Campus News

January 25, 2010

Hardship fund supports employees

A fund to help Emory employees experiencing financial hardship will be rolling out in mid-February.

The Emory University Hardship Fund, championed and shepherded by the Employee Council, Human Resources and the Faculty Staff Assistance Program, is gearing up to accept contributions.

Before opening the program to applications, the goal is to raise $15,000 to ensure sufficient resources, according to Human Resources Associate Director of WorkLife & Compensation John Kosky. Once that has been reached, the fund will open for applications.

All regular full-time and part-time faculty and staff are eligible to apply for help from this community fund, for an extreme hardship related to a catastrophic event or emergency hardship beyond someone’s control and that threatens the ability to meet basic living expenses. Funding will come exclusively from voluntary charitable donations.

“Given the generosity of our faculty and staff, we know it won’t be long before we will be able to start making grants to those in need,” says Theresa Milazzo, associate vice president of human resources.

Anyone can donate. Beginning in mid-February faculty and staff can contribute either online or through payroll deduction while others, including students and community members, can contribute online via credit card or direct bill.

In the works for several years, the fund’s establishment gained momentum last year when Matt Engelhardt, then-president of the Employee Council, took it on as an action item during his 2008-2009 term. Milazzo and FSAP Director Paula Gomes created a working group, led by Kosky, to set up the fund and research how other universities and institutions implemented the concept and to explore the legal implications.

“I’m so pleased that Employee Council members have helped make the creation of this fund a reality,” says Engelhardt, noting that a similar fund has been in place at Emory Healthcare for several years.

Kosky will manage the Hardship Fund Program through the WorkLife Resource Center. The fund has University Cabinet approval.

“We are now in the process of finalizing details,” says Human Resources Director of Communications Katherine Hinson, noting that a Web site is expected to be up early-February. The Web site will provide details on the fund, how to contribute, how to apply and its policies.

Adds Milazzo, “It’s such a great way for faculty and staff to be able to help others in the Emory community who experience a financial hardship, while respecting their privacy.”

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