When a potential project arises, we always begin by educating ourselves and researching what efforts may already be in place. We have no desire to duplicate others’ activities, but if we can assist another group’s project or if we recognize an unmet need, we move forward with purpose. And when we spot a successful idea that’s been put into practice in another part of the country, we’ll learn as much as we can to see how we might adapt it for our communities. Examples:
Napa Valley CanDo’s dedicated volunteers spearheaded the reduction of single use plastic bags in Napa County. We researched other Bay Area jurisdictions’ ordinances, prepared a draft ordinance template that we thought would work in Napa County, and presented this to city officials. When the matter came before the Napa City Council, the measure passed unanimously. Our volunteers went to each of the other five local jurisdictions in Napa County presenting the evidence that a ban was necessary. Thereafter, the cities in the rest of the County passed similar ordinances.
Napa Valley CanDo gathered over 13,000 pairs of gently-used shoes for distribution via Soles4Souls, the international organization that turns shoes and clothing into opportunity.
What began with a few concerned individuals picking up trash while on a wetland walk has grown to a full-fledged river cleanup program. It’s a collaboration between five local agencies dedicated to responsible watershed management and the health of our waterways and is now orchestrated by our friends at the Napa County Resource Conservation District. Link: https://naparcd.org/what-we-do/engage-youth-and-community/cleanup.
CanDo’s very first activity was to raise funds, food, and awareness for the CANV Food Bank. Using a simple and effective action, our members emailed 10 friends asking them to donate 10 food items, and/or a check for $10 to the CANV Food Bank. They then sent the request to 10 of their friends to help provide for the food insecure in our Valley. Over the next couple of years, CanDo members raised more than $50,000 in this way.
CanDo volunteers were involved on a regular basis with Clinic Ole’s drug take-back program. Our drivers transported unneeded and out-of-date medications from Clinic Ole’s drop-off point to Household Hazardous Waste, thus keeping them out of our landfill and water system.
Project Homeless Connect:
Napa Valley CanDo recruited, trained and coordinated 150 volunteers when different activities and resources were made available in one location during a single day for our local homeless population. This included everything from haircuts to health screenings.
The Great Sunflower Project:
CanDo volunteers distributed Lemon Queen sunflower seeds and literature to local gardeners. We grew sunflowers at the Napa Community Garden and took part in this activity that tracks and sheds light on populations of pollinators. Volunteers observed the flowers, did a pollinator count, and submitted the results to the project.
Hummingbirds at Home:
In collaboration with Napa-Solano Audubon, CanDo helped introduce this citizen science project to the Napa community, including elementary schools. The information gathered helps scientists understand how climate change may be affecting the migration and feeding habits of hummingbirds.