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Student Emergency Fund Continues to Make an Impact

The Student Emergency Fund, in partnership with CARES Act grant money, has helped relieve financial stress for students across the Bethel community during the pandemic.

By Carolynne Camp ’21, with contributions by Cherie Suonvieri ’15, content specialist

August 05, 2020 | 11 a.m.

Bethel University

Bethel is currently working on a second round of distributions from the Student Emergency Fund, as donations continue to come in.

The COVID-19 pandemic has produced unprecedented challenges for many, including Bethel community members. Jobs have been lost, internships have been canceled, and students have needed to relocate. But this season has also seen unprecedented generosity, as many have made donations to help make up for the financial gaps students are experiencing. 

After the CARES Act provided emergency grant money for students, Bethel created the Student Emergency Fund to offer additional support and give the Bethel community the opportunity to contribute. The fund was open to donations on Bethel’s annual ROAR Day on April 16, 2020. During this one-day giving campaign, Bethel alumni, students, employees, and friends gave a record-breaking $212,460, with $44,596 specifically designated to the Student Emergency Fund.

Dollars from the CARES Act and the Student Emergency Fund were distributed after students completed an application process. While the pandemic has caused a variety of challenges for students, these funds work to make finances less of a concern. “Receiving money from this fund helped me exponentially in paying for summer housing, food, and gas money,” one student recipient says.

"To know that the Bethel community not only cares about keeping students at Bethel but also cares about their overall wellbeing is amazing.”

— Jeanne Osgood, associate vice president of development

“Words cannot express how grateful we are to have received these funds,” says another student recipient. “Thank you for making it possible for students to go to Bethel without having to constantly be afraid of debt and financial worries.” 

Students can still apply for assistance through the Student Emergency Fund, and the fund remains open for donations. In the first round of disbursements, $41,000 was distributed to students in need. Since then, additional donations have come in, leading to a second round of disbursements which is now in progress. 

"To know that the Bethel community not only cares about keeping students at Bethel but also cares about their overall wellbeing is amazing,” says Jeanne Osgood, associate vice president of development. “The Student Emergency Fund helped minimize the burden on students when things got unexpectedly difficult. It is in times like this that I am reminded of the significance of the Bethel family."  

Support Bethel students, and build the future.

You can support Bethel students with COVID-related financial needs by choosing “Other” and writing in “Student Emergency Fund” on Bethel’s online giving webpage. 

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