Face coverings help protect the Pack from COVID-19, but thanks to a unique collaboration, NC State-branded ones are helping meet another need: bolstering the university’s Student Emergency Fund.
The Student Emergency Fund was established in 2018 through the Think and Do the Extraordinary Campaign to provide relief to students facing financial challenges that could hinder their education — for example, a health emergency, a natural disaster or food insecurity. This year, the coronavirus pandemic has increased the needs of many members of the Pack.
Continuing to Take Care of Our Pack
In response to the shift to online learning and the reduction of campus housing operations, students who previously received a grant through the Student Emergency Fund can apply for a second grant for up to $250.
More than 1,000 students had requested and received assistance from the fund by March 27, with that number only growing in the weeks and months since. Through Aug. 24, nearly 2,100 student grants totaling $981,907 and averaging $500 had been distributed.
Grants do not have to be paid back, ensuring that thousands of students can be helped during these challenging times. Still, the unprecedented conditions brought about by COVID-19 have made private donations to the Student Emergency Fund more important than ever.
Face coverings initially were also in short supply for students, faculty and staff, as well as the public at large. This led to a novel idea for combating the novel coronavirus: selling officially licensed NC State face coverings that also would raise money for the emergency fund.
Through a collaboration between NC State’s Office of Strategic Brand Management and Wolfpack Outfitters, the university worked to identify and officially license appropriate vendors to offer the branded masks starting in May. Available from Wolfpack Outfitters in packs of three, these reusable face coverings are made from antibacterial bamboo-fiber cotton on the inside and 100 percent polyester on the outside. Each 3-pack includes one black, one red and one white face covering.
This relief effort has already produced crucial dividends and promises even greater results in the future. Through Aug. 14, 14,000 packs of face coverings had been sold. The sale of each multipack of licensed face coverings purchased from Wolfpack Outfitters produces $5 for the Student Emergency Fund, putting the amount generated at $70,000 — so far.
“The response from the NC State community in support of our students in need has been outstanding,” said Assistant Vice Provost Mike Giancola. “The Student Emergency Fund has provided a rapid response for students who are in need of food, housing, technology and related financial challenges due to COVID-19. In many cases, this support has been the difference that has allowed students to continue their education during this uncertain time.”
Single face coverings featuring a brick motif with Tuffy are also now available. These individual offerings retail for $7.99 and generate $2 each for the Student Emergency Fund.
Additionally, 6% of the wholesale price of the face coverings sold by licensees to any retailer account will be donated to the fund. This trademark royalty component is expected to generate several thousand dollars in additional student support.
The good news doesn’t stop there, though, as face coverings are only part of the fundraising efforts for members of the Pack in need. To date, more than $1.26 million has been raised for the Student Emergency Fund through various means including direct gifts from more than 3,400 donors.
For more information about supporting the Student Emergency Fund, contact:
Executive Director for Development
Division of Academic and Student Affairs