Fundraiser Supports Students, Communities Feeling Impacts of COVID-19
March 31, 2020
MOSCOW, Idaho — March 31, 2020 —The University of Idaho is offering a fundraising drive in response to the COVID-19 pandemic for three areas: students feeling the impacts of job loss or additional travel; food for those in need; and Idaho medical professionals who need access to expert information to address the outbreak.
Named “Idaho Community Relief,” the drive’s impetus is the sharp increase in the number of U of I students requesting help with unanticipated expenses. The university moved all classes online March 23 for the remainder of the spring semester.
The Bruce and Kathy Pitman Fund for Student Emergencies assists students who face challenges such as job loss or unplanned travel.
"Students are facing reduced job hours and uncertainty, and we want to make sure we support them to the extent that we can, particularly those who don't have any other support," U of I Dean of Students and Vice Provost for Student Affairs Blaine Eckles said.
Requests from students vary from obtaining reliable internet access to securing a safe ride across town.
"We recently helped a student get to the airport to fly home when he didn't have any funds to do so,” Eckles said.
Another area of need identified by university officials is food insecurity. The Vandal Food Pantry provides food to students and community members using “drive-through” pick up on the Moscow campus. The service relies almost exclusively on donated food items and will need to purchase more food to keep up with demand.
The third beneficiary is the Idaho WWAMI Medical Education Program's Project ECHO (Extension for Community Healthcare Outcomes). On March 24, Project ECHO hosted a virtual panel presentation and question-and-answer period for more than 700 Idaho medical providers. The full-capacity session focused on strategies to address challenges stemming from the COVID-19 pandemic. More sessions will be held.
“We have a long history of Vandals helping Vandals in times of need,” U of I President Scott Green said. “This fundraiser is assisting our students and the state’s medical professionals during this unprecedented moment across Idaho and the world. I’m proud of the support we’ve already seen within our Vandal Family in the few days the site has been live.”
The fundraising drive raised more than $14,000 on its first day and will run for an indefinite period.
Director of Annual Giving
About the University of Idaho
The University of Idaho, home of the Vandals, is Idaho’s land-grant, national research university. From its residential campus in Moscow, U of I serves the state of Idaho through educational centers in Boise, Coeur d’Alene and Idaho Falls, nine research and Extension centers, plus Extension offices in 42 counties. Home to nearly 12,000 students statewide, U of I is a leader in student-centered learning and excels at interdisciplinary research, service to businesses and communities, and in advancing diversity, citizenship and global outreach. U of I competes in the Big Sky and Western Athletic conferences. Learn more at uidaho.edu