Alumni community stands by students during the coronavirus crisis
UNSW alumni have donated over $45,000 and shared heartfelt messages to support students facing hardship during COVID-19.
Last month, UNSW staff and students ran a global telephone appeal to connect with UNSW alumni to raise much needed support for the Student Emergency Response Fund (SERF). With close to 1,000 calls made across Australia, Hong Kong and the United States, the alumni telephone appeal attracted over $45,000 in donations, along with some heart-warming messages for students doing it tough.
Messages from our alumni supporters
A Social Work alumna expressed how fond she was of her time at UNSW, in spite of limited financial support at the time. With only $4 a week to live on, she could identify with the predicament of many current students and supported SERF with a $100 gift.
An alumnus and longstanding supporter of our award-winning student outreach program, ASPIRE, was sympathetic to the current situation for students and contributed $250 to SERF. He mentioned that our annual calls put life into perspective for him, and keep him grounded.
A regular supporter of the President and Vice Chancellor’s Equity Scholarship was especially pleased to find out that international students were eligible to receive support at this challenging time, gifting a further $100 to SERF in addition to his regular scholarship donations.
SERF was established by UNSW as part of a two-part action plan to change the course of COVID-19. Through this fund, eligible students may receive $200 supermarket e-vouchers, $500 emergency support grants for those experiencing disadvantage, or grants of up to $2,000 for those with complex needs such as housing issues, disability or carer requirements.
As the grants roll out, students are beginning to feel some relief. Third-year international Law and Science student, Kyra, received $2,000 from SERF. “I was so relieved. It helped me pay rent, buy food and allowed me to commit to hobbies to keep me busy during isolation,” she says. “I also have some money left over to get a flight home to support my family if needed.”
How you can help
By contributing to SERF, you will enable us to provide critical financial assistance to more than 9,000 UNSW students facing financial hardship as a result of COVID-19. This support will help students meet their basic needs, and ensure that they remain part of the UNSW academic community.