Staff Report

When the COVID-19 pandemic immediately threatened the type of low-wage hourly jobs commonly held by students last spring, Allan Hancock College’s fundraising team quickly mobilized to turn attention toward its Student Emergency Fund. 

Providing rapid-response emergency funding to students experiencing acute financial crisis, the fund provided more than $50,000 in a matter of weeks in the form of $25-to-$500 subsidies for food, housing, medical or transportation expenses.  

Now, bracing for an oncoming winter season that has been accompanied by a rise in local coronavirus cases, the fund is getting a boost from CoastHills Credit Union. In partnership with CoastHills volunteer board director Bernard “Bee Jay” Jones, the Credit Union donated $3,000 to Hancock’s Student Emergency Fund on Tuesday, December 1, 2020.  

When any student at AHC has an emergency need for funds, they can count on the Student Emergency Fund,” said Jones, who spent 12 years serving on Hancock’s elected Board of Trustees. 

Said Jon Hooten, executive director of college advancement at Hancock: “CoastHills is helping support the Student Emergency Fund at a time when our students’ needs are about to increase once again. Since 90 percent of Hancock students are local, a gift to Hancock is a gift to the broader community. And the Student Emergency Fund is helping those who need it most stay on track with their education.”  

The donation by CoastHills is part of a recent movement where the Credit Union’s directors have helped guide sponsorships to local organizations making a difference in the lives of those in need on the Central Coast.  

This month, longtime Credit Union director and 2020 Santa Maria Valley Chamber of Commerce Citizen of the Year Hugh Rafferty helped CoastHills present a $5,000 donation to Santa Barbara County Veteran’s Stand Down for its drive-through Veteran’s Day grab bag giveaway.  

Earlier this year, director Bruce Coggin helped present a $3,000 donation to the Lompoc Family YMCA, and director Chuck Scheitauer threw out the first pitch at the Orcutt National Little League’s opening ceremony on a day he helped present a $3,000 check to the league where his sons played decades ago.  

For more information and tdonate to the Hancock Student Emergency Fund, please visit the college’s website.