Well-Timed Support Makes a Difference

May 26, 2024

Samuel Steege, a hardworking 22-year-old communications studies major, received some well-timed assistance last fall thanks to a generous community of Eagles that support Giving Joy Day.

Sam was working as a server at Farmhouse Café, and preparing for his junior year at EWU, when he got a call from his father asking for help evacuating the family from their Medical Lake home.

He quickly left work and raced over to help his parents and siblings pack up some possessions and the pets. Two hours later, the Gray Fire destroyed their home and the family lost everything. The Cheney home that Sam rents from an older brother became temporary housing for the family while they developed a plan to rebuild their lives.

All told, the fire, just miles from Cheney, claimed 240 homes and displaced thousands of people.

“I’ve seen it in the movies, and heard about it, but never thought it would happen to me,” Sam says.

Sam is now interning for EWU’s Advancement Department, doing research and storytelling that supports student success. A Krumble Foundation internship stipend helps him cover expenses while gaining professional skills.

Sam, who covers college and living expenses with education benefits he receives as member of the National Guard, supplemented by his part-time job and help from his parents, recalls that tuition was coming due. Understandably, his parents were unable to help.

The EWU Student Emergency Fund filled that gap – providing assistance that kept Sam moving forward toward his degree. The Krumble Foundation also provided Sam with an internship stipend to ensure he can cover living expenses while working as a communications intern for EWU’s Advancement Department.

“It feels good to know that there’s resources to help in such crazy, unexpected times like this,” says Sam, who is one step closer to his dream career in sports communication thanks to the “genuinely nice people” that support EWU students.

If you are interested in supporting student success at Eastern, visit EWU/Give’s online Fund Explorer. And, Go Eags!