Executive Director // Cope

Philanthropy in Napa Valley 

Michele Grupe’s entire career has been spent  in  the field of child abuse prevention. She started as a counselor in a Contra Costa County group home before moving into administration, and in 2003, she joined the staff   of Cope Family Center as Development Director. As Executive Director since 2017, Grupe, a Napa resident for the past 16 years, oversees a staff of 19 full-time employees, 12 part-time employees, and 87 active volunteers. Founded nearly five decades ago by a group of parents concerned about an abuse-related childhood death, Cope seeks to prevent Adverse Childhood Experiences (ACEs) through parent education and support services such as parenting classes, home visits, crisis support, emergency assistance, and resource referrals. Cope also works to raise awareness of the impact of ACEs through community outreach, advocacy, and civic engagement. “I was raised by two loving parents in a safe, supportive home,” said Grupe, who loves spending her free time with friends and family, which includes her teen son Tyler. “Every child deserves that, but not every child is as fortunate as I am.

Children do not get to select the home or circumstances into which they are born, so it is important to care for children by supporting their parents and caregivers. Childhood trauma is undertreated despite irrefutable evidence that it can result in lifelong negative health and mental health outcomes. Napa Valley is driven by the robust tourism industry, but at the same time, there are striking health disparities, income and racial inequality, and deep trauma that affect many in our community. Additionally, residents have been challenged by a variety of natural and man-made disasters that increase the likelihood of toxic stress and subsequent poor health outcomes. Family resource centers, like Cope, provide a safe place for people to access services from trusted sources.”

www.copefamilycenter.org

 

Article By: Fran Miller