The Children’s Nature Retreat, a sanctuary for more than 140 domestic and exotic animals, announced this month it will host online classes and virtual field trips with the hopes of raising at least $20,000 to cover its costs.
The Retreat, which closed weeks ago as a result of the new coronavirus outbreak, said it lost 100 percent of its revenue “overnight.”
“We wanted to find a way for guests to continue to benefit from the Retreat, and see and experience these amazing animals,” Agnes Barrelet, executive director, said. “We had to close our doors on March 23. The Retreat relied on admission sales, group/corporate events, field trips, an annual gala and various events, such as the Easter Egg Hunt. All events have been cancelled until further notice.”
The Retreat said it has teamed up with the Association for Human-Animal Bond Studies to offer the remote programming, which will include a video lesson, as well as a tutorial for a craft project related to the lesson. The lessons are $5 each.
“We can also organize virtual birthday parties, participate in a happy hour, or kick off a meeting with a big smile,” Barrelet said. “We hope these new offerings will allow us to soon get back on our feet and continue to thrive for the benefit of our animals and the community.”
Until the Retreat raises the thousands needed to care for its animals, Barrelet said the nonprofit has had to make drastic changes.
“We had to drastically reduce payroll in order to face all the expenses,” Barrelet said. “I don’t have a salary and I’m working six or seven days a week to compensate for the loss of hours.”
The retreat is also accepting online donations. Here are a few suggested options:
- Give $10 and you will feed Crackle, our quail for a month.
- Give $25 and you will feed one of our mini goats for a month.
- Give $50 and you will feed one of our mini horses for a month.
- Give $100 and you will feed one of our zebras for a month.
- Give $250 and you will feed a camel for a month.
- Give $500 and you will feed our bison “Cheyenne” for a month.
For more information, visit www.ChildrensNatureRetreat.org or call (619) 320-4942.
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