The Moraine Valley Foundation increased its student emergency budget by 400% for its new fiscal year. Deciding to increase emergency funds was prompted by the significant upsurge in students seeking this kind of assistance during the COVID-19 pandemic.

“We are proud we helped so many Moraine Valley Community College students during this challenging time. With funds provided by our generous donors, we gave emergency funds to students who had immediate financial needs that could have prevented them from completing their education,” said Kristy McGreal, executive director of the Moraine Valley Foundation. “From March, when the campus shut down until now, we’ve had approximately 40 applications for help. Last year, during that same time period, we only processed five.” The Foundation anticipates even more requests for assistance in the upcoming academic year.

The Moraine Valley Foundation provides emergency funds to students who have a specific financial need.

“The funds are not released directly to the student. They go to pay bills or purchase a necessary supply for the student to continue his or her education,” McGreal said. “For example, this year, we helped a single mom pay her rent when she lost her job. We paid the water bill for another student who was laid off. And one student, an Uber driver, whose main source of income came from driving people to the airport, lost most of his business with few people traveling. We paid his car payment.”

Lisa Carswell, an adult student pursuing her Addictions Studies A.A.S. degree, received emergency funds to help pay her mortgage when the in-home substance abuse intervention work she and her husband conducted came to a standstill due to COVID-19.

“We weren’t able to go out and perform our services because people didn’t want someone to come into their home. We had to lay people off. It was a very scary time,” Carswell said. When she received an email saying the Moraine Valley Foundation had money available to help students with immediate financial needs, Carswell applied. When she learned she would be receiving assistance to pay her mortgage, she was shocked and grateful. “My heart is full of appreciation that the Foundation made these funds available,” she said. “I know there are a lot of students who need help right now.”

The Foundation will continue to support students facing financial burdens.

“As students are planning to return to Moraine Valley in the fall, they may wonder how they’ll pay their bills when they also need to pay their tuition,” McGreal said. “We hope to help as many struggling students as we can.”

For information on donating to the Moraine Valley Foundation, contact McGreal at