Brescia Challenges the Community to Give to Students

May 4, 2020

London, ON – On Tuesday, May 5th, Brescia University College will take part in Giving Tuesday Now, a global day of giving that supports those impacted by the COVID-19 pandemic. Over the past six weeks there has been a dramatic increase in requests for short-term financial relief from our students. As a result, all donations received on Tuesday will go directly to the Brescia Emergency Fund.

The Brescia Emergency Fund was created to ensure our students’ basic needs are met during times of crisis – especially during these unprecedented times. Erica Steven, a first-year social science student, is someone who understands the importance of Brescia’s emergency funds.
After deciding to go back to school as a mature student, Ms. Steven knew – long before the COVID-19 pandemic– that her two part-time jobs would barely provide a livable income while managing the pressures of post-secondary education. Plus, struggling with ADHD and anxiety, she had to devote most of her time and efforts to studying to ensure she received passing grades.

But, with the generous help of donors, Ms. Steven was able to access emergency funds to address her immediate needs. Brescia’s Financial Aid office was also helpful to directing her towards other financial resources open to students. She says, “Students are a special group of citizens who are struggling and need support immediately. The financial advising team was understanding and compassionate towards my situation, and I was able to get the help I needed right away.” Ms. Steven can’t thank all her donors enough: “Brescia’s fund quite literally saved me – and gave me the push of motivation I needed to finish up the semester. I will be forever grateful for this help.”

It’s because of stories like Ms. Steven’s that Elizabeth Hewitt, former Chair of Brescia’s Board of Trustees, is taking the bold opportunity to help. Ms. Hewitt says: “Throughout this crisis, we have seen many female leaders step up to the plate and make a difference. That is what Brescia sees in every one of our students; the ability to make a difference if given the opportunity.”

And Ms. Hewitt is ready for a home run – she’s issuing a challenge to the community. For every dollar that is donated to Brescia’s Emergency Fund, she will match the donation up to $25,000. “By donating what you can, no matter how small, we are supporting those students who are in immediate financial need now, so that they may support us in the future.”

Ms. Hewitt believes that “in times of struggle, we all must reflect on our own lives. Throughout my life, I have had many individuals help me when I needed it most. It’s now my opportunity to give in return.”

Brescia is thrilled to partner with Ms. Hewitt to support students in need; every dollar counts. Brescia also gives a special thank you to those who have already donated to the Brescia Emergency Fund—your gifts have made a significant impact in the Brescia community.

To donate, visit the Brescia Emergency Fund at .



For more information, please contact:

Rhea Johnson, Director, Communications, Marketing & External Relations at or 519-636-9408, or Michelle Edwards, Communications, Marketing & External Relations Officer at

Brescia University College, Canada’s women’s university college, is affiliated with Western University. The 1,600 women registered as either full- or part-time students at Brescia study a wide variety of subjects in the Schools of Behavioural & Social Sciences, Food & Nutritional Sciences, Humanities and Leadership & Social Change in an empowering, compassionate, student-centred and invigorating environment. Degrees are granted by Western. The Catholic University College welcomes students from all backgrounds and values diversity. For more current and archived news, a listing of faculty experts, and photos please visit our Online Media Room, at