Western CARES Fund making an immediate impact

Aerial photo of W Mountain

Western CARES Fund making an immediate impact

Story by Ann Johnston
Greg Smith
Photo by Apr 9, 2020

Supporting students during times of crisis remains paramount to Western Colorado University. In response to the COVID-19 pandemic, Western launched the Western CARES (Critical Aid Relief Emergency Support) Fund. This fund, formerly named the Student Emergency Relief Fund, helps Western students by providing financial support when they need assistance with unexpected emergency expenses surrounding situations such as accidents, illness, death of a family member, fire damage or need for temporary housing.

“We have seen an increase in requests since the pandemic hit our Western community,” said Gary Pierson, Dean of Students. “This fund is another way to show our students that we are here to support and care for them."

Many of the requests have been due to the students losing their restaurant or service jobs and need financial assistance. “Many of our students work in the service industry which has been hard hit by COVID-19. We’ve heard from students where both roommates have lost their job and simply need support to make ends meet. We’ve also heard from a student whose father tested positive for COVID-19, which greatly impacted their family’s immediate ability to support their education,” said Pierson.

In mid-March, the university sent out an email to alumni and friends encouraging their support for the Western CARES Fund. Western is grateful that many were able to generously support the effort. Knowing the need will continue, the Western Colorado University Foundation would greatly appreciate your assistance if you are in position to support our Western students - https://westernup.org/cares/