Mason’s fourth annual Giving Day, Thursday, April 2, is normally an opportunity for every Patriot and friend to support their favorite cause or program at Mason.
With the extraordinary circumstances of the last few weeks, the effort has been completely reimagined and is now focused on a new purpose: providing urgent assistance to students in need, under the banner of Patriots Helping Patriots.
For that purpose, University Life has established a Student Emergency Assistance Fund aimed at getting much-needed assistance in the hands of Mason students now. The College of Health and Human Services, the Schar School of Policy and Government, and the School for Conflict Analysis and Resolution are among those partnering with University Life on the effort to help students experiencing financial distress.
After University Life made an online application form available on March 19, within one week more than 600 students had already applied for help, with the typical request in the range of $1,000.
“This is an incredibly uncertain time for everyone, but especially for our students,” said Vice President for University Life Rose Pascarell. “We’re doing everything we can to help them look out for their physical and emotional well-being. For many students, direct financial assistance right now is a big part of that.”
Some of the most common needs identified are help with essentials such as travel costs, paying rent, utility bills, childcare, and food. With the shift from in-person classes to remote learning, many who typically could use university facilities to get online now need to purchase personal laptops or other technology in order to complete the semester.
Our goal during this critical time is to have 471 individuals make a gift to one of our student emergency assistance funds, in recognition of the 471 students who reported financial distress last year.
You can show your support early by making your gift now, or on April 2.
While Giving Day represents an important milestone in the drive to help students, the Patriots Helping Patriots campaign won’t end there. The need for urgent student assistance will continue through the end of the spring semester.
Gifts from parents and families demonstrate involvement, passion and confidence in Mason, and strengthen our University community in ways that would not be possible without philanthropy. I hope you will join us on April 2 and #GivetoMason!
Let’s show the world that, when the need is greatest, we are Patriots Helping Patriots!
Kaitlin Cicchetti, Ph.D.
Director of Advancement for University Life
George Mason University
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