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#GivingTuesdayNow – global day of giving and unity

By University Advancement and Communications Posted: May 5, 2020 6:00 a.m.

Londa Rose Pyne, fourth-year student in the Bachelor of Indigenous Social Work program at First Nations University of Canada (Saskatoon campus) was relieved  that the U of R provides such support to students when they need it most.
Londa Rose Pyne, fourth-year student in the Bachelor of Indigenous Social Work program at First Nations University of Canada (Saskatoon campus) was relieved that the U of R provides such support to students when they need it most. Photo: Londa Rose Pyne

Canadians know how to rally around a good cause. Last December, in just one 24-hour period, Canadians raised $21.9 million to help scores of Canadian charities, including the University of Regina, during the 7th annual Giving Tuesday event. 

A special #GivingTuesdayNow, a global day of giving and unity is taking place today, as an emergency response to COVID-19. The University of Regina is encouraging all Canadians to demonstrate the power of generosity to help our students. 

The COVID-19 pandemic, has had a significant negative financial impact on many students who have either lost employment, or been unable to find summer employment, due to restrictions implemented to prevent the spread of the disease. 

“The University of Regina Student Emergency Fund is a lifeline for students being hit particularly hard by the economic impacts of COVID-19,” said Lisa Mitchell, Associate Vice-President Advancement & Communications with the University of Regina. “While caring donors have risen to the challenge, the number of applications for the Student Emergency Fund continues to grow each day. Many of these students are in desperate financial need but with your generosity on Giving Tuesday Now, we will be able to help them make ends meet and continue their education.” 

Every May, the University’s annual Prairie Kitchen Party has raised these funds for the Student Emergency Fund. This year, the fundraiser was cancelled due to COVID-19. 

In recent years, the University of Regina has distributed about $90,000 of emergency financial aid annually. This year we surpassed this amount by $200,000 in the four weeks of April and continue to work through 400 applications still to be processed. This is unparalleled. The need will continue into the foreseeable future.

One donor that has stepped in to assist students when they need it most is Redhead Equipment - turning what would have been their Prairie Kitchen Party sponsorship into a generous donation to Student Emergency Fund.

"We're all struggling with the impact of COVID-19, but supporting our future leaders - in business, education, health care, engineering, sport - is so incredibly important at this time. Being part of keeping student dreams alive is invaluable and supporting our community is integral to who we are at Redhead Equipment," says Gary L. Redhead.

Michelle
Michelle Intarakosit, a third-year
nursing student, is one of the
many grateful University of Regina
beneficiaries of Student Emergency
Funding. Photo:Michelle Intarakosit

Third-year nursing student Michelle Intarakosit was expecting increased hours at the care home she works at over the summer, but as a result of COVID-19, she can no longer rely on the job as a steady source of income for her family. To help make ends meet Michelle decided to apply to the U of R Student Emergency Fund. Her application was approved and she has received financial assistance just when she needed it most. 

“It was such a relief. It’s exactly the help I need right now,” said Michelle. “As a student, it feels so great to receive this type of support from your own University. So many other students are in a similar situation to me and having the Student Emergency Fund available to those who need it most is crucial.” 

Receiving the U of R Student Emergency Funding was also a huge relief for fourth-year student Londa Rose Pyne in the Bachelor of Indigenous Social Work program at First Nations University of Canada. “I’ve been working at a full-time 40-hour a week unpaid practicum and taking an overload course, with time left for just one paid shift a month to make ends meet. But then when my car needed repairs, things got pretty desperate,” said Pyne. 

“I was filled with joy. It helps me realize that I do have a support system. With all the hard work that I’m putting into my degree, I don’t have the people around to support me or keep me going or tell me that I’m doing a good job or anything like that, so it makes me feel that I’m on a good path and that the University is a good support system for their students.” 

Many students who previously did not qualify for the Canadian Emergency Response Benefit will now be eligible for funding through the Canada Emergency Student Benefit and Canada Student Service Grant announced on April 22. Although the funding will provide welcome relief, those programs have yet to be launched. Many students have already been out of work for months with no source of income and require financial support beyond what is currently being offered. Previous months’ bills still need to be paid and living expenses continue to mount. 

All gifts to the U of R’s Student Emergency Fund – no matter their size – will be welcome lifelines to students like Michelle, Londa, and so many of our 16,000+ domestic and international students.  With the number of applications rising each day, the Student Emergency Fund is running dangerously low. 

The need is great. Consider giving to the Student Emergency Fund today , #GivingTuesdayNow – a global day of giving and unity.

Donate now!

Check out #UofReginaCares for more stories about U of R students, alumni, faculty, and staff who are using their ingenuity, resolve, and hearts to care for our community during these challenging times. 

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