Blinn College Foundation raises more than $50,000 in emergency aid for Blinn students

Support from the Greater Texas Foundation, Alumni and Friends Association have helped the Foundation support Blinn students

October 22, 2021

The Blinn College Foundation has raised more than $50,000 to support Blinn College District students who have been impacted by the COVID-19 pandemic and other unforeseen crises.

The fund was initiated with a $15,000 grant from the Greater Texas Foundation. In addition to that grant, the Blinn College Alumni and Friends Association donated $7,500 and the Foundation raised another $7,500 in private donations through Brazos Valley Gives and other sources.

In fall 2021, the Greater Texas Foundation awarded an additional $15,000 grant that again was bolstered by a $7,500 donation from the Alumni and Friends Association and additional donations through Brazos Valley Gives and additional donors.

The Blinn College Foundation Emergency Fund exists to aid students in continuing forward progress on their post-secondary degree or certification without disruption by natural disasters, an unforeseen crisis, or an unexpected loss of income. Currently enrolled students may apply for grants of up to $500 to meet financial needs, including technology to participate in online learning and assistance with paying for rent, utilities, and food.

“With so many sources of income and support vanishing overnight, the Greater Texas Foundation jumped in with a big dose of help,” said Sam Sommer, Chair of the Blinn Foundation Board of Directors. “We are grateful to everyone involved in facilitating this grant.”

Blinn has dispersed more than $30,000 to support students.

“I’m a full-time student as well as a mother to a teenager,” wrote one student who was awarded financial support through the emergency fund. “My apartment complex will not work with me and I'm struggling to pay rent and provide for me and my child. I do not want to be homeless, let alone homeless with a child.”

The Bryan-based Greater Texas Foundation supports efforts across the state that increase the number of Texans who complete a certificate, associate degree, or bachelor’s degree. Its local fund is designated for organizations supporting postsecondary success for students in the Brazos Valley specifically.

“Although our work spans the entire state of Texas, we greatly appreciate the Bryan-College Station community, where Greater Texas Foundation was established and where we are headquartered today,” said Ralph Rushing, Board Chair for the Greater Texas Foundation. “We are grateful for the opportunity to support local students facing unexpected barriers to their education during this incredibly challenging time.”

Research by the Hope Center for College, Community, and Justice indicates many college students face financial instability even under normal circumstances. In a 2019 national survey conducted by the center, 39% of student respondents experienced food insecurity within the past month, and 46% experienced housing insecurity within the past year.

The pandemic exacerbated those difficulties. According to a survey by the Texas Association of Community Colleges, more than half of Texas community college students lost income or employment due to COVID-19, and 73% say they would have difficulty acquiring $500 in cash or credit in the next month.

Blinn students can apply for emergency aid at foundation.blinn.edu. Those interested in contributing to Blinn’s emergency aid fund may contact the Blinn College Foundation for more information.

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