Fr. Garvin Augustine, Executive Director of Mustard Seed International, shares an update about the impact of the Coronavirus pandemic on the organization.
Greetings to all our friends, volunteers our benefactors. I want to take this opportunity to thank you all for your continued support and for your prayers for all of us all our children, on our staff in Jamaica and around the world. As we all together navigate our way through this crisis, I want to thank God for all His blessings, His protection. I mean, we have had several trials through this. But thankfully, our children are safe and well, our staff are well.
We've had to make sacrifices, for example, we had to lay off 5% of our staff in order to save costs, because with the cancellation of our mission trips, I mean, we had, I think about 100 mission trips scheduled to visit Jamaica this year. So we lost about 70 trips. Which made us down in our in our funding to pay salaries and to buy food and all the things that the volunteers, you bring when you come on your mission trips. It's sad, we have to now find ways to buy those things and acquire those things otherwise. So financially, it has been challenging, but people have come forward. And I thank you for that.
And there's a very good in encouraging stories even among the staff. When we were discussing the layoffs, Miss Nellie, one of our cooks here at Jacob's Ladder, she actually volunteered to work half time with another cook so that we can save both jobs. So two cooks are working half time. And there are other examples of that. So you know, people have been really, really supportive for the sake of our children who have no option, you know, we have to continue caring for them. They can't go anywhere. So we thank God for all those blessings and we continue to seek your continued prayers and your continued financial support.
We don't know when this will end. We don't know when we can resume having mission trips, which is really, really hard on the kids, on the residents. They keep asking, you know, when are the volunteers coming back in all the different types of groups that come through here, impact the lives of our children so greatly. And we look forward to that again. So in the meantime, let us continue to work together, let us remain connected. And let us find ways all sorts of ways to to support our children financially and within material goods, diapers, food, supplies, toiletries, all the things that volunteers normally bring, we now have to source. We pray that God will continue to look after us. We have faith, that this will, this too will pass. Thank you all and God bless.