Managers of the Faculty/Staff Emergency Fund say there are more campus emergencies than money this year - and that help is needed to replenish the fund.
Supported exclusively by employee donations, the fund can be accessed by employees facing a temporary financial crisis. The fund has served more than 1,000 U. of I. families since it was started in 1992.
"The fund exists only because employees on this campus have donated to help other employees," said Kathy Seybert, a member of the Faculty/Staff Emergency Fund committee and the director of human resources at the College of Agricultural, Consumer and Environmental Sciences.
To be eligible, an employee must have at least a 50 percent appointment and must have been at the university for at least six months. Applications are kept confidential and brought before a volunteer committee for approval. The Faculty/Staff Assistance Program administers the fund.
Typical grant disbursements are used for filling a gap prior to the receipt of a first disability check; lodging expenses for families displaced by flood or other natural disaster; and financial assistance with payments for health insurance, day care, utilities, and rent or mortgage payments.
For example, an employee last year used an emergency fund grant for a mortgage payment to allow her flexibility in extend ing maternity leave time to care for a newborn with health complications.
The annual goal for the fund is $50,000, though just $30,000 was raised last year, leading to this spring's heightened plea to replenish it.
"This year, the fund is operating in deficit," Seybert said. "There are more needs than there are funds to cover those needs, so this fund drive is important."
Contributions to the fund, which are tax deductible, can be made through payroll deduction, credit card or personal check. Payroll deduction is the preferred method to ensure a continuing level of campus support. All of the money donated goes directly to the fund. RESOURCES