What Happens When Everything Stops?
What does a nonprofit organization that normally works with over 50,000 students a year across the region do when schools are suddenly closed and our face to face programming is temporarily suspended? We take a step back, evaluate our resources and core competencies and find ways to repurpose our staff and assets where they are needed as our community works to take care of the needs of our fellow residents.
Nine13sports uses a mobile programming model whereby we take bicycles into learning environments (schools, community centers, parks) and use them as learning tools throughout the year. As we’ve grown, this mobile delivery of our Kids Riding Bikes, Kids Building Bikes & ExploreIndy Ride programming has required significant investment over the first 9 years of our organizations history into vehicles and staff – assets that we sidelined as part of efforts to contain the spread of the COVID-19 virus in early March 2020. In 2018, we also made a move into a 25,000 sf commercial structure located in the Near Northwest neighborhoods that serves as our Operations Depot.
Because we’ve been so fortunate to receive support from the Indianapolis community over the years, it wasn’t an option for us to sit around and wait for the time when we could begin working with the central Indiana youth again. Instead, we reached out to our partners looking for ways we could help with the phenomenal efforts that are were underway to take care of our most vulnerable neighbors across the region. Our offer of assistance was well received by entities like Gleaners Food Bank, Midwest Food Bank, and the City of Indianapolis.
As a result, our team has started to provide logistical support for initiatives led by these organizations to ensure efficient food distribution to food pantries, other agencies that started temporary food pantry operations, as well individuals across the city that are unable to leave their homes.
As our Home and Agency Delivery initiatives began to take full form our promise was, “We will keep doing this as long as there is a need.” As 2020 rolled on it became clear that some version of these initiatives, specifically our Home Delivery initiative, would at the very least a semi-permanent demand. This required us to take a hard look at what that meant for our organization. In the end, the most logical solution was what we are calling Nine13 Logistics. While technically a separate entity, Nine13 Logistics will still be very much a part of the team at Nine13sports. Launching this subsidiary simply allows to continue providing the help our neighbors need while returning Nine13sports to its’ mission of empowering central Indiana youth through the power of the bicycle.
Home Delivery Team
We joined “Riding the Storm Out” to talk about the concept of “Finding The Helpers.”
We joined IIB to talk about our temporary new mission and what it takes to make it happen.
Our own Nathan Smurdon talked with CBS4 and FOX59 at the Nine13sports Depot
We make our first drop to a new food bank on Indy’s north side.
A partner right in backyard was featured in the IndyStar…
Nine13sports joins 1070 The Fan to talk about our COVID-19 response…