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Goldfarb School of Nursing Emergency Compassion Fund

A chance to change a life — and support a future nurse

On a frigid winter day, a student arrived for class at Barnes-Jewish College Goldfarb School of Nursing shivering and dressed in just a shirt and pants. The instructor asked the young man why he wasn’t wearing a coat. He said he didn’t have one.

Unfortunately, these stories aren’t unique.

While successfully heading towards completion of Goldfarb’s nursing program, a catastrophe could happen that alters the course of a student’s academic journey. A house fire, unexpected illness, medical bills, or job loss — all when tuition is due — could happen to any student at any time.

How students manage personal hardships can be career-altering. Your support, however, can be life-changing.

The Emergency Compassion Fund was created with the thought in mind that a financial “dip” should not be the reason why a nursing student drops out of school. With a little financial assistance and a lot of compassion, the vast majority of these roadblocks can be removed.

Emergency support granted from this fund ranges in amount — from a few hundred dollars to a few thousand — and has been used for urgent needs including Goldfarb students seeking temporary:

  • Housing, food, and clothing support after their apartment building collapsed
  • Financial support after a car accident limited their capacity to work
  • Food and shelter support, as a single mother with three children and mental health challenges
  • Food security and an unexpected medical expense while pursuing a full-time nursing PhD program and expecting a child

“Goldfarb nurses know that when a patient comes to them, they are more than just the illness or the injury at hand,” says Edward Gricius, associate dean of student experience and development. “They are there to treat the whole person beyond the bedside. The Emergency Compassion Fund is one of the opportunities we have to model this, showing students that we care for them beyond the classroom. We are here for students holistically to see them become the extraordinary nurses we know they can be and continue that approach out in the working world.”

One student in particular, Mariah, knows exactly how vital the Emergency Compassion Fund can be. Mariah and her family have dealt with many events that no one plans for. She lost her home to a fire and dealt with multiple unexpected family deaths, all while pursuing her nursing education.

However, nothing compares to the phone call that Mariah received one November day. “I never expected to hear that my sweet, nine-year-old stepson had been shot in the chest during a hunting accident,” she says. “My whole world was shook. Such an emotional and financial burden on our young family was too much to bear alone.”

Thankfully, the Emergency Compassion Fund was there to help Mariah and her family offset some of the hospital expenses, so she could continue her schooling without the additional financial stress of emergency medical bills. Now, her stepson is expected to make a complete recovery, and Mariah shares that life after nursing school is very promising.

“Your generosity altered our path in a positive direction,” she says. “When we were in need, you extended financial support and for that I will always be thankful.”

Mariah, now employed as a nurse on a medical-surgical unit at Barnes-Jewish Hospital, is using her experience to better care for patients with heart-wrenching stories of their own.

“I didn’t realize that the things that would ultimately prepare me to care for my patients would never make it onto my résumé,” she says. “Things like love and loss, having the world turned upside down but putting your scrubs on anyway, and witnessing the warmth of human care and compassion that comes from generous donors like you.”

You have an opportunity to help students in crisis by making a gift to support The Goldfarb School of Nursing Emergency Compassion Fund.

To make a gift, please call us at 314-286-0600 or make a gift directly online

Thank you for considering changing a life — and supporting a future nurse!


Give Now & Support the Emergency Compassion Fund