ASP Coronavirus (COVID-19) Update

[UPDATE] May 18, 2020

Six weeks ago, ASP President and CEO, Walter Crouch, announced the suspension of summer volunteer hosting in 2020 due to COVID-19.

After six weeks of difficult decisions, grieving the loss of this program loved by many, and conversations with our volunteers and donors, Walter is back to give you an update.

We are so thankful for the outpouring of support during this time, the ASP family is supportive, generous, loving, and extraordinary. Because of you, ASP will weather this storm, continue repairing and replacing homes in Central Appalachia THIS SUMMER, and for many summers to come.

Hear Walter’s message here: https://youtu.be/XVHDKkAwcQU

 

[UPDATE] April 7, 2020

 

To the ASP family of volunteers and supporters, 

Our thoughts and prayers have been with you these last few weeks. We are in the midst of a time unlike any we have experienced before. The COVID-19 crisis is continuing to evolve quickly, and while we are all working to “flatten the curve,” it has become clear that our world will be continuing to fight this pandemic for the months to come. At this time, based on recommendations from national health officials, ASP has made the difficult decision to suspend our summer volunteer hosting until August 1, 2020. 

This means we will not host summer volunteers for the first time in our 51-year history. Though it was one of the hardest decisions we have ever had to make, it was done with prayerful deliberation by our Executive Leadership Team and Board of Directors, with the focus of removing any threat of the virus spreading further as a result of ASP’s operations in Central Appalachia. 

My heart is heavy as I think about the many families who are expecting our help, the summer staff who are anxious to serve, the communities that would benefit from our presence, our full-time staff who are called to be a part of this incredible ministry and the volunteers whose very lives would be changed. And I worry about you, our faithful Trip Coordinators and partners in ministry. I know some of you may be feeling your own sense of loss and grief. 

Please view this personal message I have recorded for you here. 

In spite of COVID-19, the families of Central Appalachia still need our assistance, perhaps now more than ever. In the last two weeks, across our five-state service area, over 700,000 people filed first-time unemployment applications. As we are committed to serve this region, we must press on in creative ways. The first 50 years of ASP’s ministry have been built on radical acts of hope, generosity and faith. In that same spirit, ASP will execute our mission this summer, though it will look different than expected. Some of ASP’s direct responses include: 

  • Continuing home repair and new home construction in select counties where we can safely perform those tasks and have funding to support the work with existing staff and/or subcontractors.  
  • Donating thousands of face masks, latex gloves, disposable coveralls, first aid kits and cleaning products to local healthcare providers serving Tennessee and Virginia. 
  • Supporting our community contacts who distribute food as the economic impact of this crisis takes hold in Central Appalachia. 
  • Sharing any assets that ASP has available this summer with our regional partners and communities in need. 

We ask you to remain creative with us— join us in thinking of new ways to be the hands and feet of Christ in Appalachia and in your own communities this summer.  

For our homeowners looking for resources during this time, please visit ASPhome.org/County-Resources to learn more.  

 We have been serving the families of Central Appalachia for over 50 years and refuse to let this virus stop us. I have seen first-hand the miracles that are possible when this incredible band of dedicated ASP brothers and sisters come together, and I know we will make it through these difficult times. Maybe it is fitting that ASP must make this announcement as we prepare for Easter weekend. We have hope in the Resurrection, and I have faith that we will rise from the depths of this crisis and serve together again very soon. In fact, we cannot wait to see you! 

In the meantime, let’s continue to pray for our world and its leaders. Pray for those whose lives have been affected by this horrible virus.  

God has given ASP a great, big wonderful family. For that we should all be thankful. Know that you are loved and prayed for, today and always. 

 

God Bless, 

 Walter Crouch 

President and CEO, Appalachia Service Project 

 


 

[UPDATE] March 24, 2020

Appalachia Service Project Golf Tournament Announcement

Appalachia Service Project will postpone our 9th Annual Golf Tournament until August 31, 2020 at Blackthorn Country Club in Jonesborough, TN, in response to COVID-19. Originally scheduled for April 20, 2020, the event has been postponed in accordance with CDC and WHO guidelines to ensure the safety of our players, staff, and sponsors during the event.

