Easterseals Arkansas has furloughed more than 90 employees from currently closed programs, CEO Ron Eckstrand said in a Facebook post March 25.
In the wake of the COVID-19 coronavirus epidemic, the organization that serves children and adults with disabilities and special needs has cancelled or delayed large fundraising events and temporarily closed two preschools, its K-12 school, its outpatient therapy and its site-based adult service programs.
Eckstrand asked legislators to include Easter Seals and other nonprofits in relief packages, including family emergency leave repayment, unemployment claims relief, and financial programs.
“Just because many of us are funded by Medicaid does not mean we can survive emergencies like this because many of us do not have sufficient reserves or easy access to capital,” he said.
He asked donors to provide financial support and to lobby legislators.
“Often, nonprofits are not at the table when these considerations are put together by our legislators,” he said.
He said the organization is trying to continue the services offered by closed programs using technology, distance learning and teletherapy.
It has implemented health screening programs, social distancing, and sanitizing processes.
Easterseals Arkansas was founded in 1944. The national organization was founded in 1919.