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Scenes from The University of Rhode Island

Raising awareness about URI’s Students First Fund – students helping students

Media Contact: Ericka Tavares, 401-874-2935

KINGSTON, R.I., Nov. 13, 2013 - The University of Rhode Island’s Student Philanthropy Council will be marking National Philanthropy Week (Nov. 11-15, 2013) by rallying fellow students to increase awareness and raise support for URI’s new Students First Fund. The newly established fund will provide financial assistance to students in times of crisis and unexpected hardship.

"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 Fund would assist students with expenses surrounding situations such as an accident, illness, death of a family member, fire damage, or the need for temporary housing. Tuition-related expenses would not be included.

The students of the Student Philanthropy Council will celebrate National Philanthropy Week by engaging fellow students at a booth in the Memorial Union daily from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. They will share information on the new fund and will try to make the connection to the importance of philanthropy by asking students to donate one dollar to support the Students First Fund as part of the Council’s “Banding Together- Students Supporting Students” campaign.

The Council was created last year and is made up of 20 students. Its main focus is to make sure other students understand the impact of donations to the University, which contribute to everything from scholarships and experiential learning opportunities to faculty support and building improvements from which all students benefit.

“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.”

The URI Student Philanthropy Council was established by the URI Foundation and is coordinated through the Foundation’s Annual Giving Office in collaboration with the Student Alumni Association.