More than $100,000 awarded to students in need during the coronavirus pandemic

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The University of Nebraska Emergency Assistance Fund supports students and employees on all four campuses in times of personal hardship.

This year when our campuses were mostly shut down and classes were shifted online due to the coronavirus, things were especially challenging for students who lost jobs or needed to find new housing.

But generous alumni and friends stepped up and helped with donations to the University of Nebraska Emergency Assistance Fund when they were needed most.

Financial assistance totaling $105,592 has been awarded to 214 students.

Here are some of their stories.

Kelsie, a UNMC Kearney student, lost all three of her jobs when her employers shuttered their businesses due to the pandemic. “What do I do now?” she wondered. “Working is how I pay for everything. My house, my bills, my health insurance, car insurance and school.” Kelsie’s father died during her freshman year of high school, and her mom is a single parent of three on one income. The money Kelsie received from the university crisis fund “made a huge difference” for her and her family.

Angela, a Ph.D. student at UNL, is disabled with a chronic illness and is raising a five-year-old son while caring for her partner, who has a traumatic brain injury and is battling brain cancer. Angela had to pause her mortgage and a loan payment and said she often feels at her wits’ end. She received assistance from the University of Nebraska Emergency Assistance Fund and used it to pay rent and buy healthy groceries. It gave her a breather, which she’s grateful for. “I’m just at that edge all the time,” she said, “and it affects my health.”

On UNO’s campus, Rhea lost her job at the campus recreation center when it was shut down. “It was a relief to be able to get groceries and pay off some utilities that were piling up,” she said, after receiving help from the university crisis fund. Rhea said, “I wasn’t expecting to get this fund, but I’m very, very grateful that I did … words can’t even describe how this fund has helped, to be honest.”

These are real students and real members of the University of Nebraska family, and their lives were improved thanks to generous individuals who know that even the smallest donation has made a difference and continues to do so.

Applications for relief from the University of Nebraska Emergency Assistance Fund continue to roll in. Please contribute if you’d like to join others in supporting the many students who still need help.

Thank you and best wishes for the health and safety of you and your loved ones.

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