COVID-19 Emergency Relief Fund Student Testimonials

Emergency Relief Fund Testimonials

 

A sincere thank you to each and every donor who has given to our COVID-19 Emergency Relief Fund. Like everyone, our students are feeling the effects of the coronavirus pandemic. Below are portions of stories shared by students who have applied for emergency funds so you can see where relief fund dollars are going.

 

We received generous matches to the campaign from across campus. The UCO Foundation matched $30,000, the University of Central Oklahoma Student Association matched $10,000, the President’s Office matched $10,000 and each dean provided money from their college’s Annual Fund totaling $13,000. Thanks to all of our kind donors, we have been able to award 1,200 students in need!  

 

The UCO Foundation plans on continuing the campaign as long as there is a need – and right now, that need is great.

 

To see the status of the COVID-19 Emergency Relief Fund, click here to visit the crowdfunding campaign.

 

Campaign funds provided relief to international students with nowhere to go:

 

“I am an international student and currently out of work. I will use any money I receive for food. I need $300 dollars for a month of living since I don't know when I will be able to return home due to the virus. At the moment, I have enough money for one month, but I can't find a job. This money will help me live until the end of May and find a job without being nervous.”

 

“Due to this devastating situation, my home country of Nepal is in lockdown. Banks are closed and my parent’s income source is highly affected; they cannot even work their regular hours because of the lockdown. This fund would help me in my rent because the landlord is not ready to provide any kind of relief at this time and I am running out of my money.”

 

“I am a first-year graduate student who was working as a proctor on campus before the COVID-19 pandemic. With this job, I was earning enough money to support my welfare during my stay in the United States. Unfortunately, I have been laid off and I am now pushed to the wall yet I have bills. My parents in my home country cannot send me money because my home country is on total lockdown.”

 

We provided relief to single mothers in desperate need…

 

“I am a mother of three and currently have a protective order against my soon-to-be ex-husband. I have recently moved from our martial residence to a location to which he is unaware. He is supposed to give support but he has refused. I have rent due soon and an electric bill. This fund would help relieve stress on me while trying to continue my learning and care for my three children during this time since I am unable to work.”

 

“I am a single mother who recently lost her job of three years due to COVID-19. These funds would allow me to continue pursuing my dream education by allowing me to continue having internet at home for online learning for myself and my first grader. It would also provide a bit of relief for bills, allow me to figure out how to keep a roof over our heads, and allow me a bit of financial help while trying to find a new job. Right now, I am unsure how I am going to balance what life has become. Being able to have a bit of relief for my son and I would be a huge blessing.”

 

We provided relief to student workers who lost their jobs on campus…

 

“I am a full-time student with two jobs. I lost my daytime job as a student worker and my nighttime job at a bar. I now have no income at all, while still having to pay for rent and bills as I job search. I completely fund my life on my own and have no outside financial support so this would be incredibly appreciated.”

 

“With the COVID-19 pandemic going on, I have lost both of my jobs on campus and my roommate has decided to move home leaving me with more bills. This money would go toward housing so I won't have to lose my apartment. Anything and everything is appreciated. I am currently looking for other jobs and means of making money, but with everything going on it's a lot harder than I expected it to be.”

 

“I have not been able to pay rent and get enough food due to COVID-19. I work on campus and since the campus is closed, it has been a struggle. My family cannot help me now because they are also facing this pandemic. As a student, it’s really hard to focus on my online classes when I’m stressing about not having enough money to take care of myself.”

 

We provided relief to student veterans…

 

“COVID-19 caused my VA benefits to be a much lower than intended, which has made it a struggle to keep up with bills such as rent and utilities. Focusing the majority of my money toward bills also hinders my ability to feed myself along with my pets. This money would help me immensely by reducing stress and panic about finances during this time.”

 

We provided relief to students who could no longer live on campus…

 

“When I can't live on campus, I have to stay with my sister who has five kids of her own and my disabled mother living with her. It would benefit me greatly to be able to help my sister with some of the bills and buy food. Due to the virus, my sister and her husband can't work. I work in a nursing home so I'm an essential worker but my check alone can't pay their bills since I still have to have some days off to go to school.”

 

We provided relief to students who suddenly found themselves with no income…

 

“Due to the COVID-19 outbreak, I have lost my job of more than two years. Being in the food service industry I am unable to go back to that job until this whole pandemic is over. I now have no income for food, rent, car payment, utilities and other basic needs. This money would be extremely helpful for being able to pay my upcoming rent and bills. This money would also be used for grocery shopping and getting supplies such as toilet paper and shampoo. Lastly, this money would be used for getting supplies for school. Being able to receive this scholarship would take a load of stress off my shoulders.”

 

“My job as a valet has been terminated due to COVID-19. Within the first month of this outbreak and loss of employment I have already found hardships in affording to pay my rent. The sum awarded will be used not only for rent but to also support the food situation in my household, along with the utilities that come along with it. I entirely thank you for the opportunity to receive financial aid, and I am undoubtedly grateful for anything awarded in this time of need.”

 

“Having funding for food, rent and utilities would help with necessities for living. I do not receive paid leave through my jobs, and going without income from two jobs puts me in financial instability. I lack groceries, am running behind on rent, and am without utilities like water to shower. I receive no financial support from my family and pay for everything on my own. I appreciate the consideration and know that I am not guaranteed an award.”

 

Before COVID-19, I worked at a doctor's office in Oklahoma City and was averaging 25-30 hours a week. On March 20, I was laid off. I had to move back home to live with my parents because I could not afford to live on my own, but I am still responsible for paying my apartment lease through June. I am a senior, planning to graduate in May, and in the fall, I have to complete a costly internship to continue my education and receive my credentials.”

