The Albert and Mary Dick Charitable Trust recently made a second donation to the University of Houston-Victoria to help students experiencing sudden hardships that could prevent them from staying in school.

The $10,000 donation from the foundation, which provides support for various Victoria County causes and organizations, went to the UHV Student Emergency Fund.

The trust also donated $5,000 to the fund at the beginning of 2021.

“During the last year, this fund has been a lifeline for our students,” said Courtney Middleton-Sides, UHV senior director for corporate and foundation relations. “The trust has provided critical support for this fund, and we are able to help hundreds of students with urgent needs. We are extremely grateful for their gifts, and other gifts like this, so that UHV students can stay on track toward earning a life-changing college degree.”

The Student Emergency Fund was created in 2019 to help students with unforeseen emergency expenses that could cause them to drop out of UHV. Students must apply for assistance, and grants are for $300 or less. Students can apply for funds at any time during the semester.

The fund has been especially helpful for students during the 2020 and 2021 academic semesters, said Jay Lambert, UHV vice president for student affairs.

For the 2021 spring and summer semesters, 196 students applied for the Student Emergency Fund. Some personal emergency reasons listed on applications have included loss of wages because of unplanned illness, medical bills incurred from a medical emergency, and unplanned child care expenses because of the pandemic.

Recently, emergencies have included more COVID-19-related situations as well as emergency situations stemming from February’s winter storm. With unexpected situations such as the pandemic and extreme weather events, the fund has become even more critical, Lambert said.

“What the past year and more has taught us is that anything can happen at any time, and we cannot be more thankful for generous gifts like this that help our students,” Lambert said. “These funds help students stay enrolled to continue on their educational journey. The students then go on to make a difference in our communities.”

Community members, individuals, foundations and business owners who would like to donate to the Student Emergency Fund may contact Sides at 361-570-4354 or sidesc@uhv.edu.

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