Two-thousand and seventeen is the beginning of Cope Family Center’s 45th year of service to the Napa community. In 1972, a child died at the hands of a parent, prompting a group of community members to organize to prevent another tragedy by supporting parents. At that time, Richard Nixon was our President, and our nation was facing the biggest political scandal in modern times, namely, the start of Watergate. The average price of a home in California was $28,810 and the Volkswagen Beetle became the most popular car ever sold.
Much has changed since our inception. In 1972, HP introduced the first scientific handheld calculator for $395. Atari introduced Pong. Remember that? The first video game bounced a ball back and forth across your TV screen in a perpetual game of table tennis. Today, we carry smartphones. We shop, communicate, coordinate, and compulsively connect with family, friends, co-workers, and strangers all over the globe.
In 45 years, many things have stayed the same. Parents struggle raising their children. Families live in poverty and have trouble putting food on the table and a roof over their heads. Women still don’t receive wages equal to their male counterparts, and people of color and those who identify as LGBTQ suffer the ignorance of racism and homophobia.
At Cope, we have never wavered in our commitment to protecting the most vulnerable among us, especially our children. Just as in 1972, we provide a listening ear, a supportive shoulder, and a hand up to parents, helping them build upon their strong commitment to their families. How do we do this? The old-fashioned way, by creating trusting, nurturing relationships that hold individuals in a safe, nonjudgmental space, where they can grow into the best version of themselves.
In the spirit of this holiday season, I want to thank you, our most ardent supporters. Now, more than ever, we must coalesce as a community to create a web of support for our families and children. I am confident that together we can ensure that the Cope spirit will live on in the hearts and minds of the children whose lives we touch today.
Joelle Gallagher, Cope Executive Director