DDN: Wright State coronavirus relief fund raises more than $67,000 for students

Excerpt

Wright State University raised more than $67,000 for students affected by the coronavirus pandemic.

The university’s Student Emergency Relief Campaign raised $62,287 from March 20 to April 22. Wright State donated an additional $5,000 to the fund.

“Our students have clearly been hit hard by the COVID-19 pandemic,” said Bill Bigham, interim vice president for advancement. “They have lost wages and many are struggling with food insecurity. We appreciate all of the generous donors who have stepped up to help our students during this incredibly difficult time.”

More than 860 students sought some form of emergency relief, he said.

Some of the students who received funds had lost their jobs, were unable to pay rent or couldn’t buy groceries.

“I used to work on campus at Starbucks to meet my monthly needs,” said one student. “Since my home country is in complete lockdown and the banks are not open, my parents couldn’t do an international transfer during this time. This situation is tough and I couldn’t afford to buy groceries.”

During the campaign, 529 people donated to the emergency relief fund.

“The Wright State University Foundation is proud to be part of this important initiative,” said Scott Rash, president and CEO of the Wright State University Foundation. “Our students need our help now more than ever before. We hope the grants from the Wright State Student Emergency Relief Campaign will help ease the burden on our students as they continue to cope with the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic.”

Donations are being used to help students buy essential items, including toiletries, medication and more.

WSU also used funds to buy more than $17,000 in gift cards for students to use for groceries.

Mental health also is a concern during the pandemic, prompting the university’s Counseling and Wellness Services to continue providing help via telephone and Webex.

The office is averaging 164 sessions per week since transitioning to teletherapy during the pandemic.

Though the campaign has closed, the pandemic is far from over.

WSU said it will continue to find ways to support students during this time.

“We will continue to raise funds in the coming weeks to help our students,” said Bigham. “Even though the initial Student Emergency Relief Campaign was a tremendous success, the needs of our students are still immense.”

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