GivingTuesday Supports Students in Crisis

Two TMCC employees stand in a Wizard's Warehouse food pantry filled with canned meals, fruits, vegetables, and other donated items.
Kate Kirkpatrick

Imagine you are a TMCC student-athlete who has dreamed of playing soccer at the collegiate level for most of your life. Taking classes at TMCC allows you to reach your dreams; however, things are not easy, and college is not affordable. You grew up in a single-parent household and have helped with household expenses for as long as you’ve worked. You live an hour from campus, and your car’s engine suddenly isn’t working. What’s a dedicated student to do?

You’re in luck: the amazing community of donors, employees, and supporters at TMCC have created many resources to help you, including the Student Emergency Resource Fund and Wizard’s Warehouse, a campus food pantry.

And this GivingTuesday, a global day of generosity occurring on Nov. 28, the TMCC Foundation invites our generous community to support both of these initiatives.

When Disaster Strikes, Students Need Immediate Assistance

Here in northern Nevada, the economy has seen rising prices in every sector, and unfortunately, the cost of attending college also continues to grow. Many students continue to struggle with the high cost of living, so this year all GivingTuesday donations will benefit students directly through the Student Emergency Resource Fund (SERF), along with the Wizard’s Warehouse food pantries.

“The Emergency Fund assists enrolled students with an unplanned financial emergency in the current term that is impacting their ability to stay on track toward graduation,” explained Counseling Coordinator Katie Paul. “Emergency fund allocations are designed to help students avoid an interruption in their college studies due to an unforeseen emergency.”

“For most students, the SERF is the last option for monetary support and help getting through the semester,” Paul continued. “Without it, students may have to drop out of their classes, sometimes facing severe penalties from Financial Aid that would impact their return to school.”

The need is tremendous—since August 2023, the SERF has received 32 urgent requests. Last academic year, 37 students received support through the SERF before the fund had spent all available funds and had to turn students away. The goal for this year is to have funds available all year.

“We have many students between jobs and need rent help for one month before getting their first paycheck, for example. Without the SERF, they face possible eviction, thus interrupting their life, including school,” said Paul.

“Students are incredibly grateful and ecstatic for the support from the Emergency Fund; some students have shed tears from being so grateful. The SERF is often the last option for monetary support in a student's life; this support is most often life-changing,” Paul continued.

“Earlier this week, I called a student to let them know they received an Emergency Resource Fund scholarship,” added Lead Counselor Erin Frock. “They were so surprised and grateful they wouldn't let me get off the phone without telling me over and over again how grateful they were, how this was going to make such a big difference for them, how they could finish the semester without the added stress of being evicted from their place for not being able to make rent.”

And for the student-athlete whose engine needed repairing? They received $1000 to put toward the engine repair and continued to attend classes while competing on the soccer team.

In addition to the SERF, TMCC offers additional resources for students in crisis. On-campus food pantry Wizard’s Warehouse has served approximately 847 households thus far in 2023, showing the great need for assistance.

What Is Giving Tuesday?

After the excitement of Thanksgiving comes and goes, most people are familiar with Black Friday and the shopping frenzy of the upcoming holiday season. There’s also Small Business Saturday, Cyber Monday, and the most charitable day of the year: GivingTuesday.

The GivingTuesday website says: “GivingTuesday is a global generosity movement unleashing the power of radical generosity. GivingTuesday created a simple idea in 2012: a day encouraging people to do good. Since then, it has grown into a year-round global movement inspiring hundreds of millions to give, collaborate, and celebrate generosity.”

The TMCC Foundation requests your support of TMCC students as part of GivingTuesday, which is officially Nov. 28, but we invite you to give early.

“GivingTuesday is the perfect time to donate because it's toward the end of the Fall semester. Funds begin to dwindle as the year progresses, so having the extra support from GivingTuesday makes a huge difference in continuing to support students throughout the academic year,” said Paul.

Please make a gift today to the Student Emergency Resource Fund/Wizard’s Warehouse and share the link with your friends and family. No amount is too small, as our collective generosity makes a difference for struggling students.

For more information, please contact the TMCC Foundation.