Over $12,000 raised during FUNdFest event

Destiny Bell, Staff Reporter

Support EIU Employees has now raised over $12,000 through T-shirt sales, donations, and the FUNdFest event.

Andy Eggers, the president of Support EIU Employees, said that the entire Charleston community rallied behind these employees after seeing the hardship some of their neighbors, co-workers, and family have had to struggle with.

“The money is for those laid off due to the budget impasse. It would include everyone from the mass lay off in the summer as well as the lay off in March. That number is around 261,” Eggers said.

Employees involved in the two mass lay-offs who are experience financial hardships can fill out an application available for download online as well as at County Market. Prospective applicants can pick up applications and applications that were approved the week before can receive a check at County Market from 2 p.m. to 4 p.m. on Wednesdays.

Support EIU Employees has currently received two applications so far. The qualifications are available online at supporteiuemployees.org/apply-for-funds. “If it is an emergency situation, they can contact us. We will do everything we can to rush the process,” he said.

Applicants must submit an application as well as supporting documents such a layoff notice from EIU, income statements such as last three months of pay stubs or unemployment documentation and a bill or estimate in order to verify that they meet the financial criteria.

Applicants with a household size of one cannot exceed an income of $29,700. For a household of two, income can be no greater than $40,050, or $50,400 for a household of three. The full range of financial qualifications are available online.

“If accepted, they can receive financial support up to 250 dollars towards a debt. They can reapply every 45 days indefinitely. We had hoped to be able to cover whole bills, but wanted to make sure we could help as many people as possible,” he said.

There is a cap of $350 per cycle for families with more than one person applying.

There are seven members on the Executive Board of the EIU Employees Group as well as many “loosely connected” members: “Jim Means, Karen Pope, Misty Green, Joe, McLean, Leslie McLean, my wife Amy Eggers, and I form the Executive Board. Jim Irwin, Aaron DeRousse, and Susan DeRousse helped in the beginning through the event. We consider everyone who volunteers a general member, so that number is harder to track,” he said.

“The response has been overwhelmingly positive. We have individuals contact us from all over the country. Past graduates whom I have never met have donated money, and sent their support,” he said. “We hope to continue to raise funds to restock the account if needed. The entire event was sponsored by our community. It was quite humbling,”

Support EIU Employees has several ideas to raise funds including a Kayak raffle as well as a large event in the fall.

Eggers said that although the relief fund is currently specific to laid-off employees, the group would love to eventually be able to “support our coworkers in any way possible.”


Destiny Bell can be reached at 581-2812 or at [email protected]