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DeSales Emergency Relief Fund Provides Support for Students Amid Pandemic

by Janelle Hill Apr 15, 2020

DeSales University is launching a new philanthropic initiative to stand in solidarity with students during this unprecedented time. 

The University has established the DeSales Emergency Relief Fund to help undergraduate, graduate, and professional students navigate financial hardships caused by the COVID-19 crisis. 

“Consistent with St. Francis de Sales’ commitment to Christian humanism, we at DeSales are called—with all our sisters and brothers—to be one and to enter into the shared experience of humanity’s ‘joys and hopes and the griefs and anxieties,’” says Father James Greenfield, OSFS ’84, president of DeSales, as he quoted Gaudium et Spes, the Second Vatican Council’s pastoral constitution on the Church.

“This time of mandated social distancing is really a time of social solidarity, for we are separating—temporarily—so that we can heal and eventually return to a safe embrace of all that makes us human, offering care and compassion to one another.”  

 Father James Greenfield, OSFS ’84, President of DeSales

The fund will address a variety of needs, including temporary housing, food insecurity, lost summer employment and internship opportunities, and more. Cheryl Murphy, the new vice president for institutional advancement, helped to spearhead the effort. 

Murphy just started in her new role on April 1, but she hit the ground running, reaching out to members of the president’s cabinet and finding a way to help those hardest hit by the crisis. Members of the cabinet supported the idea across the board.

“The goal is to raise flexible dollars to address the unexpected financial needs of returning students—things that are above and beyond their financial aid package,” Murphy says. “These financial implications are going to mean the difference between students returning and not being able to return to campus.”

To raise your hand and make a donation, visit the DeSales Emergency Relief Fund page