Dear Agape families, volunteers, and supporters,
In times of uncertainty such as this, we see the best of our community emerge. We are overwhelmed with gratitude for all of you who have asked, “How can I help?” in the midst of this COVID-19 crisis. We have taken time to pause and pivot our plans for the year, and we want to update you about how COVID-19 has impacted the way we can serve you, as well as let you know ways you can help. This is long, but please stay with us.
As you know, in order to keep our community safe and healthy, and as directed by the CDC and government officials, we have closed temporarily. We do not know how long we will have to remain closed at this time.
The repercussions of COVID-19 are greatly straining our resources and we are having to make very difficult decisions to ensure we’re able to continue serving you and our communities well into the future. That said, we are committed to getting through this, and we will be ready to serve again once we’re able.
With a heavy heart, we have been forced to make some very difficult decisions, including laying off our part-time employees and seven full-time staff, effective the end of this week. Of course, our intent is to bring everyone back as soon as restrictions are lifted and we obtain the level of programming we were previously at. The handful of remaining employees will care for the horses and maintain a baseline level of operations to ensure we are ready to resume programming as soon as possible.
Beginning immediately, we are consolidating all operations to Agape North. Agape South at Bradford Woods is an Indiana University property and, at the direction of the university, will remain closed at least through May 8th. We know how therapeutic it is for many of you to be at the barn, and we’re sorry that we cannot provide that comfort during this time when you need it most.
We have been able to temporarily rehome a number of our horses to carefully vetted stables where they will be lovingly cared for in the interim. We are very grateful that several of the horses’ temporary caretakers have generously taken on many of the related horse-care expenses.
Monthly expenses average $97,358. While we have eliminated and reduced as many expenses as we can, due to the nature of our mission, our fixed operating expenses remain. Additionally, we are forecasting a $100,000 loss from canceled fundraising events that typically occur between March and June. For any nonprofit, this is devastating, but our community has always risen to every challenge, and this is no exception. The Agape community knows how to get really hard things done.
HOW YOU CAN HELP:
These necessary steps were put in place this week in order to respond quickly while stewarding Agape’s resources to the best of our abilities. We want to assure you that we are here for you today and will be in the future just as you have always been here for us.
Many of you have reached out to ask how you can help, and we are so grateful. The following are a couple practical needs we have right now:
We need your prayers.
- Pray that the virus will end soon.
- Pray for our team – for health, strength and wisdom during this challenging time.
- Pray for our riders – especially our high-risk participants but for all participants, health and peace during this time when routines are altered.
We need your financial support.
- Lost programming revenue makes up 43% of our income each month and the remaining 57% is covered by fundraising activities, many of which are being canceled.
- Your gift helps us maintain reduced operations, care for horses, and be prepared to serve our participants as soon as we are able.
- You can make a gift at agaperiding.org/give/general-gift.
We have faith that together, with you, we will not only survive this but we will be stronger on the other side because Agape has the best champions in every way imaginable. Again, our goal is to return to full operation as soon as it is safe. In the meantime, we will continue to keep you updated and connect with you via email, Facebook, and Instagram. We will also provide regular updates on agaperiding.org. As always, you can reach me personally with any questions via email at firstname.lastname@example.org.
We hope you are healthy and using this unprecedented time to draw nearer to God, connect with family, and stay safe. We miss seeing you… a lot. We love you and look forward to galloping again soon!