The Moraine Valley Community College Foundation has given $25,000 in emergency funds to purchase textbooks for Moraine Valley students who could not afford them this semester. The fund was established by the Foundation after faculty members noticed many of their students were having trouble paying for their textbooks since the pandemic.

In the past, students could go to the college’s library to borrow textbooks for a few hours if they were unable to afford their own copies.

“With COVID-19, you can’t check out a textbook because you could pass on the virus to other students,” said Terra Jacobson, dean of the Learning Resource Center. Jacobson and other staff members approached the Foundation to see if it could provide money for students in need, and the Emergency Textbook Fund was established.

“We are proud to provide funding for students who are unable to afford their textbooks,” said Kristy McGreal, executive director of the Foundation. On top of the $25,000 the Foundation already has donated, it has committed to continue helping students during the winter session and spring semester. “Overall, we anticipate close to $55,000 in textbook costs by the end of the year,” McGreal said.

Freshman Alejandra De La Torre is paying most of her own college expenses, and she struggled to come up with the $700 needed to cover her textbooks. After learning about the Emergency Textbook Fund, she was relieved and appreciative. “It was such a help for me,” she said. “I feel like words aren’t enough to show how thankful I am.”

Jean Starnes, a business major and mother of three, worried about paying for her textbooks after COVID-19 caused her children’s father to be furloughed, and she became the family’s sole breadwinner.

“Our budget was stretched very thin. I wanted to go back to school, and the books are expensive. But I knew I couldn’t do it without my books. I even considered turning off my phone for a month to buy them,” Starnes said.

When she learned she qualified to receive textbook funds from the Moraine Valley Foundation, she cried. “I am extremely grateful for this program.”

For information about the Moraine Valley Foundation, contact McGreal, at