The Community Foundation of Orange and Sullivan recently awarded Mount Saint Mary College with the $5,000 COVID-19 Response Grant to help bolster the college’s Student Emergency Fund.
The Mount’s Student Emergency Fund provides financial support to currently enrolled students who find themselves in unforeseen crisis situations.
The grant was obtained primarily through the efforts of Fr. Gregoire Fluet, Mount chaplain and director of Campus Ministry.
As the COVID-19 pandemic intensified and the Student Emergency Fund was opened up to students with pandemic-related needs, there was a large increase in the number of those who applied for aid.
“We never conceived of the situation that we find ourselves in with COVID-19 and we’re trying to respond as best as we can to aid our students who are in need right now,” said Fr. Greg. “I’m very pleased, very happy with this. It’s going to help our students and that’s what’s most important.”
Fr. Fluet added that he is very grateful to the Community Foundation of Orange and Sullivan for their generous donation.
“I wanted to give a big thank you to the Community Foundation of Orange and Sullivan for this,” said Fr. Fluet. “The Mount appreciates this very much.”
Some students who have applied for aid recently have lost their jobs due to the COVID-19 pandemic. Others are single parents who have had their incomes drastically reduced. Still others work in healthcare fighting the pandemic and must find a way to pay for daycare.
The grant money will be used to aid students like this as soon as possible.
“I am sincerely honored and grateful to have been selected as the recipient of the MSMC Student Emergency Fund,” noted one student. “Your generosity will allow me to buy some essential grocery items and pay various utility bills. This truly is a blessing that I will forever remember and has inspired me to ensure that when I too have the opportunity, I will pay it forward.”
Another student recipient simply said, “Thank you so much, you have no idea what a huge help this is! I am forever grateful!”
Last month, the Mount community banded together to raise more than $25,000 in one day for the Student Emergency Fund, which had run critically low thanks to the increase in requests. As a reward for the community’s generosity, Mount President Dr. Jason Adsit had his hair shaved into a mohawk live on Instagram.
The Student Emergency Fund began last year as a joint venture between the Office of Advancement and the Mount’s Student Support Center, noted fund co-creators Nikki Khurana-Baugh, Vice President for Advancement, and Orin Strauchler, assistant dean of Student Support Services and director of Counseling.
Rooted in the Dominican Heritage of the Mount, support for the initiative quickly went campus-wide.
The number of students who can benefit from the Student Emergency Fund is limited only by availability of funds. It’s easy to donate to the initiative: please visit msmc.edu/emergencyfund