TUSCALOOSA, Ala. — A new fund for University of Alabama students facing need was recently established through the donation of a UA sorority chapter.
The Tide Together Student Support Fund provides assistance to UA students in need or crisis who are identified through the University’s Office of Student Care and Well-Being.
Funds may be used to purchase food, personal hygiene items, lodging, transportation, gift cards, groceries and other essentials for a student in need. It started when the executive board of the Delta Mu chapter of Delta Delta Delta set chapter goals for the year in January 2016.
“One of the goals we set was to be more involved in the University community and to find ways to be more helpful to the community we are a part of, aside from our philanthropy work with St. Jude,” said Busy Hopper, a senior accounting major and then chapter president of Delta Delta Delta.
Chapter adviser Jennie King, manager of educational resources in UA’s Career Center, learned there were students on campus who were having trouble paying bills or who did not have funds for purchasing sufficient food, and she shared that with the Tri Delta officers.
“That made us incredibly sad, and we sat down to figure out what could help the most,” Hopper said. “We wanted a long-term fix that would really help students.”
The leadership and members of Tri Delta donated $40,000 to UA to establish the new fund. The Tide Together Student Support Fund may also be used to provide support for parents or family members of UA students who have been hospitalized.
“We are hoping more organizations will begin to contribute and, in the long run, it will be so much more beneficial than just holding a one-time food drive,” Hopper said.
It is a gift that is sure to make a difference, said Dr. Stacy Jones, UA associate dean of students.
“This generous gift from the members of Delta Delta Delta is an extraordinary act of kindness that serves as a reminder that the members of the Capstone are inextricably ‘Tide Together’ in their quest to provide a source of support to their fellow students in their time of need,” she said.
Hopper and her fellow former Tri Delta officers can be proud of the legacy they have left behind.
“It’s so cool to say that the big goal we wrote down in January (2016), we’ve done it,” Hopper said. “We are so proud to say we’re not just helping our chapter or our philanthropy, but we are going to help the people who are around us.”
Students in need who wish to inquire about the fund should contact UA’s Office of Student Care and Well-Being at firstname.lastname@example.org or by phone at 205-348-2461. Individuals or groups who wish to donate to the fund should contact Debbie Vaughn, associate vice president for development, at email@example.com or by phone at 205-348-5414.
The University of Alabama, the state’s oldest and largest public institution of higher education, is a student-centered research university that draws the best and brightest to an academic community committed to providing a premier undergraduate and graduate education. UA is dedicated to achieving excellence in scholarship, collaboration and intellectual engagement; providing public outreach and service to the state of Alabama and the nation; and nurturing a campus environment that fosters collegiality, respect and inclusivity.