SAIT family rallies to support students impacted by COVID-19
When the call to support SAIT students in emergency situations went out in March, SAIT’s family and friends came together in a big way to support the I.G. Lewis Student Emergency Fund.
“Right away we determined that students would be in dire situations because of COVID-19, and we knew we needed to meet their needs immediately,” says Donna Lambert, SAIT Student Awards Manager. “That’s why we decided to relax some of the pre-existing requirements for the emergency fund in order to meet issues on a pandemic basis.”
For many students working part-time jobs to pay for rent, tuition and groceries, COVID-19 completely upended their lives. Students like Lina Yepes and Dylan Tolhurst were nearly finished their last semester when the pandemic struck causing both to lose employment.
“We were really tight as it was, and then COVID came and I was out of work because I was serving and all the events got canceled,” says Yepes, a recent Rehabilitation Therapy graduate.
“When you’re hungry it’s difficult to think about anything but food and how you’re going to get something to eat,” explains Tolhurst, a second year Library Information Technology student who was unable to afford groceries after losing his job.
Since the end of March more than 260 donors have contributed over $130,000 in support of SAIT students impacted by COVID-19. Yepes and Tolhurst are two of nearly 100 students who have received support at this time.
“During the same time in a normal year, we may have given 25% of what we’ve given this year,” says Lambert. “That’s a reflection of the significant needs of our students over the past month.”
And it’s more than just financial support that the SAIT community has offered during COIVID-19. Students have been connected with resources from across campus including academic coaching and personal and career counselling.
“We’re hearing from our donors and students that they feel proud and happy to be a part of a SAIT family that really comes together like this,” says Lambert. “And the I.G. Lewis Emergency Fund is not going anywhere. It’s and endowed fund which means it will always be here for students in need.”
Check out the many ways you can make a difference at sait.ca/donors/ways-to-give.