UMKC’s Student Government Association (SGA) has injected over $20,000 into the Student Emergency Relief Fund for students to utilize during the COVID-19 pandemic. The fund gives small sums of money to students who are in a financial emergency.
$20,000 was donated directly into the fund, while $4,500 went to the Kangaroo Pantry, SGA President Justice Horn said.
“I got a number of our donors to donate, and I personally raised $10,000 to go directly to that fund,” Horn said.
Business shutdowns and record unemployment have led to an economic recession and serious financial hardship for students.
“Students are struggling to cover unexpected expenses related to returning home, food, housing, access to technology and other unplanned and unbudgeted circumstances,” Horn said. “This fund was set up to help those who were directly impacted by COVID-19.”
SGA President Pro Tempore Gabriella Stanley estimates that there is around $800,000 available.
“Students can visit the financial aid office website to apply for funds,” Stanley said. “There are options for temporary loans as well as a one-time scholarship awarded based on need.”
“SGA leadership came up with the idea and worked with our advisor to come up with the best way to complete the plan,” Stanley said. “That ended up being through the UMKC Foundation and the financial aid office.”
Money is awarded based on student need and is available after other scholarship options have been exhausted.
Along with the donation from the SGA, student leadership has started an online campaign to raise more money for the emergency fund.
“I’m working closely with the university to make sure that our main focus is fundraising as much as we can and turning around and giving that to those who need help immediately,” Horn said.
Horn and Stanley are certain the fund is being utilized extensively by students.
“I am very confident that the fund is being used,” Stanley said. “I am lucky enough to have a job, but if I were not, I would definitely use it. I hope those who are struggling are getting help through this resource.”