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University donor and alumnus Dr. Kay Nasser (DSc ’22, PhD ’65), middle, with USask students and volunteers during last year’s One Day for Students event.

Alumni provide life-changing help to students in crisis, through One Day for Students

USask alumni and campus community raised $166,517 to help students recover from emergency crises without sacrificing their dreams of earning a degree in last year’s One Day for Students. This year’s event is on March 17.

Earning a degree is one of the best moments a student can ever feel—it is a remarkable experience that shows how hard work pays off. But when a student is experiencing a financial crisis, their dream of finishing their degree hangs in the balance.

Fortunately, students of the University of Saskatchewan (USask) won’t have to put their education on hold while facing unexpected crises— thanks to emergency funding established by longtime donors Professor Emeritus Dr. Kay and Mrs. Dora Nasser. The Nasser Family Emergency Student Trust is an accessible resource for students who encounter unforeseeable events like medical emergencies, family break-ups, funerals, housing eviction, loss of employment, housefires, and other unforeseen challenges.  

One of the grateful students who received emergency funding last year spoke about their experience when they faced a financial emergency with only one week left to make rent. “I had an overdrawn bank account, a pile of bills, and a looming eviction notice on my apartment. If I was not able to pay my rent before the end of the month both me and my son would be kicked out. At this point, I had run out of options and I was feeling very defeated,” said the student.

“I could feel the weight of all the stress crashing down on me, knowing this was my last option for help. But I received compassion, understanding and care for my well-being as soon as I met with the coordinator,” said the student after discussing emergency funding support with a USask Student Central representative.

Receiving financial assistance saved the student from losing their home and allowed them to pay their remaining bills and reduce some of their living costs. They said it provided them with tremendous relief and a sense of security. The student is very thankful to have had this resource to rely on, especially in an incredibly stressful situation.

“I felt like I could breathe again! I am still so thankful for the financial help I received because it provided me with the help I needed at the beginning of the year. I am very grateful for all of those who contribute to providing this fund and help students in need,” they said.

The road to pursuing a degree does have its ups and downs, but no student should feel alone facing unexpected circumstances. This is the spirit that underlies the annual campus-wide fundraiser, One Day for Students.

Last year, more than 640 people—alumni, staff, faculty, students and supporters came together and raised $166,517 towards the Nasser Family Emergency Student Trust on One Day for Students. Thanks to the community’s generosity, and to the matching donations of Dr. Kay and Mrs. Dora Nasser, 44 USask students in need didn’t have to consider putting their education on hold this past year.

On March 17th, the University of Saskatchewan will be hosting its seventh annual One Day for Students. All donations made on this day will once again go to the Nasser Family Emergency Student Trust. With available emergency funding, students will continue to receive help to overcome emergency crises without added burden, while they pursue their educational goals.

To make a donation, or to find out more information about One Day for Students, please visit give.usask.ca/oneday.
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