We want our students to know that even, and especially when life feels unbearable, we are a community that cares about them.
When Tuveya Kirnon-Davis was forced to leave her home after COVID-19 initially hit, she wasn’t sure where to turn.
“For that first week, I only had the clothes on my back, my phone and chargers. Everything I had saved I had to spend in order to live,” she said.
Even more distressing for the senior art major was being without a computer.
“As a graphic designer it is crucial for me to have one,” she said.
Thankfully Bridgewater State University had a solution: the Student Emergency Fund (SEF), which was created in March to help students in need during the COVID-19 crisis.
Tuveya applied and qualified for SEF funding.
“The SEF helped me get back on my feet and more,” she said. “I was able to get a computer, all of my books, and anything else I needed to successfully get through the semester.”
Stories like Tuveya’s are why professors Melissa Winchell and Thomas Nestor have taken the lead, encouraging others in the BSU community to give to the Bears Care campaign which supports the SEF, overseen by the Office of Alumni and Development.
“This year has been hard…We want our students to know that even, and especially when life feels unbearable, we are a community that cares about them,” Dr. Winchell said.
As an incentive to donate to the Bears Care campaign, the BSU Foundation Board has committed to matching all gifts made throughout the month of December, up to $25,000.
“This campaign shows our students that the BSU community supports them. We want our students to know they have a whole community of alumni, faculty and staff looking out for them,” said Elizabeth Dubuque, development director.
Alumni and Development are taking their support one step further. Donations have also allowed them to create Bears Care Boxes for students who are forced to quarantine during the pandemic.
The care packages are filled with toiletries, snacks, games, water, towels and a t-shirt from President Frederick W. Clark Jr.
Each box is placed in the assigned room prior to a student arriving to quarantine.
For Tuveya, the support from the BSU community has meant everything.
“I was once upset and thought I wouldn’t be able to continue with school,” she said. “This fund lifted weight off my shoulders, got me back on my feet and let me continue my education here at BSU. Thank you to those who have donated.”
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