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Cal Student Philanthropy: Housing the Bears

Three students standing outside holding bears and gift wrapped box with text across the top that reads 'Housing the Bears, Basic Needs Center x Cal Student Philanthropy'

Attending UC Berkeley is an academic challenge in itself, but it can be an even bigger challenge for students who struggle with securing stable housing. A November 2021 student Pulse Survey (brief, regular campus surveys of students to assess well-being) revealed that 26.5% of undergraduate students and 21.1% of graduate students faced housing insecurity since the beginning of October. As the accessibility of housing continues to permeate student life at UC Berkeley, the students of Cal Student Philanthropy (CSP) are stepping up to help as many of their peers as they can through their crowdfunding campaign, “Housing the Bears.”

All funds raised from “Housing the Bears” will go to the Basic Needs Center (BNC), which serves and assists hundreds of students every month with rental and security deposit assistance, groceries, and more. The students of CSP want to amplify and further support the efforts of the BNC as they’ve seen firsthand the impact the Center has on their peers. Gabriela E. ‘24, a member and Team Lead of CSP, reflected that in April of 2021, she and her family were financially struggling and unable to pay her security deposit. However, “through the Emergency Housing Program, the Basic Needs Center became my support. I was able to get the funds I needed to secure my housing for the upcoming academic year.” She adds: “This campaign is a ‘thank you’ to the community that protects students from housing insecurity, recognizes the importance of equity, and fosters diversity.”

Cal Student Philanthropy is rallying support from all undergraduate students to meet and beat their first goal of $5,000. They believe in the power of students helping students, and hope that students giving back inspires the alums, parents, and friends of the Cal community to support the campaign, too! You can support “Housing the Bears” at CSP’s crowdfunding page through the end of February.

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