We hope you and all your family are safe and healthy. What are you doing today to bolster your spirits as well as others? There are a lot of opportunities that The ARK can share with you and also you can share with The ARK! We are in this together for the duration as each day is unknown. Please let us know if you need anything from us or if we can help you or anyone you know. We are hoping, too, like everyone else to be open soon keeping in mind that safety is paramount.
As one of our most committed and concerned supporters, we are asking you for your input on what you like most about The ARK. What suggestions do you have to help us through these challenging times? What innovative services do you feel The ARK could develop to serve our community in the future?
As many are saying, “these are crazy times”. Each day is a new normal. The ARK staff are busier than ever, working harder to create new ways with fresh content to keep our families and community engaged in activities. We are encouraging everyone to stay active and engaged through all forms of outreach.
A weekly e-newsletter is sent with ideas to stay active with exercise videos, games/trivia, new recipes to try, and music videos that conjure up memories from our past that make us move and smile. Training videos are shared with caregivers and volunteers to help them cope with their “new normal” until they can return to The ARK. All of this content is then shared on our website and daily on our Facebook page. Please “like, comment and share” so we can reach more people. Plus, our website has a lot of useful information, links to these videos and news which is updated regularly.
The monthly support groups have gone to a virtual format with a huge success as has the Navigation Club program (our early memory loss group) each Friday. Each session is lasting at least an hour or more. Daily calls to caregivers continue to support and keep all of us updated on the families we serve.
Several of us are maintaining office time each day and some are working remotely with weekly virtual staff meetings. Planning for a reopening is daunting and challenging as we face the unknown of when and how to do so. We are diligently working on those procedures now to be ready when it is appropriate to open the doors again.
As most nonprofits are experiencing, we find ourselves facing a financial crisis for an indefinite future that is unknown. With the receipt of a loan from the Payroll Protection Plan (PPP) from the Small Business Administration, the next few weeks’ expenses will be covered. This is good news for The ARK and has helped with our immediate needs and maintains the incredible staff that is the heart of our programs, events and community outreach. Also, several of our respite families have made donations in lieu of the tuition payments they would be paying if The ARK Club was open and functioning daily. This is a wonderful gift and shows how they feel about the program. They are so appreciative and can’t wait for the re-opening. The house is very quiet. We miss them and look forward to the reopening as well.
However, what happens after the PPP funds are depleted the first of June and The ARK’s revenue from tuition, events, donations, and grants are not being received? Foundations and grantors are delaying their submission deadlines which in turn leaves gaps in our cash flow and monthly budgetary needs. We fear that the educational programs and workshops that have been scheduled, the delay in reopening the 2 respite sites, the postponement of two scheduled Law Enforcement/First Responder Trainings, re-scheduling of events such as health fairs and memory screenings, fundraisers, and community outreach will suffer from this continued shutdown as each day passes by.
Thus far, we have been proactive in learning new technology to enable the aforementioned services to continue, we are working on a strategic plan for reopening with a modified plan, and structuring a financial roadmap to preserve and protect the integrity of The ARK of SC’s reputation and history of service to our Alzheimer’s Disease and Related Dementia community.
We are in this together! How can you be a partner with us to safeguard the future of The ARK while we are all going through this critical time? We would appreciate your input and accept all advice and guidance.
The ARK’s Giving Officer, Sheila Tucker, and I would sincerely like to have your support in whatever capacity you are able to partner with us. We are only a phone call, text or email away.
We will be forever grateful for your valuable input.
Ways to support The ARK:
Please thoughtfully consider becoming a monthly donor [https://thearkofsc.charityproud.org/Donate] (check YES! I’d like to make my donation a recurring gift to The ARK). Support The ARK as little as $5 dollars a week, no donation is too small to make an impact at The ARK.
With your help, The ARK can continue to sustain the monthly expenses so we will be able to resume normal activities when this is over and The ARK members are able to return. This is a time we need your support.