Flocking Together to Help Blue Hens
As the coronavirus brought health issues, financial struggles and other hardships to many UD students and employees, so many stepped forward to ask how they could help. The answer was to pivot the annual I Heart UD Giving Day from sharing multiple UD areas to support, to launching two new funds on that day: the Blue Hen Strong Fund and the COVID-19 Employee Emergency Relief Fund.
The Blue Hen Strong Fund was established to provide direct assistance to students who need tuition assistance, advanced technology and enhanced online learning, career readiness resources and more, while the COVID-19 Employee Emergency Relief Fund provides support for UD employees.
On I Heart UD Giving Day, which was May 6, 2020, more than 1,200 donors contributed more than $188,000 to the new areas. The generosity of many is already helping ease the challenges of our Blue Hen family, reassuring them they are not alone during such unprecedented times.
In the months since, Blue Hens from around the world have come together to raise more than $250,000 to help students overcome unforeseen obstacles as a result of the pandemic. The fund has already helped several students in the greatest need. As campus residence halls closed to help keep students and employees healthy during the pandemic, many students found themselves unsure of where they would live—not able to return to homes with domestic violence or resorting to “couch surfing” with friends because they had nowhere to go.
One student shared, “I was stressed and worried about how I would pay my expenses and at the same time stay focused on school. However, thanks to financial support from donors, my stress has been greatly relieved. This allowed me to focus on my studies and pursue my educational dreams.”
Similarly, the COVID-19 Employee Emergency Relief Fund has already started helping employees that needed it the most, providing $1,000 grants to help them with expenses. One employee recipient shared, “Your pride as a provider takes a hit when you suddenly lose an income, but the generosity of the UD community is helping us to catch-up on financial delinquencies and put much needed groceries in our empty cupboards."
Still more to be done
The needs of our UD community continue to grow in the midst of an unknown future, and our students and employees remain a vulnerable population.
If you’d like to learn more about these funds, or provide additional support, click here for the Blue Hen Strong Fund or here for the COVID-19 Employee Emergency Relief Fund. Your philanthropy ensures the Blue Hen family continues to thrive; students can complete their academic journeys and employees have the support they need to overcome financial struggles. Thank you.
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