Care in the time of COVID-19

Their daughter Jill* had just come home to complete her senior year at LMU online as a result of mandates from the CDC, the state of California, and the city of Los Angeles to protect students’ health and those around them. Family questions about remaining rent payments quickly turned into discussions about Jill’s college friends, some of whom were working multiple jobs, including a restaurant that undoubtedly would be shutting down. Jill and her family knew that income for many of her classmates would come to a sudden halt.

“One of the things that Jill loved about LMU has been that she’s met kids from across all socioeconomic backgrounds, including many who are the first in their family to go to college,” said Jill’s mother. “We knew that there must be kids who were paying their own rent and would be losing jobs, and we wanted to do something to help.”

Jill’s positive experience as a student in the LMU Bellarmine College of Liberal Arts (BCLA) turned the family’s attention to the relief efforts budgeted for the BCLA Dean’s Discretionary Fund, which allows professors to recommend funding support for students whom they know are in need. Jill’s strong connection with her BCLA professors confirmed that the best way to help students would be through the family’s Donor Advised Fund (DAF) directed for the Dean’s Discretionary Fund to be used for COVID-19 relief with a preference for minority students.

 “My husband had work-study at Louisiana State University and as result, they didn’t have meal plans on the weekends. However, on occasion, his roommate who worked at Burger King would bring them each home a Whopper for dinner. To this day, he remembers what a treat that tasted like,” her mother explained. “We wouldn’t want anyone to lack any basic need such as a meal during these challenging times. We’re very fortunate to be able to send our daughters to school and provide for them. We want to make sure that someone else can keep up their education, pay their rent, or have money for a laptop if they need it.”

 “We’ve had our DAF set up for a few years, but haven’t used it much,” her mother said. “Giving through this vehicle could not have been easier.”

The family celebrated Jill’s graduation in a socially distant backyard family-only ceremony. “She’s really proud of having graduated from LMU,” said her mother. “Especially over the last two years, she’s developed a very strong connection to her professors. She was very impressed that they kept their personal touch even through all of the online classes. Even after graduation, she continued to receive lovely notes that she will treasure for years to come”

Learn more about giving to LMU through a Donor Advised Fund by visiting here.

*Names have been changed at the request of the donors.