These are historic times we are living in. In the past two weeks we have all experienced unfathomable changes to our lives and the lives of those who we care about due to the outbreak of COVID-19 in our country and the world. We hold the safety and well-being of our students, staff, and families as our highest responsibility. Our prayers go out to those who are sick and suffering many forms of loss at this time.
A LETTER FROM THE EXECUTIVE DIRECTOR
Thursday, March 12th the Lift staff said goodbye to our Lift kiddos and our volunteers, saying “see you on Monday”, not knowing that we would not see each other again for many weeks or months, as Indiana closed all schools and most businesses due to the Covid-19 pandemic. Even though Lift is a small nonprofit, we have many moving parts, most of them people! As the Director, I have been more than a little anxious about the welfare of our students, their families, our staff, our volunteers, and of course the financial implications for Lift in this unprecedented crisis. I am clinging to the promise of peace that will guard my heart and mind as I turn to God in prayer.
In the days following, it quickly became clear that Lift would have to make accommodations for the near future as we adapt to the current and ever-changing situation in our community, state, country and world. Lift exists to support our students! That focus has not changed-although it will look different under the current restrictions. Our Team Leaders immediately reached out to our students and their families with the desire to stay connected and offer support. We want our kiddos to keep reading, and so a “Quarantine Quest” Reading Challenge has been launched for Lift students. In addition, Team Leaders and staff will be delivering engaging books and fresh fruit to students’ homes over the course of the next months. Parents are joining in by taking pictures of their child reading each day, and we will be posting these to social media! We are asking our families “how can we help?” and lifting them up in prayer.
Financially, this is a delicate time for everyone. According to the National Council of Nonprofits, “conversations about sustainability have turned into conversations about survivability”. Lift has made difficult decisions to reduce staffing, and to reduce hours and pay, suspend spending, and postpone events (including our spring fundraising Auction) until a more suitable time. These decisions were made with much prayer and input from the board of directors. Our goal is to stay engaged with our students so we can fully jump back into fulfilling our mission in the community as quickly as this situation will allow. Lift is dependent on the faithful giving of those who believe in our mission. We are trusting God for the financial future of Lift.
Prayer is our connection-we may not be together for an extended period of time, but we can join our hearts and voices as we pray for our students, their families, our staff, our community and our country. If you’d like to be a part of the Lift prayer team, please let us know either by text or email, and we will get you connected.
Stay up to date with Lift by following us on social media!
With prayer and gratitude,
Executive Director, Lift Eastbrook Afterschool