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KPU community gives students helping hand through GivingTuesday charitable campaign

By Richmond Sentinel

Published 11:48 PST, Mon November 27, 2023

The Kwantlen Polytechnic University (KPU) Foundation is hopeful donors will once again help students reach their educational, career, and life goals on Nov. 28.

GivingTuesday, which follows the Black Friday shopping weekend, is a global philanthropic movement opening doors to a better future. At KPU, the 24-hour charitable campaign is designed to help students navigate financial challenges and help them achieve their educational goals. The focus this year is boosting emergency bursary funds and establishing a new emergency food security fund for students.

“Thanks to the overwhelming support from the KPU community, donations supporting students have totalled $369,000 since the campaign’s inception,” says Randall Heidt, chief executive officer of the KPU Foundation, which administers the campaign. “We want donors to know their gifts matter. They are building community and inspiring hope for a bright future in so many students.”

Easing the financial strain of the current economic environment is a particular focus of this year’s GivingTuesday, the university’s fourth such fundraising campaign.

“The rising cost of food is a real issue for everyone, but students are particularly impacted. We don’t want students to be forced to choose between paying rent and buying groceries. The new KPU Student Food Security Fund is an incredible example of how our university community takes care of each other,” says Heidt.

Donors to KPU’s online GivingTuesday campaign choose where their contributions go, such as the Emergency Bursary Fund, which allows the KPU Foundation to provide immediate relief for students facing sudden financial crises.

The campaign also encourages university faculty, staff, board members, and alumni to create their own awards to make a direct and personalized impact on students’ lives.

That’s something KPU instructors Dr. Candy Ho and John Grant have pledged to do. With matching funds from the KPU Foundation, the married couple is establishing a $20,000 endowment fund that will award $1,000 annually to a student experiencing financial hardship who is a single parent, or grew up in a single-parent household.

“We are in a really privileged position to give and honour our family members who have trailblazed and made things easier for us,” says Ho.

“Education is what is going to solve a lot of the issues in the world today,” adds Grant. “The more educated we become as a society, hopefully the more understanding we will become accordingly. We see this as a very small part that we can play in helping expand opportunities for students and reduce some of that financial strain.”

For more information on GivingTuesday at KPU, visit the KPU Foundation website.

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