April 15, 2020 | Nancy Patterson | Internal Press Release
Chattanooga State Community College recently launched a Helping Hands Fund Campaign to support Chattanooga State students and their families impacted by the pandemic and tornadoes. The goal is to quickly help students affected financially. The Student Support Center at Chattanooga State provides one-on-one counseling services to help direct students experiencing a crisis to community resources and financial assistance.
“If you have an opportunity to pay it forward during these unexpected times, we need your help,” says Julie Cook Davis, President of the Chattanooga State Alumni Association Board of Directors. “We are seeing a growing need of student requests for emergency assistance.”
Since March 19, the Student Support Center has served 476 students in need including 72 requests for Helping Hands and food. In addition, as classes shifted to online only, the College has loaned 102 digital devices or WiFi hotspots to students, including 32 loaned-devices from Tech Goes Home.
Established in 2018 by a donor who understood the impact of poverty and living paycheck to paycheck, the Chattanooga State Foundation’s Helping Hands Fund is meeting urgent and unexpected needs of students:
-An allied health student about to graduate in May has a family of five, a broken-down car, and faced unemployment due to COVID. She will be lifted out of poverty once she graduates and starts her new job. The Helping Hands Fund is her safety net.
-Another student and his wife recently became unemployed—as a result of social distancing. Their rent was behind because they didn’t have income, and to make matters worse, his wife was headed to the ER for suspected COVID-19. In addition to help with rent from the Helping Hands Fund, this student and his family have been referred to a local nonprofit community partner for additional assistance.
-A stay-at-home mother who is going to Chattanooga State full-time requested help with a late utility bill that would have disconnected the service to her home, preventing her from staying in school and on track to graduate. Her husband's hours had recently been cut back, impacting their ability to pay bills on time.
Chattanooga State will participate in the new global giving day, #GivingTuesdayNow, on Tuesday, May 5 with the Helping Hands Fund as the beneficiary. “The needs are urgent and growing so if you are among those in a position to help Chattanooga State students who are struggling to stay in school and graduate from the impact of the virus or tornadoes, your support now will be greatly appreciated,” says Reggie Piercy, Chattanooga State Foundation board member and chair of the Advancement Committee.
To get help for a Chattanooga State student or to give help to a student, please visit chattanoogastate.edu/HH.