Fundraising is now underway to help Vancouver Island University students who end up in financial difficulty during the COVID-19 pandemic.

The VIU Student Union donated 75-thousand dollars, which is being matched by the VIU Foundation, to establish a planned 250-thousand dollar fund to pay for Emergency Student Bursaries.

The bursaries will help students pay for the basic necessities for living so they can continue their studies.

Student Union chairperson Anouk Borris says they hope community members will donate if they are able to.

Borris says “it’s uncertain times for everyone,” but we hope the VIU Student Union donation will encourage others to join them in supporting students.”

William Litchfield, Executive Director of the VIU Foundation, says that many students “have the added burden of dealing with unbudgeted housing, healthcare and daycare costs.”

Students are dealing with reduced hours of work, or no employment, finding daycare and keeping themselves and their families safe and healthy with limited resources.

VIU has launched a new crowdfunding platform called AIM Together to raise money to help students in need and has created a webpage for donations.