HCCEF Creates the COVID-19 Response Fund
As Howard Community College transitioned to remote teaching and services this spring as a result of the coronavirus, the Howard Community College Educational Foundation, Inc. (HCCEF) was ready to help.
Working with college leaders and the financial aid office, HCCEF quickly pulled together more than $60,000 for students in need of technology, food, and other emergency assistance thanks to unrestricted funds and dedicated donors lending their support.
“With the move to remote teaching and services, some of our students’ needs are even greater now than when they were on campus,” said Missy Mattey, HCCEF’s executive director. “As we all struggle to learn how to live within our new reality, students who normally work to pay for school and daily living expenses may not be able to under the current conditions. Furloughs, layoffs, and uncertainty have now put them at risk for financial insecurity, and even some with food insecurity.”
HCCEF created several funds to help. The COVID-19 Response Fund provides aid so students can purchase technology to participate in courses online. It also helps students pay for courses if their current financial aid does not cover costs.
“Many of our students that just did not have the technology needed to continue to successfully complete their classes at home,” said Tamika Bybee, HCC director of financial aid services. “That could be anything from not having a laptop, not having a printer or not having internet service because they can’t afford it.”
Through the COVID-19 Response Fund, nearly 40 students received $750 each for their technology needs, Bybee said.
The HCCEF COVID-19 Response Helping Hands Fund allows students to receive assistance with food purchases since they can no longer access HCC’s on-campus food pantry or participate in the food voucher program through the cafeteria.
“We have a large population of students reaching out for help with food,” Bybee said. “This pandemic has only exacerbated the problem.”
The COVID-19 Response Helping Hands Fund also provides money for unforeseen daily living costs like increased bills for additional data coverage, car repairs and transportation.
This spring, HCC is also scheduled to receive more than $4 million through the Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security (CARES) Act. About half of that money will be available for emergency assistance for students.
“I think we will see an increased request for need the longer we are in the pandemic,” Mattey said. “As more people lose their jobs or their businesses, the fall semester may see a greater need for scholarship money and emergency needs for food and bill assistance.”
Still, Mattey is confident HCCEF and its generous supporters will be there for students in their time of need.
“With our community’s support, no student will be forced to choose between their education and their daily needs,” she said.
For more information about any of HCCEF’s programs, please contact a staff member at firstname.lastname@example.org or 443-518-1970.