Helping Hand for Students

The University of Rhode Island’s Student Philanthropy Council marked National Philanthropy Week in November with the launch of the Students First Fund, intended to provide financial assistance to students in times of crisis and unexpected hardship, such as an accident or illness, death of a family member, fire damage, or the need for temporary housing.

“Emergencies and unexpected events can create financial difficulties for students—difficulties that could affect them personally and academically. These funds can be the difference that allows a student to stay in school,” said URI Vice President of Student Affairs Tom Dougan.

The Student Philanthropy Council was created last year by the URI Foundation and is coordinated through the Foundation’s Annual Giving Office in collaboration with the Student Alumni Association. The Council is made up of about 20 students focused on making sure other students understand the impact of donations to the University.

“I think students sharing messages with other students is an effective way to get the word out,” said Council President Chip Redihan ’14. “Helping students realize that some of our classmates are facing hardship and then taking a small step to contribute toward providing them with help is a great way to connect the dots about fundraising and the impact it can have.”