The University of Redlands Employee Emergency Fund launched earlier this month is off to an auspicious start. The four-person review committee has already awarded 12 grants totaling approximately $10,000, providing support for employees whose households face urgent, unanticipated needs.
“We are being thoughtful and open-hearted in considering support of many difficult situations,” reflects one committee member, who noted that employees’ family situations are being taken into account during the application review as well. “Some of the requests involve employees whose spouses have lost their jobs, who are incurring additional emergency expenses for family members who are immunocompromised, or who have increased expenses associated with being quarantined at home. Some employees are parents needing help to secure technology so their children can access virtual learning at home.”
The application review is conducted through a “blind” process, in which the applicant names are not shared with the committee members during their selection.
In addition to hardships related to the COVID-19 pandemic and other qualified national disasters, the fund also provides assistance for employees affected by serious illness, injury, fire, flood, and other unexpected events.
Donations continue to come in
The Employee Emergency Fund, which was initiated by President Ralph W. Kuncl, continues to attract new donations, adding to the $25,000 leadership gift from Ralph and Nancy Kuncl; 100% participation from the President’s Cabinet; and generous support from members of the U of R Board of Trustees. To date, the fund has received more than $71,000 in gifts and pledges from more than 50 donors.
One recent gift was made by a group of nine individuals, mostly retired employees, who call themselves “Old Geezers.” With their combined tenure of nearly 300 years of service, they noted they “carry fond memories of their University years” and were prompted by Kuncl’s leadership “to chip in modestly with a ‘Geezer Gift’ in support of the Employee Emergency Fund.” Kuncl was so overwhelmed by this heartfelt gesture reaching across the generations that he matched the group’s gift as well.
Additional Employee Emergency Fund applications are being encouraged. U of R employees wishing to apply can do so by completing a short questionnaire. The committee continues to review applications on a rolling basis.
Tax-deductible gifts to the Employee Emergency Fund can be made online at www.redlands.edu/givenow or by calling the Office of Development at 909-748-8050. All gifts to the Employee Emergency Fund also support the University’s Forever Yours campaign.