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A Letter from the Executive Director: Spreading Joy During COVID-19

Responding to the COVID-19 pandemic is giving us at NVTRP an unprecedented opportunity to live out our core values:  safety, well-being, excellence, community, and joy.

So that we can protect the well-being and safety of our riders, volunteers, and staff, we suspended services for two weeks, starting yesterday. We will continue to monitor things closely and adapt as needed. We recognize the potential for a longer term response and are planning for such scenarios in case they become necessary.

Our small staff remains hard at work to ensure that our tradition of excellence continues.  The horses still need care and program administration must continue, so that we are ready to reopen to our riders the moment this crisis passes.

Our expenses—the mortgage payment on the farm, payroll, and horse care costs--also continue. However, income—particularly the significant income we receive related to community groups who ride weekly—is not continuing as normal.

We receive private grant funding to underwrite the participation of service members from two local military installations, low-income 4th-6th graders from Second Story, and other populations in need. When we do not provide services, we can not release that funding to cover our on-going operating costs.

Based on this initial suspension of services, we have already confirmed over $30,000 in funding that will be delayed indefinitely. A suspension of services to our weekly riders—the backbone of our clientele—beyond this initial two weeks will have an even more significant financial impact.

That brings us to our community. You know most of all why NVTRP’s tradition of excellence must continue. Our clients experience countless benefits when they are with the horses. This is why we ask that you consider making a special “Corona response fund” gift here today.

When you donate, you can leave a note of encouragement to our riders, horses, or staff, and we will post it on a special web-page for them to see.

The need is urgent and real. By donating online or via check made payable to NVTRP and mailed to the address below, you make an immediate, tangible contribution to the 100’s of people with disabilities, recovering service members, and at-risk young people who are depending on us to come back stronger than ever.

Our goal is to raise $30,000 by March 31st so that we can continue making decisions based on the needs of our clients and herd, not out of a fear of lack of funding.

And then there is joy, perhaps our most important value of all right now. To help us continue providing joy, our staff are planning virtual “visits” to O’Shaughnessy Farm including workouts, math activities, crafts, and more—all with our amazing horses! Stay tuned for details on how to access these light-hearted moments, or even suggest a “visit” theme.

We have a long history of overcoming obstacles at NVTRP. With your support, we know we will overcome this one too.

Stay well.

Kelsey Gallagher Executive Director

P.S. Will you help NVTRP maintain its operations during this unprecedented time by donating now? Your gift helps cover our interim funding gap so that riders can count on us to restart lessons as soon as the COVID-19 crisis passes.


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