Your support over the past three months kept us afloat. Since my previous report we have survived two months of complete lockdown, without clients or volunteers on campus.
The horses were maintained by a dedicated group of four key staff persons. Feeding, exercising, training, and facility maintenence continued, and together with steady Board Members, we put our collective ideas into the pot on how to survive a pandemic.
The continued low infection rates in NH, allows a phased reopening of our facility which began June first, with many changes in how we do business.
Volunteers returned, retrained, and now are able to help with horse care,training, and facility maintenance.
Masks are worn, wash stations are utilized both for hand washing, but also for disinfection of all frequently touched surfaces about the barn, as well as tack and grooming supplies used by each client.
The added time to clean between clients limits the number of lessons we can offer. This decrease in income due to Covid is very real. To offset this, a robust fundraising effort continues as we pivot away from traditional fundraising opportunities no longer feasible in this day, to more online and virtual fundraising, as well as general appeals such as this, on GlobalGiving.
But all is not Bleak, and the rainbow that hangs over BITS grows brighter each day! Because of Covid 19, the summer fairs have been cancelled. Because the summer fairs were cancelled, the horses raised for competitions don't have a job!
We partnered with Hilltop View Farm to bring their three Belgian drafts to BITS each week. They trained the Veterans and First Responders how to drive heavy horses, and the participants exercised and kept the horses in training for when the fairs return.
Our program for Veterans and First Responders has officially been expanded to serve frontline Hospital Workers: MD's, RN's, LPN's, and RT's. Ride UP and Step UP are now sequential programs offering up to eight hours of horse interactions free of charge to the participants.
Because we are still here, we are Paying it Forward to those who keep us safe in these perilous times. Because of this generous community support we are determined to kick Covid, and positioned to come back stronger than ever!
Unfortunately, I am unable to upload pictures at this time in the GlobalGiving Platform. Please stay tuned to pictures in the near future. PM