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HCC President Christina Royal Pledges $10,000 to ‘Together HCC’ Campaign

HOLYOKE — Holyoke Community College (HCC) President Christina Royal has issued a personal $10,000 challenge gift toward a new HCC campaign that is as much about building moral support in a time of great uncertainty as it is about raising money for students experiencing financial distress.

On Monday, the HCC Foundation launched “Together HCC — A Campaign for Caring.” As part of that campaign, students, staff, faculty, alumni, relatives, and friends are being asked to use the hashtag #TogetherHCC to share stories and images on social media that show the strength of the college community in response to the COVID-19 crisis.

Royal’s $10,000 challenge is not just a financial one. Instead, the goal is to gather 1,000 contributions of any kind toward the #TogetherHCC campaign. That includes monetary donations as well as social-media posts on Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram as well as e-mail submissions that describe an inspirational tale or messages of encouragement relating to the ongoing pandemic.

“This is an unprecedented time in our history that can only be navigated if we work together,” Royal said. “Our campaign for caring enables members of our community to offer encouragement to one another and provide inspiration. The financial investments and kind words offered through this campaign are vitally important to our students’ success and to the well-being of every member of our community.”

Besides scholarships, the HCC Foundation manages several funds that directly support students facing financial emergencies as well as those experiencing food and housing insecurity. These include the President’s Student Emergency Fund, which was established by Royal, and another that supports HCC’s Thrive Student Resource Center, which manages the HCC Food Pantry. 

“This has been, and continues to be, a stressful and challenging time for everyone,” said Amanda Sbriscia, HCC vice president of Institutional Advancement and executive director of the HCC Foundation, the college’s nonprofit fundraising corporation. “The COVID-19 crisis has turned the world upside down, and amidst this uncertainty, we still need to do everything we can to provide our students with the education and support they deserve. Meanwhile, our students are facing all kinds of challenges in their own lives. Together, HCC isn’t just about providing financial support for them, it’s also about providing moral support. Through this campaign, we want to let our students and other members of the college community know that it’s going to be okay and that we are all in this together.”

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