ravaged by fires and the people displaced by disaster, there is still the work of the everyday crisis that needs to be done. That's where Share the Care has proven effective.

So, with the loss of our fundraiser, we are asking the community to pitch in and help. It's the holidays; you'll be hit with lots of letters/cards imploring donations for worthy causes. So, there are lots of choices to be made.

Because Share the Care is new, and not one of the big players, we are left out of the possibility of applying to large foundations or grant funders for support. Share the Care is operating on a shoestring budget. And we've still been able to help almost 1,000 people in just under four years.

So this year, please consider Share the Care Napa Valley. It's a grassroots, neighbor-to-neighbor program and might one day be there to help you. If you've ever been to Yvonne's front porch, or called in a quick question -- or asked for an assessment visit in a situation where no one knows where to turn -- then you know. Having a person to call, someone who's available most of the time, makes a difference.

In short – we provide a lifeline to underserved seniors, connecting them with resources and services when they have nowhere else to turn. Your donation will help us continue this important work.

Donations can be sent to: Share the Care Napa Valley, P.O. Box 6863, Napa, CA 94581

Submitted on behalf of the Board of Directors: Mary Anne Formosa, Secretary; Alex Crown; Kim Geis; Becky Givens; Marc Levin; Angela Peatman; Maria Pirngruber.

Ernie Crea, President

Share the Care Board of Directors