$130K Granted through Emergency Fund
The global pandemic of Novel Coronavirus (COVID-19) has been a massive disruption to every individual at International House NY, yet the response of our community in support of Residents in particular has been a bright spot during a dark time.
As New York City emerged to become the epicenter of the global pandemic, Residents saw their plans disintegrate and their friends disperse. From near and far, I-House community members–Alumni, Board Members, and friends–immediately expressed their concern and turned to the House asking, “What can we do to help?”
The House has long kept an Emergency Fund at the ready to meet emergent crises, but never had so many been in need at once. Through an extraordinarily successful appeal for the Emergency Fund, International House Alumni and more donors have helped address the need to support Residents with their transitions.
“The global scale of this response has been particularly moving to see,” said Julie Pape, Assistant Director of Alumni Relations. “Every gift coming in represented another corner of the globe, with over 24 countries represented and 150 donors spanning the decades of our community.” This speedy mobilization represents one of the most successful fundraising initiatives at International House in recent years.
Pape remarks, “We always talk about how our Alumni Community is International House’s greatest asset, and I hope this has shown Residents the wonderful community they can count on, now and for the rest of their lives.”
Over $130,000 of grants were made on a rolling basis by Director of Admissions Megan Amouzou and her team. Normally tasked with recruiting, selecting Residents, and distributing financial aid, this office quickly pivoted to connecting those in need with the Emergency Fund.
Amouzou reflects, “It was such a fast moving situation; every time I began to worry that the fund would run out with so many requests unanswered, we would receive word that more Alumni had come in with their support.”
The sustained generosity of Alumni through the most acute phase of this crisis allowed Amouzou and her team to continue granting aid our Residents through their time of greatest need. Need-based grants of various amounts were distributed to reimburse or pay for requests that mostly focused on removing financial obstacles to choices that prioritized health and safety. The primary objective was to help residents who relocated due to the closure of the South Building and assist those who were unable to safely undertake a move due to unanticipated expenses. The funds were disbursed with care and unprecedented speed by the Bursar Services team, led by Anita Pai.
Many of the donations came in with messages of solidarity and support, and those who could not contribute took the time to spend special messages of encouragement to Residents. Those messages were shared with Residents, with many posted to I-House’s Instagram account.
As Residents of the 2019-2020 academic year continue to settle in, we may learn more about the impact these funds had, the anxieties that were eased and the safe choices that were enabled, but even in their time of turmoil, recipients of Emergency Fund grants took the time to share their gratitude.
Said one relocated resident from Panama, “Thank you for all the work you are doing to help us. Earlier today I received a call from a staff member in your team to confirm some information. The amount of support you are all providing us is beyond words.”
The Emergency Fund has now been returned to a reserve status, at the ready to meet future needs. International House now turns attention to how we will prepare and maintain the House for a welcoming future, and provide a meaningful intercultural experience when it is once again safe to resume operations.
Gifts for the COVID-19 Emergency Fund came in from 24 countries (listed below), a testament to the truly global reach of our Alumni network. Our community is deeply appreciative to our Alumni and friends for carrying the light, and supporting Residents in their time of need.
- New Zealand
- South Africa
- United Arab Emirates
- United Kingdom
- United States