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Honoring Agape South at Bradford Woods

On January 28, 2021, we announced the difficult decision that we would cease operation at our South site on the Indiana University Bradford Woods campus, and we shared this with you – our participant families, our volunteers, our vendors, and our stakeholders. We know that this has been a devastating loss to the entire community who were affected by this decision, and we want to hold space for that grief. 

To be completely transparent, the pandemic has significantly impacted every aspect of how our organization functions. This has included staffing, programming, horses, and finances. As a result, the Agape Team and Board of Directors have had to make key decisions to ensure the sustainability of the overall organization for the future. 

This decision was not easy to make for any of us. The entire Agape staff, along with the Board of Directors, met multiple times to discuss the future of Agape South, and ultimately we unanimously agreed that we could not sustain a quality program at South. We know that this will be a deeply personal loss for everyone involved; it is deeply personal for us as well. Bradford Woods is where Cheryl and Dawn Miller first started serving people through horses; it is where Agape was born. We were blessed to return to our roots in 2014 by partnering with Bradford Woods to provide equine-assisted services once again. And now–we’re saying goodbye again.

There are no other words except we are sorry to be parting ways with Indiana University Bradford Woods. It has truly been an honor to serve the Southside community. We want you to know that we will do all that we can to ensure the success of Bradford Woods and will be supporting them in finding a new equine-assisted therapies partner that is a perfect fit. It is incredibly important for the new partner to fill the ever-important needs of our South family.

To our Agape South riders, volunteers, community partners, and summer campers you are valued members of our community and are a huge part of our Agape family. We have loved, and we cherish, every moment of sharing your journey and are incredibly saddened to know how this decision must deeply impact you and your families. This place has impacted thousands of lives, which is truly remarkable

We will be hosting an Agape South Reunion at the East location in Greenfield on Saturday, March 27 from 12:00 to 3:00 pm. Please join us to share memories, gather with your Agape South friends, and spend time with the horses. If you want to ride at the reunion, please complete this brief form so we can prepare a horse for you. We hope to see you there as we reflect on all the wonderful people and impact that was made at Agape South. 

Right now you are probably feeling a great sense of sadness and loss. I want to assure you, we are too. We know this loss is one more among many. We are here to listen and grieve with you. We are mourning this loss too.

Please share your memories, pictures, and stories with Emily Padgett at programdirector@agaperiding.org.  All the pictures you share will be put together into a special collage and displayed for all who come to the barn. 

Thank you for walking alongside Agape as we walked alongside you and your family. It has been one of our greatest honors to serve you through partnering with horses. We could never express the fullness of our joy in being with you, our sorrow in this decision, or our gratitude in serving you.

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