This holiday season, in addition to making choices to keep yourself and others safe amid the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic, there are many ways you can help The University of Texas at El Paso community by contributing to causes such as the Student Emergency Fund and UTEP Food Pantry. This photo of the Food Pantry was taken in 2018 before the COVID-19 pandemic. Photo: J.R. Hernandez / UTEP Communications

During the Holiday Season, programs allow Miners to help fellow Miners

This holiday season, especially with the ongoing Covid-19 Pandemic, the Student Emergency Fund and the UTEP Food Pantry are among the campus’ fundraising efforts designed to make a difference for students by providing financial assistance and food.

‘In addition to making choices to keep themselves and others safe amid the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic, there are many ways Miners can help The University of Texas at El Paso community,” college officials shared.

With more than $175,000 raised from over 1,200 donors since March, the Student Emergency Fund, has supported students facing financial challenges during the pandemic, helping them cover necessities like food and utility bills, and technology and internet costs required to continue learning online. However, the fund’s demand continues to exceed supply as more than 100 students remain on the wait list.

A gift to the Student Emergency Fund offers UTEP students timely financial support that can help keep them on track toward academic success.

“It’s always wonderful to see the enormous generosity of the Miner family,” said Gary Edens, Ed.D., vice president for student affairs. “The support our donors provide students doesn’t just help pay a bill or feed a family, it helps that student stay on his or her path to graduation. We’ve taken to heart Miners Take Care of Miners this year and every donation seems to be more impactful and is definitely needed.”

The UTEP Food Pantry has assisted more than twice the number of students it normally serves during the period from March 2020 to December 2020. A donation to the UTEP Food Pantry will help ensure students won’t struggle with food insecurity. During the holidays, the Food Pantry will assemble and distribute holiday food baskets to students in need. Dietary restrictions will be considered when baskets are assembled and contactless pickup will be arranged with students.

“The response from our Miner network has been astounding,” said Jake Logan, vice president for institutional advancement. “From the moment we put out the call for support of our students in need, UTEP alumni and friends were there to answer the call. This has been an especially difficult year, and a relatively little amount of money can go a long way in helping our students finish their education, allowing them to join our proud Miner alumni network themselves.”

Alongside monetary gifts, the campus asks all Miners to take the Miners Pledge to foster a healthy and safe community. Use the hashtag #minerspledge on social media to share how you’re doing your part to slow the spread of COVID-19, whether it’s through wearing a face mask, frequently washing your hands, avoiding large gatherings, being proactive about COVID-19 testing or maintaining social distancing. Take the Miners Pledge today!

If you’re looking for another way to help, consider giving the “gift of life” and donating blood. Though the University is not able to host blood drives on campus at this time, the need for blood donations in the community continues.

Make an appointment to give blood at a Vitalant center or at a community blood drive by visiting this link.

View more of UTEP’s efforts to address the needs of students, show your support and pick your project at

Author: Darlene Barajas – UTEP Communications