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Napa Valley animal rescue, environmental groups seek volunteers

Napa Valley animal rescue, environmental groups seek volunteers

Interested in volunteering with a local environmental or animal rescue group? But not sure which one to try, or where to start?

Napa Neighbors could be just the thing for you.

Starting at 2 p.m. on Saturday, Oct. 6, nearly a dozen nonprofit organizations dedicated to helping the environment, parks or animals in Napa Valley will gather at the Napa County Library in Napa to inform those interested in volunteering and supporting a cause.

The special event, dubbed Napa Neighbors, is intended to be a kind of one-stop-shopping opportunity for residents to learn about 11 organizations that need volunteers.

The idea is for would-be volunteers “to be introduced to several choices and therefore improve the chances of finding the right and lasting match,” said John Comisky, president of Napa Wildlife Rescue, which organized the event.

Comisky said his group and other nonprofits often wind up with people volunteering with them, “only to find it isn’t the right choice” for them.

By gathering in one place, the nonprofits can hand out literature and talk to interested residents one-on-one to help them figure out where to apply their time and energy.

“The tangential benefits is that the public gets a chance for a deeper dive into some of the [nonprofit] work going on in Napa [County],” Comisky said, “and the [nonprofits] involved can test the impact of leveraging the breath of their combined communication channels and distribution focused on a single goal” of signing up more volunteers.

The organizations scheduled to attend on Oct. 6 focus on animals — domestic or wild — or environmental issues. They are: Napa Wildlife Rescue, Napa Humane, Sunrise Horse Ranch, Napa CART Team Rescue, Carolyn Parr Nature Center, Napa County Resource Conservation District, American Canyon Community & Parks Foundation, Jameson Animal Rescue Ranch, We Care Animal Rescue and the CanDo Give!Guide.

Melissa Dobar, executive director of We Care Animal Rescue, said they are “excited” about the Oct. 6 event at the library.

“We know it takes a community to help care for the animals,” said Dobar, “and we are seeking volunteers to help with animal care and enrichment, projects to help beautify our facility, and to help us prepare for our Holiday Open House scheduled for Dec. 1.”

We Care Animal Rescue offers sanctuary, care and shelter for homeless animals. Since 1982, it has provided a free-roaming, no-kill sanctuary for cats, including the elderly and those with special needs, according to Dobar.

They currently have three dogs and 230 cats at their shelter. “Each one is loved as our own,” she said.

Another participant is Napa County Resource Conservation District, a local environmental agency focused on preserving local natural resources and watersheds.

Conservation Program Manager Frances Knapczyk said her group is participating because “we want to make it easy for people to be good stewards of our environment here in Napa County, and part of that is connecting people with easy volunteer opportunities to help make a difference for future generations.”

Napa County RCD hosts trash clean-ups throughout the year to help keep waterways “clean and beautiful,” Knapczyk said.

They are also seeking volunteers to help plant oak trees and collect native acorns for planting projects that they do in the fall with school and community groups.