 

“I was employed at three different jobs, but have been let go from all three. I am fortunate to have small help from my parents, but they can't pay for my rent and utilities. I applied for unemployment, but since only one of my jobs was taxable income, I may not make enough to be awarded unemployment. This money would greatly help me pay for rent and utilities and stock up on groceries. Thank you for finding a solution for us students. We appreciate you!”

 

We provided relief to those with compromised immune systems…

 

“I have a suppressed immune system, migraines and hypothyroid disease. I am on a gluten-free diet, which is expensive, five medications for my thyroid and hormone regulation, two for migraines as well as two others. These are costly and critical for me to maintain a healthy, balanced lifestyle. Without extra income, I have to choose a roof over my head and not my life, and this is a serious and scary situation.

 

We provided relief to mothers in need…


“This money is for me and my three kids. I need help with diapers and baby wipes for my 2-year-old. I have an 11-year-old daughter who receive free lunches from her school, but it is now closed. I have a 20-year-old son who was let go from his job. He tries to help me out when he can and lost that income. I need help with food, my electric bill and water bill so I don’t get so far behind. Also, some money will go toward my rent this month.”

 

“I'm currently trying to find ways to help my autistic daughter. I need money for her diapers, basic needs and finding resources to help work with her autism as the therapy center she attends is closed. I usually help my parents with rent and bills with money from my work check, but I worked for a small locally owned business that had to shut down. I tried filing for unemployment but did not qualify because I just began working in December.

 

We provided relief to students trying to provide for their families…

“I recently began working at a fast food restaurant and was told I would be off the schedule for an unknown period of time due to the coronavirus. I have a baby on the way and need money for rent, food and toiletries.”

 

“Some funding will support my father and I as we are the only two living in my household. To keep it simply put, we are both out of a job due to COVID-19. My father is struggling to find a job in order to keep the house afloat, much less pay for groceries.”

 

“I have a household of two and financially support my sister who has an autoimmune deficiency. We receive no assistance from our parents. I am very worried about how all our bills and groceries will be paid. I've worked on campus for four years, so I currently have no source of income. Any help would be appreciated.”

We provided relief to students trying to get home…


“I am currently living in a car and struggling to travel back to my parent’s house. I lost my job as I was not considered an essential employee. Working was the only way I was able to make money. I do not have medical coverage, my money for food is limited and I cannot afford to pay any bills because of the need for food. I am not able to focus on school at the moment nor can I afford to find ways to connect to the internet due to shops and the library being closed. These funds will help me reconnect with my family, possibly find work and relieve a lot of stress that has been set on my shoulders.”

 

We provided relief to students trying to make ends meet…

 

“COVID-19 has changed my life. I am currently a college student ready to graduate in May, involved in an internship in Norman and have two jobs to sustain myself. Within the blink of an eye, my life has flipped. COVID-19 has forced me out of both of my jobs and internship, my schooling has gone completely online and now I cannot walk for graduation. This sudden act of not being able to work has created so much stress and anxiety. I am terrified my upcoming bills won't be paid because I am not allowed to work. I am looking to every opportunity for help. I am completely on my own with no family so I pay for all of my bills. Because of this outbreak, I am in dire need of financial help. Thank you so much for this amazing program and for caring about people who are widely forgotten.”

 

“This funding will help me and my family because we barely have food in the house. I stay home to take care of my three younger siblings and my mom is never home. We were going to food pantries but they hardly have any food now. Luckily my mom still pays the rent but I just want to be able to take care of my siblings. I used to provide for them when I worked but now that I am unable to it's really hard. My car doesn't have gas and we also need cleaning supplies for the house to keep the kids safe.”

 

“Paying my own tuition has been hard and even harder now that I am unemployed. My father was recently hospitalized and has not been able to work since December, which has made finances even harder. I have been helping out with bills until COVID-19 happened and I was put in a tough situation where I could not work due to living with my father and him being an immunocompromised diabetic and having other medical problems. If given this scholarship, I would use the money to cover food for me and my family, and some utilities that we are behind on. This situation is unexpected and scary but I believe if granted this scholarship it will help me with my current situation short-term until I can try to find a new job and apply for additional assistance.”

 

“I moved back in with my parents at the beginning of the school year to save money but since COVID happened I lost my job and my parents have been furloughed. I was supposed to be paying for food and an LSAT application, which costs $200. I was hoping I could be helped with that and I plan to give the rest to my parents to help with their expenses.”

 

We provided relief to international students…

 

“I am an international student from Nigeria. Most of my funds come from my parents who are now out of work because of the present situation and are not able to send money. I was reinstated this week as a student worker, but my pay is not enough to fund my rent, utilities and food. I can't move out at this time and don't know what to do. These funds will help me out a lot.”

 

“I am an international student and don't know where to look. The pandemic is making me so scared as one of my family members was contaminated back in my home country. Thankfully, he is stable for now. My parents are paying for my tuition and rent. Right now, it is really difficult for them to help me and I cannot do much because I work on campus and don't make enough money. Last month was hard for me as I had to ask my friends for money. Next month I really don't know how I'm going to handle the situation. This is my final semester and at this point, anything will help me.”

 

“This money would extremely help me and my family during this time because I was recently laid off. This money will cover my rent and utility payment. My mum has been laid off because of COVID-19 in New Zealand and because of the borders being closed, I don't have the opportunity to work. I am also recovering from a recent surgery.”

 

We provided relief to students with nowhere to turn…

 

“COVID-19 made me lose my job that awarded me a scholarship, which helps me pay for bills and food. This is my senior year and I have no money because I have spent it on things for COVID-19. My family usually helps me out but my father lost his job and my mother cannot provide for me. This money will help me feel secure and not have to stress as much during this already stressful time.”

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