Local Business Owners Led Volunteers and Supplies to Napa  

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The founders of Bluxome Street Winery, Wonolo and TeacherBus recently organized a group of volunteers and bused them to Napa to assist earthquake victims.
Volunteers met for coffee and breakfast at Bluxome Street Winery in SOMA and then boarded the TeacherBus, loaded with 626 pounds of food delivered to the Community Action Napa Valley Food Bank. The food was donated by Bluxome Street Winery, Bi-Rite Market, Brickhouse Café, Whole Foods, Durso Café, Nopa, TeacherBus, Almanac Beer and Wonolo. More than $600 was also donated to the Volunteer Center of Napa Valley.

“There’s still severe damage to buildings, a backlog of assistance requests and it’s crucial to continue to support residents in the recovery efforts,” said Faith Lemon, Special Projects Director for Bluxome Street Winery in San Francisco.

Passengers were driven by TeacherBus founder Jens-Peter Jungclaussen. Volunteers included Wonolo co-founder AJ Brustein with daughter Nyla. Bluxome Street Winery founder Matt Reidy and wife Joanne joined another 30 supporters, employees and bay area community members. Co-founder of Wonolo, Young Kim joined the group in Napa.

Participants convened at the Volunteer Center of Napa Valley, coordinator of the relief effort, and were given the choices of stocking the shelves at the bare food pantry or assisting residents in clearing rubble from homes and businesses. They also assisted in packing up the Firefighter’s Museum on their last day of operation. “

The museum has had to shut down due to lack of funds to repair their building, it’s really sad,” said Lemon.
Between 10am and 6pm, volunteers worked at several locations, broke for lunch and after the long day enjoyed a happy hour with wines and local hors d’oeuvres.
Sonja Stewart, a project management specialist from Oakland said she was happy to be of service.
“I’m glad I participated, this is a great group of people,” said Stewart. “It felt good helping Napa residents and making a difference. We helped seniors in need and even cleared bricks and debris from backyards.”
According to Lemon, the Community Action Napa Valley Food Bank is still low on resources and is “struggling to meet the needs of the 60 plus families served by the food bank weekly.” “We want our neighbors of the north to know they have our continued support,” added Lemon. “For those wanting to help out, but aren’t headed up to Napa any time soon, Bluxome is holding a food drive and will take donations to Napa on a regular basis.”

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