RICHMOND, Ky. (FOX 56) – College students are heading back to campus for the fall semester. For the hundreds of students affected by the floods.

Eastern Kentucky University is extending help to their own to make sure their back on their feet in time for school. At least 100 EKU students were impacted in some way by the floods. In 2020, the university set up the “Student Assistance Fund for Eastern” to help students with immediate emergency needs.

“It was really hard when I was like throwing away all my baby pictures, throwing away all my clothes, everything I’ve worked for, everything I’ve got,” EKU Sophomore Engineering Student Kandis Jenkins told FOX 56. She is one EKU student who has applied for and received SAFE money following the floods.

“I lost my house in the flood and that was super, super hard because I didn’t have anywhere to live for like 4 days. I was like couch hopping,” she said.

With encouragement from mom and dad, she kept going. This week she moved back on campus, a few days earlier than her peers, and with a furry friend, Chewie. However, she arrived without much else.  

“Whenever we came back we couldn’t. I think we grabbed like 2 or 3 t-shirts but we lost everything else,” she said.

“So if we can take care of some emergency needs then hopefully that will free up their mental and emotional space to be able to focus in school as well. During the past couple weeks of course we’ve been using the fund a great deal to help students recover from the flooding and personal losses,” Dr. Lara Vance, Dean of Students at Eastern Kentucky University, told FOX 56.

Vance said at least 20 students have been awarded “SAFE” money. It comes as a grant, so students don’t have to pay it back. She expects more flood-affected students will apply

“They’ve been slowly coming in in little bits at a time, the more information gets out the more students will contact me and ask,” Vance said.

For Jenkins, the extra help means more stability as she embarks on her sophomore year.

“I bought brand new clothes, I had covers to sleep with, I had two pillows to sleep with, I had food to eat, I got food for my mom and dad,” she said.

Jenkins said she also received help from her sorority, Alpha Gamma Delta, and has had several professors and friends reach out to offer support. If you would like to donate to EKU’s SAFE fund visit go.eku.edu/give-SAFE

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