Dear UCCI Family –
Yesterday I viewed a YouTube Video featuring infant swimming lessons. The instructor, clearly not a parent, tossed a non-ambulatory-aged infant into the pool. After momentarily going under the water, the infant proceeded to swim. Not panic-stricken flailing mind you, but actual swimming! The instructor never left their side, and the child did well all by themselves!
This pandemic of 2020 has tossed UCCI into the deep end of the lake. We had been building some amazing momentum at all three Sites…then, splash! Fixed costs piling up…no revenue coming in. That which we assumed would continue and grow forever…simply could not…not if we wanted to keep people safe and healthy.
We have furloughed staff, cut benefits, spent our disaster relief and rainy-day funds, and are coming to the end of our financial rope. We all need a vaccine and soon, and to assume that we will quickly return to business as usual is naïve. We need to find significant donations and/or financing to cover our fixed costs, or we will be forced to consider selling assets.
It really does not feel good to be flailing around in uncharted, murky, and turbulent waters. Thankfully, our life preservers are close at hand. God will not let us sink. Our partners at the Wisconsin Conference of the United Church of Christ (WCUCC) are helping us work on creative solutions to stay afloat. Our financiers are working with us on options to move to less turbulent waters. Swim we will! Our facilities are well maintained. Our staff is dedicated and committed. Our programs are diverse and solid. While our cash flow is depleted, our Ministry is VIBRANT! The world needs UCCI to make it through this pandemic intact and ready to serve!
That’s where you come in. In the very near future, you will be asked to give generously to the UCCI Fund as part of our year-end appeal. As most of you know, in Outdoor Ministry it is a standard to expect that 20% of the budget will need to come from donations in a typical year. In an unprecedented year of pandemic, that number is much higher!
Folks, if ever you were to give to the UCCI Fund, give now (https://ucci.org/donate). If ever you were to consider who you might invite to help, consider them now. If ever you were to share this appeal, share it now. We need all the support we can find!
Glenn Svetnicka – Executive Director UCCI
P.S. Covid-19 is real. Science-based real…not partisan, election-year rhetoric. Covid-19 fatigue is also real. We desperately want to go to dinner, gather with friends, return to campus, play our games. We cannot let our guards down; this cruel virus is still very much present. Wash your hands, stay lovingly distanced, wear your masks. We need to remain strong!