It’s the time of year when we pause to reflect on our good fortune and express how thankful we are to live in this beautiful valley. Safe from harm’s way … most of the time.
This year we saw how quickly that safety can be threatened when the Valley Fire took homes away from 1,307 households, created additional hardships for many members of our community and asked more of the valley’s social service agencies to support our neighbors in crisis. The response from our community was extraordinary. We reaffirmed our hope that we can count on one another.
In 2014, more than 3,500 individuals in our community used the services of the UpValley Family Centers (UVFC). They came for guidance and support to build a better life by getting help with health care sign-ups, tax assistance and classes in parenting skills. They also came for assistance with more critical issues, such as abusive relationships, addiction and homelessness. Those numbers will be even greater in 2015.
While it may not be “a time of crisis,” the holidays can be an especially difficult time for those struggling to keep their heads above water. Last year, more than 325 families applied for and received assistance during the holidays. This assistance can mean food to ensure a holiday meal, or gift cards to provide a smile on a child's face on Christmas morning. UVFC works with local churches, service organizations, fire departments, and volunteer groups to make the holiday season a little less stressful, and a joyful time for all.
Please consider a donation to the UpValley Family Centers at this special time of year. Your support will mean so much, to so many. You can donate through our website, UpValleyFamilyCenters.org, or by sending a check or gift cards to UVFC, 1440 Spring Street, St. Helena CA 94574.
Thanks to your compassion, we are building a stronger community. The board and staff at UVFC are committed to creating a future of opportunity, for all. Thank you.
Mary Stuard on behalf of the board and staff of the Upvalley Family Centers