ECC Foundation unites donors to combat pandemic’s financial toll
Shortly after the implementation of Illinois' stay-at-home order in March, the Elgin Community College Foundation established the Emergency Student Relief Fund to help students most impacted by the COVID-19 pandemic. Just one month later, more than 100 donors had pitched in to help reach the goal of raising over $50,000.
“We are dedicated to ensuring that all students who are committed to their educations can continue, regardless of their financial situations,” said David Davin, ECC Foundation executive director. “It’s inspiring that the community has stepped up to support our students. I’m proud to live in a community of people who know that a gift to our students now is an investment in our community’s future health and prosperity.”
The fund, which aimed to support students in need of technology or were otherwise struggling financially due to the crisis, began with a generous donation of over $12,000 by the ECC Foundation Board of Directors. The community and ECC employees also donated to the cause.
In a short timeframe, ECC faculty helped transition nearly 9,000 ECC students to alternative online learning formats. The college also provided technology support, such as free loaner Chromebooks™ to students. With the pandemic financially impacting every industry, students are also dealing with unemployment and even tighter budgets. The Emergency Student Relief Fund offers a flexible funding source for ECC to meet the many needs students have during this unusual crisis.
Responding to the Need
While there are a variety of funding sources available to colleges and universities, Davin explained that funds provided to the relief fund offer the foundation the most flexibility in how it helps ECC students. For example, ECC also received funding through the federal CARES Act, however, over 50 percent of ECC students are ineligible to receive funding from that source.
“The Emergency Student Relief Fund ensures we are not leaving any student behind,” said Davin.
To learn more about the Emergency Student Relief Fund or to make a donation, visit elgin.edu/studentsuccess.