FSU launches COVID-19 relief effort to help students

Florida State University officials have launched an emergency fundraising effort aimed at helping students struggling due to financial fallout from the COVID-19 pandemic.

The FSU Foundation, the university’s academic fundraising arm, unveiled two emergency funds that are accepting donations — one addressing the needs of those affiliated with FSU in Tallahassee, the other for those from FSU Panama City.

All funds will go to FSU students and will cover a variety of needs from medical bills, rent, living expenses and technology to help distance learning.

The Foundation has launched a webpage, foundation.fsu.edu/emergency, where visitors can pick a fund and send their donation. The effort mirrors the one initiated by FSU in the wake of Hurricane Michael which allowed donors to contribute online and raised more than $150,000.

In an email to the university community, FSU President John Thrasher called for a similar response and said FSU needed to move quickly to help support those in need.

“These student emergency funds were created to quickly address a variety of our students’ needs — from food insecurity and medical bills to technology and housing assistance,” he said.

Officials also announced that proceeds raised from this year’s edition of FSU’s Great Give, which is postponed until April 7, will be used to support the student emergency funds.

Funds will be distributed as needed and financial support is identified.

“Donations to these funds will have an immediate impact,” said Tom Jennings, vice president for University Advancement and president of the FSU Foundation. “Even though our student community is physically spread far and wide, we are dedicated to doing everything possible to ensure they can succeed in this time of crisis.”

Thrasher also reminded people to visit the university food pantry Amazon Wish List to see which items are in greatest demand.

Gifts can be made online using credit card, debit card or PayPal at https://give.fsu.edu/studentemergency for the Tallahassee campus student emergency fund or https://give.fsu.edu/pcstudents for the Panama City campus student emergency fund.

Gifts may also be made via check payable to the FSU Foundation. Reference Fund F08909 for the Tallahassee campus or Fund F08686 for the Panama City campus.