As COVID-19 started to spread across the nation, forcing Eastern Washington University to shift to virtual learning, many students were left without the technology they required to continue their education. Fortunately, the EWU Foundation and the university’s Student Care Team recognized the need and quickly utilized the Student Emergency Fund to purchase Chromebooks. Two hundred were distributed at the beginning of spring quarter.

Jackson-Stiller using her new Chromebook.


Since then, the thank you notes from students who applied for and received the laptops have been streaming in. Janastasia Jackson-Stiller is one of those students. She says the support meant a lot to students who, like her, were feeling overwhelmed with online learning.

“I just wanted to take a moment to express my gratitude and appreciation. I was blessed with a laptop grant and that was great news. It gave me the confidence I needed to tackle this quarter of online classes. When I picked the laptop up and took it home, I expected it to be a tool to get me from point A to point B in my academics. I was brought to tears when I got home and opened it up. It was absolutely beautiful. It may seem like a small thing, but in the midst of all this upheaval and uncertainty—I was truly blessed by this. Thank you and this program very much.”

Janastasia Jackson-Stiller

Judy Miller in EWU’s Student Accounting Department helped facilitate the ordering and distribution of the Chromebooks. Miller says that every student she’s talked to has been overwhelmingly appreciative and thankful.

“I heard things like: ‘Thank you so much, you saved my life!’ ‘Please tell whomever gave us these, thank you!’ ‘I appreciate you so much!’ ‘OMG, I have been using my phone for all my assignments, this is amazing!’ Lots more comments like that,” she says.

Miller also passed along these additional thank you emails that she received:

“I want to express my gratitude to the donors for the Google Chromebook. The donation came at an unexpected but very much needed time and I am so incredibly grateful and thankful. This has been a difficult quarter with the campus being closed and only online classes being offered. I am so thankful to have been given a laptop that has brought relief and lowered anxiety and stress to be able to focus on my schoolwork. Thank you so much, it is very much appreciated.”

“Thank you so much, that is such incredible news and I am beyond thankful for the great people who make this possible for me!”

“Thank you so much, that means so much to me!”

Student Help is Available

The Student Care Team has distributed all of the available Chromebooks for the time being, however, the unit continues to support students through the Student Emergency Fund when requests come in. The Student Emergency Fund is designed to help students address one-time emergencies with aid of up to $300. For needs beyond that level, students are asked to work with the Financial Aid office. Both teams will work with students to explore available options to help them successfully continue their studies at EWU.

  • If you are a student and would like to connect with a member of the Student Care Team, please click here: Student Intake Form.
  • If you are a concerned faculty, staff or community member and wish to alert the Student Care Team about a student needing assistance, please click here: ICARE.
  • Students wishing to discuss options with Financial Aid should call 509.359.2314 or email finaid@ewu.edu.

Support Students in Tough Times

Donor gifts make the Student Emergency Fund possible. On Giving Joy Day, which occurred April 3, EWU faculty and staff raised $29,543 to help cover immediate student needs. Additional Eastern supporters gave $12,825 to the fund that day. However, the need continues. If you are an employee, alumni or community member interested in making a difference in students’ lives with a gift to this important fund, please visit the Giving to EWU webpage.