‘Bucs Help Bucs’ initiative generating crisis relief for ETSU community

Published 12:49 pm Sunday, April 12, 2020

JOHNSON CITY – In times of challenge and adversity, the East Tennessee State University family unites to serve the Appalachian Highlands and support one another.
In other words, “Bucs Help Bucs.”
ETSU launched this new initiative to assist students facing extraordinary circumstances caused by the COVID-19 pandemic. Following spring break, all courses went completely online and most students moved out of campus housing. With safer at home orders in place, many students are confronting job loss, family financial hardships all while continuing to progress in their courses.
“The need for mental health support is great. When we left campus to enjoy Spring Break, we didn’t know how quickly our lives would be turned upside down,” said Aamir Shaikh, president of the Student Government Association. “Some of our students are challenged by food insecurity now that they have lost their jobs or no longer have access to meals on campus.”
Bucs Help Bucs supporters may give to any of the identified relief areas:
· Student/Staff Emergency Funds – Serves all ETSU students and staff by providing financial assistance to those who experience an unexpected loss or hardship affecting their ability to remain at ETSU.  The funds may assist with travel, housing needs, food insecurity and other issues as determined by the ETSU CARE Team (for students) and the director of Human Resources (for staff).
·  Bucky’s Food Pantry – Provides food and basic needs for those facing food insecurity and hunger on the ETSU campus.
· ETSU Counseling Center – Provides a variety of services, including 24-hour counseling (in-person or electronic), access to psychiatric services, and tools and resources to help students return to school.
· Other – Supporters may also donate to a specific ETSU area.
Gifts can be made online at etsu.edu/bucs-help-bucs. ETSU faculty and staff may choose to make a payroll deduction.
“Since the onset of this health crisis, many members of our Buccaneer family have already reached out to ask how they could help during this time of uncertainty and hardship for our students,” said Pam Ritter, vice president for University Advancement. “The Bucs Help Bucs initiative is focused on providing financial support in the areas of highest need that will make the greatest impact.”
Since the onset of the coronavirus outbreak, the health and safety of the ETSU community has been President Brian Noland’s top priority.
“Over the course of the last month, many local and state leaders have encountered tough decisions while knowing that members of our campus community, our region and our state would experience financial consequences in order to slow the spread and flatten the curve of COVID-19 cases,” he said. “As an ETSU family we can overcome this temporary challenge and rise together stronger as a campus and as a region.”

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