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Red Cross Helps Three Friends Plan Next Steps After Napa Quake

Disaster Relief
[The Red Cross shelter staff members] are helping us amazingly

Even when it seems like things have gone from bad to worse, the American Red Cross can help.

At least that’s the way three former Napa housemates feel after visiting the American Red Cross shelter at Napa’s Crosswalk Community Church for help. The trio had lived together at the eldest member’s home until a series of unfortunate circumstances led to foreclosure on the house and their eviction a few weeks ago. Since then, they’ve been sharing a room in hotels in the region, along with their four cats and the two dogs they rescued pre-quake.

Eleanor Bolin, whose late husband, Ralph, was the mayor of Napa in the 1970s, said she and her former housemates Andrea Cocivera, 51, and John Wall, 52, are helping each other out. She is diabetic and uses a walker and Andrea uses a cane following a bad car accident years ago. John said he’s the best-abled of the group and feels the need to help as much as he can, but that helping them keeps him from pursuing employment.

The three said they had been in the slow process of moving possessions out of Eleanor’s former downtown Napa home and into storage, and were making progress. Then the South Napa Quake hit. When they went to the Napa storage unit where they had tucked away some furnishings, they discovered the facility was extensively damaged and they couldn’t even open the door. On Saturday, they were back there again to remove what is salvageable and take it to a new storage unit they’ve secured for free.

Since the earthquake, the three have been coming to the Napa shelter for food, counseling and guidance with local resources.

“[The Red Cross shelter staff members] are helping us amazingly,” said Eleanor.

One of the biggest benefits of the Red Cross services, said Andrea, has been the “action plan” created to guide them as they recover. Red Cross client caseworkers will work one-on-one with individuals affected by an emergency or disaster, identifying needs, devising a plan and providing information and referrals to services offered by partner agencies.

Help people affected by disasters like earthquakes in California and countless other crises by making a gift to American Red Cross Disaster Relief. Your gift enables the Red Cross to prepare for, respond to and help people recover from disasters big and small. Visit, or call 1-800-REDCROSS. Contributions may also be sent to your local Red Cross chapter, or to the American Red Cross, P.O. Box 37243, Washington, DC 20013.

Learn more about Red Cross disaster relief.

See photos from the Red Cross South Napa Earthquake Response.