The University of Houston-Victoria has created a fund to help students who are facing hardship because of Hurricane Harvey.
“We knew some of our students would be severely affected, and we wanted to help them,” said Jesse Pisors, UHV vice president for advancement and external relations. “The university’s primary focus is always our students, and we want to be sure they have what they need to be successful at UHV.”
The UHV Relief Fund was launched on Sept. 5. The fund will offer small grants to individual students to replace lost or damaged items such as clothes, laptops, tablets, school supplies, books and more. Students can access the online application form by going to www.uhv.edu/alert and clicking the link in the Financial Aid section.
“The response to Hurricane Harvey has been immense both in the region and at the university,” UHV President Vic Morgan said. “As our communities rebuild, there are many wonderful nonprofits soliciting donations, and each one is doing good work. I hope community members will consider this fund as another option to support our students’ recovery.”
Applications will be reviewed by a committee overseen by Student Affairs with input from the university’s Financial Aid office.
“Students who have been affected by the hurricane may be eligible for more financial aid because of their unique circumstances,” Pisors said. “With that in mind, we wanted to make sure they have the opportunity to receive as much aid as possible in addition to what they already were receiving before the storm.”
Donations started coming in immediately after the fund was launched, and many of them came from UHV faculty and staff members. Some individuals and businesses have given more than $1,000 despite their own losses during the hurricane, Pisors said. All donations from UHV employees will be matched by the university.
“One of our long-term faculty members saw significant damage to his own home, but he still made a substantial gift to the fund,” Pisors said. “He told me that his own experience made him understand how difficult this is for his students and motivated him to help.”
The fund is intended to be a temporary, targeted relief effort in response to Harvey and any other hurricanes that may affect UHV students this year, Pisors said. Any money that is raised will be given out as soon as possible to students in need, and no funds will be retained.
“Every penny we raise will go directly toward helping our students replace necessary items,” Pisors said. “This is not a scholarship that will slowly accumulate funds over time. As soon as the money comes in, we will be looking for someone who needs it.”
To contribute to the fund, go to www.uhvconnect.org/donations and click on the UHV Relief Fund link or contact University Advancement at 361-570-4306. To learn more about the fund, contact Pisors at 361-570-4812 or firstname.lastname@example.org.