Crisis knows no season. For as little as $5 per month, faculty and staff members can make a difference in the life of a co-worker in crisis by donating to the Faculty and Staff Emergency Fundat Illinois.
Over the past year, the fund provided about $30,000 in grants to employees experiencing temporary financial hardship. Since the fund’s inception in 1992, more than 1,000 academic professionals, faculty and staff members have been helped.
The fund covers, for instance, a staff member who is critically ill but doesn’t have enough accrued benefit time to cover an extended absence while still being able to buy groceries and pay the rent. It may help an employee who needs to leave a dangerous home environment but lacks the resources to secure independent housing and obtain specialized services.
Current faculty and staff members who have held a permanent, more than 50 percent position for the previous six months are eligible to apply for assistance. All contacts are confidential and assessments are free. Applications are screened by Faculty/Staff Assistance Services before being reviewed and approved by a volunteer committee.
Last year’s donations to the fund increased by 7 percent. To keep pace with assistance requests (grants issued during the same period increased by 22 percent), this year’s goal is to increase donations by 8 percent. Any gift, large or small, makes a difference. Employees can make a tax-deductible gift by payroll deduction, online credit card payment or personal check.