Lumberjack Emergency Assistance Fund (LEAF)


July 13, 2020

The COVID-19 pandemic left many students without financial support from their families or without income after student work hours were cut or jobs lost. The Lumberjack community sprang into action to give these students a hand in their time of need. Donations poured in for the Lumberjack Emergency Assistance Fund (LEAF), and ASNAU (Associated Students of Northern Arizona University) stepped up to contribute another $50,000. Thanks to YOU, in just two months, 703 students were awarded COVID-19 micro-grants, totaling $175,750!

These students were contacted in June to participate in a follow-up survey. Here are some highlights of those who responded:

  • 37% are seniors;
  • 50% are first-generation college students;
  • 73% are returning to NAU in fall 2020

Here’s how the students used the funds from the micro-grant:

  • 28% - food/groceries
  • 24% - rent/mortgage
  • 17% - utility bills (gas, electric, internet, etc.)
  • 13% - transportation (gas, vehicle maintenance, etc.)
  • 8% - tuition or other NAU fees
  • 7% - school supplies to go virtual (webcam, wifi, laptop, etc.)
  • 2% - other
  • 1% - childcare/babysitter

Here are some of their comments on what the micro-grant meant to them and how they used the funds:

  • This helped me tremendously and I am very thankful.
  • The grant helped me feel more secure and in better health. It allowed me to stay calm and know that people care.
  • I was able to eat full and well rounded meals, get a good night sleep and stay focused during a troubling time.
  • I was able to get my laptop fixed to attend online classes.
  • I was extremely stressed after I was unable to work the remainder of the semester on campus. While I was in the process of finding another job, the grant helped me with essentials such as groceries and gas.
  • I was also able to upgrade our household internet plan so that I could successfully access my zoom classes while myself and my four other roommates were quarantined and had to share internet use.
  • Receiving the grant from NAU allowed me to take classes over the summer to ease up my course load for next semester so I can avoid too many in-person classes and have a lighter course load online.
  • This Micro Grant allowed me to focus on my schooling instead of stressing about how I would  afford food or utilities if I was furloughed. It also made me feel valued as an NAU student during this difficult time.
  • Due to COVID-19 I had to return home to California. On my way there, my car broke down and I was stranded on the highway. This grant helped me repair my car and I can’t express how grateful I am to have received it.
  • I didn't have to put school secondary to surviving.
  • I feel cared for and seen by NAU.

Double the impact of your gift!

April 23, 2020

Some of NAU’s most loyal and caring donors have come together to create a challenge gift that will match dollar for dollar up to $32,000 gifts made to the NAU Rapid Response Fund, Louie’s Cupboard, and the Lumberjack Emergency Assistance Fund on Giving Day.


Thank you to our match donors for their generosity!

Bonnie Baker, Tracy Kile Schwartz, Anne Buzzard, Erin Grisham, Anika Olsen, Liz and Randy Price, Jana Harper, John Georgas, Rickey and Sandra McCurry, Pam Ramos, Barbara McCloud, Rudolph Koch, Karen Pugliesi, Florence Young, Greg and Nancy Wilson, Ramona Mellott, Bruce Hungate, Lynda Ransdell, Jason Wilder, Chris Boyer, Stephanie Smith and Rico Alderete, George Adams, Ron Gunderson, Jeff Beatty and an Anonymous donor. 

Thank you

April 23, 2020

Thanks to generous donors like YOU, students have received much-need support in facing unexpected hardships. Some common themes in the applications for assistance emerged:

  • Students whose parents are no longer able to provide financial assistance due to job loss, cut hours, or furloughing.
  • Students who provide support for their families, including some students with sick family members;
  • Students struggling to make rent or pay for medical expenses;
  • Students in need of technology to attend class, like one student whose computer’s logic board had just failed;
  • An international student who needed funds to help buy a plane-ticket back home before the borders shut.

The stories are heartbreaking, but thanks to YOU, these students got some relief. Thank you for your compassion and generosity. 


April 16, 2020

To date, $74,000 at $250 each has been awarded to 296 students!

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