The Western University of Health Sciences has raised more than $90,000 to provide direct relief for its dental and other students during the COVID-19 pandemic.
Established in March, the WesternU Student Emergency Support Fund is primarily designed to provide support for priority needs including housing, utilities, food, medication, and healthcare
Funding also may be used for academic supplies like books and technology not included in tuition and fees, travel costs related to the death or illness of an immediate family member, or replacing essential personal or academic belongings.
The fund will not provide financial support for such things as entertainment, recreation, non-emergency travel, or parking tickets.
WesternU received more than 40 donations totaling $93,740 as of early August. Donors have included alumni, friends, faculty, and staff, as well as the Student Government Association and even individual current students. The university has awarded funds to 65 students totaling $59,223.
“Due to the COVID-19 pandemic, my family and I were left with very small income, not even enough to cover our rent. Due to our family’s circumstances, we weren’t able to receive any financial help. However, WesternU is the only community who was able to provide me with support in this difficult time,” said a member of the College of Dental Medicine class of 2021.
“I am thankful for not only this scholarship opportunity but also for the generous donors and WesternU staff members who’ve contacted me to inform me about other resources. My family and I can’t thank WesternU enough!” the dental student continued.
“In the words of Mother Teresa, ‘Kind words can be short and easy to speak, but their echoes are truly endless.’ The WesternU Student Emergency Support Fund has tremendously benefitted me, since it has allowed me to focus on academics rather than monetary stress induced by unforeseen circumstances,” said a member of the College of Optometry class of 2021.
“The pandemic at hand has resulted in financial uncertainty at this time, but the support provided by our institution is concrete and sincere. I am thankful for the assistance and would like to communicate how grateful I am to those that were generous enough to provide these donations to our student body. Your kindness will not be forgotten, and may you continue helping those in need,” the optometry student said.
“The emergency support fund helped me immensely during a time when no other options were available to me. I’m not sure how I would’ve gotten through the last two months of school had this scholarship not been available. I am deeply grateful to the donors for their generosity during these times,” said a member of the College of Podiatric Medicine class of 2022.
Donations continue to come in, and the Emergency Fund Committee meets twice a week to review applications and grant awards.
“This fund sends a message not only to the students receiving the funds, but to all WesternU constituents that we care about you,” said WesternU senior vice president for university advancement Diane M. Abraham, PhD, MBA, CFRE. “We thank our donors for their generosity and the knowledge that every gift counts.”
Donations to the WesternU Student Emergency Support Fund may be made online.