UC Riverside has started a crowdfunding campaign for a program providing financial assistance to employees facing hardship due to the coronavirus pandemic.
The campaign, organized by the Office of Annual Giving, has a fundraising goal of $100,000 for the Employee Emergency Fund, and has met more than half its goal with almost $58,000 raised so far.
The Employee Emergency Fund was created in September with an opening balance of $300,000.
“If you can find a way to help us reach that $100,000 goal and make a difference in the lives of so many here at UCR, I’d be personally appreciative, and I know it would mean so much to our colleagues in need,” Chancellor Kim A. Wilcox said.
The fund provides grants of up to $1,000 to help cover unexpected expenses for staff members working half-time or more, including those on temporary layoff status. Employees with a total base salary of $75,000 or less, continuously employed by UCR for six months or longer, and facing temporary financial hardships are eligible.
Funds may be used to meet housing, utility, medical, transportation, child, and adult care expenses. As qualified disaster relief payments, the grants are exempt from federal taxation.
Since its launch, the fund has awarded $336,208 to 345 employees as of early January.
The campus began accepting donations when the program was launched and started the crowdfunding campaign as a way to continue the program and aid as many employees as possible, said Crystal Sankey, director of annual giving.
Campus leaders hope to continue the program as long as a federal disaster declaration remains in place and funds are available.