Overall Fundraising for COVID-19 Student Emergency Support Nearing $1 Million
It’s no secret that Stony Brook students are known for being smart, driven, and determined to succeed, no matter the odds.
And it’s this ethos of dogged determination that has always inspired the Stony Brook community to do what they can to ensure students stay in school, graduate on time and excel in life. So when the coronavirus crisis further inflamed the financial hardships of Stony Brook’s most vulnerable students, there was no question that Seawolves would come together to help.
In fact, more than 950 alumni, faculty, staff and friends crowdfunded for Emergency Student Support during Seawolves Helping Seawolves week. Giving was bolstered by a $100,000 match from the Stony Brook Foundation, creating a total impact of over $263,000 to date.
The crowdfunding project, coupled with major gifts from other generous donors, means overall philanthropic emergency student support is now close to $1 million.
“It’s been so gratifying to see our community stepping up to keep our students’ dreams alive,” said Interim President Michael A. Bernstein. “These critical dollars are being put to immediate use for many students who have nowhere else to turn.”
So far, 810 students have turned to Stony Brook for emergency funding, and more than $344,000 has already been disbursed to 373 students to help offset housing, food and living expenses and help purchase the technology they need to continue learning online and finish their semester strong.
Most students applying for emergency funds had returned home to families who were already struggling to get by and were now in desperate need after losing jobs, health benefits and income to pay their bills.
The emergency fund money I received was life-changing,” said graduating senior TyAra Gordon ’20. “When my father passed a few weeks ago, we had to put the house on the market, but now it’ll take months to sell. My mom and I have been so stressed about bills. Now we can stay in our home another month or two.”
As expected, the dollars raised for emergency student support is quickly being depleted. The University’s Student Support Team continues to receive more applications every day and is hoping more funds can be raised to help students afford online summer classes, stabilize their finances, remain safe, healthy, and most of all, keep progressing toward their degree completion and the career and life they’ve worked so hard to achieve.
“As our nation struggles to recover from the economic and societal impact of the worldwide COVID-19 crisis, our students will be architects of our future,” said Dean of Students Rick Gatteau. “We can’t let this crisis derail their dreams and their potential to make a difference in all our lives.”
Those who’ve joined together and invested in Stony Brook students understand this. Aside from the financial relief, the recipients of emergency funds benefit from the knowledge that there are people in their corner, who care about them, who believe in them, and who share their ambitions for the future.
“It’s so unbelievable in this day and age, in a time of pandemic, that Stony Brook alumni and friends are still willing to donate money to help others,” said Maame Gwamfi ’20, “Knowing there are people behind me has helped me feel more hopeful about the future.”
Applications keep coming in every day from students in crisis.
Please give today at crowdfund.stonybrook.edu.