Thank You! – and Some Updates

From the bottom of our hearts, THANK YOU!!!

We are amazed and humbled by the outpouring of support that we’ve seen in the past few days from the WMU community. In under a week, you have contributed over $20,000 to support our affected employees and students! However, the assistance requests we’ve received far outpace our fundraising. We encourage you to continue to give, as needs will only continue to grow.

We want to be transparent with our donors and the entire community, so today we wanted to provide you an update on key decisions that we’ve made in how we can provide immediate help to as many affected employees and students as possible.

In coordination with other community organizations throughout Kalamazoo, we have made some key decisions regarding what needs we can support. In reviewing other available community resources, it appears that the most effective way we can help right now is to provide utility bill relief of up to $100 per applicant, as well as urgent medication costs and other needs on a case-by-case basis. A full description of our current support priorities and other available community resources can be found here. Please note that our support priorities may change over time as available resources and other programs change, and as continued donations allow.

Additionally, we have established and documented our application and award process, which can be found here. This process was established after three teams of four reviewers – a faculty member, staff member, current student, and alumni – reviewed a set of applications and provided comments that helped us take careful steps to ensure a fair process as well as compliance with relevant IRS regulations. While our ability to provide funding remains limited, we will still be collecting full descriptions of need from applicants. This will permit us to direct them to additional available resources and share trends with our community partners to ensure that needs are addressed to the greatest extent possible.

Again, your generosity has blown us away.

Thank you,

The Board of the Solidarity Fund for WMU Employees and Students

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