The health and safety of all those associated with our organization is of utmost importance to Appalachia Service Project. As the impact of coronavirus (COVID-19) evolves, we want to assure you that ASP is taking precautionary measures to prioritize public health and safety throughout all of our operations. ASP will follow the direction of Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, WHO, and state/local EMA and health officials for additional guidance and measures across our five-state service area. We are continually monitoring the CDC website for updates and any changes in status.

Additional details about the tournament and additional ASP operations can be found at www.ASPhome.org.

Our thoughts and prayers go out to all those directly affected by this virus, and we will remain committed to doing our part to slow the spread.

Respectfully,

Walter Crouch, President and CEO

 


 

[UPDATE] March 19, 2020

To the ASP family of volunteers and supporters,

The COVID-19 crisis is evolving quickly.  Our hope is that you and your families are safe during this time of social distancing as we work together to “flatten the curve” in order to keep our hospitals and emergency care centers from being overwhelmed.  Our prayers are with all of our health care workers, public health officials and governmental decision-makers.

Our prayers are also with you, as you navigate trip planning during this time. Many of you are doing your best to prepare for ASP Summer 2020.  Fundraising efforts and group meetings are almost impossible except through electronic communications.  Some of our groups have come up with very creative ways of moving forward.  You may want to visit the ASP Trip Coordinators Facebook page (www.Facebook.com/Groups/ASPTripCoordinators) to get ideas or ask questions of your peers.

No final decisions have been made about ASP volunteer hosting for the summer of 2020. Our team will be constantly reviewing recommendations from the CDC and WHO as they are announced. Again, our number one priority is the safety and health of our staff, volunteers, homeowners, and community members. Volunteer groups will be contacted as soon as decisions are made. We appreciate your patience, and any specific questions about your volunteer group should be made directly to ASP’s Volunteer Department.  For the sake of the 400 homeowners across Central Appalachia who are waiting for critical home repair this summer, we ask you to be patient with us until we have more clarity of where this situation will be in a few months.

In the meantime, please be assured that the ASP staff is doing scenario planning for a multitude of possibilities. Summer may look different than in the past; at this point we just do not know exactly what that means.

Please pray for wisdom.

Respectfully,

Walter Crouch, President and CEO

 


 

[UPDATE] March 17, 2020

Appalachia Service Project Race to Build Announcement

Appalachia Service Project will postpone our Race to Build event scheduled for April 3-5, 2020 in accordance with NASCAR and Bristol Motor Speedway’s decision to postpone the Food City 500 race. A later date will be announced as we confirm with BMS, our competing schools, staff, and partners.

The health and safety of our volunteers, homeowners, communities, and staff is of utmost importance to Appalachia Service Project. As the impact of coronavirus (COVID-19) evolves, we want to assure you that ASP is taking precautionary measures to prioritize public health and safety throughout all of our operations. ASP will follow the direction of Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, WHO, and state/local EMA and health officials for additional guidance and measures across our five-state service area. We are continually monitoring the CDC website for updates and any changes in status.

Our thoughts and prayers go out to all those directly affected by this virus, and we will remain committed to doing our part to slow the spread.

Respectfully,

Walter Crouch, President and CEO

 


 

March 12, 2020

To the ASP family and friends,

For over 50 years ASP has been providing quality mission experiences in Central Appalachia through partnerships with volunteers and supporters like you.  Your safety, and the safety of our homeowners, staff and members of the communities in which we serve, is paramount.

The concern over the spread of COVID-19 is warranted and ASP is making contingency plans should health authorities advise changes in our regular programming.  At this point, however, because of the evolving situation and not knowing where things will be a few months from now, ASP has not changed its program schedule for summer. We are currently taking additional preventive measures based upon CDC and state health department recommendations in our year-round program.

While we are very concerned about the health and wellbeing of our volunteers, staff and homeowners, we are also concerned for families who have desperate housing needs.  Our ultimate decisions will be based upon recommendations from state and local health officials. ASP will be understanding of the individual needs of each volunteer group and as flexible and cooperative as possible.  We would ask that groups who have already registered to be patient until we have more definitive answers.

Please pray for us and all of those affected by this outbreak.  For now, we look forward to seeing you in central Appalachia as we serve together to make the homes of families in need warmer, safer and drier.

In service,

Walter Crouch, President and CEO