In the darkest hours, in the most desperate moments, love will find a way. Thank you for showing the love to members of the Colorado State University family during their greatest time of need.


Five of the 48 students from areas affected by the September floods thank CSUCares and School Is Cool.

The September 2013 floods across Northern Colorado brought some of the worst destruction in the state’s history. CSU students, faculty, employees, and retirees were displaced. Homes were ruined. People lost everything and didn’t know where to turn.

The devastation was unprecedented, but the love that came back to the CSU community was even more powerful.

The response from generous donors was immediate and heartfelt: More than $53,000 was raised by you and 355 others in the community to help rebuild lives. Cash grants were distributed through a University committee to the 38 individuals or families – fellow Rams – who applied for assistance.

University partners also rallied to the call for help in resourceful, innovative ways that made a significant impact. School Is Cool, a CSU community outreach program that provides essential school supplies to less-fortunate students in the Poudre School District, worked with CSUCares to provide 48 young students from flood-affected areas with new backpacks and school supplies. Also, limited-edition CSUCares T-shirts were produced and raised $7,142 to help those in need.


The Japanese Student Association sets up its “Pray for Colorado” booth.

Returning the Favor

“I experienced the 1997 flood here in Fort Collins, when my office was totally destroyed, so I know what people are going through after the recent flooding. I’m so proud that our Japanese students found a way to help victims here. I think they did a wonderful job.”

– Mako Beecken, Japanese Student Association faculty adviser. Led by Nami Oguni and Natsumi Habara, the Japanese Student Association helped raise nearly $700 for CSUCares. The students were touched by the outpouring of American generosity after the 2011 Tohoku earthquake and wanted to return the favor.

Love Will Find a Way

As a result of the floods in September, my brother was in a very bad car accident and ended up in a coma. I wanted to be there … I was doing the drive from Fort Collins to downtown Denver every day for 2-1/2 weeks and finally ended up with my finances exhausted. I asked for $100, and CSUCares gave me $1,000. It was wonderful, much needed, and I used every penny. My brother has been released from the hospital, and the donation through CSUCares has inspired me to give back.

–  Courtney Bernatis, CSU Fostering Success student who graduated with a degree in human development and family studies and now works with boys through Hand Up Homes for Youth, helping them get back on track academically.


CSUCares recipient Courtney Bernatis


Ben Lawhon and family

A Family Affair

side_space_1-3_3I can’t even put into words what receiving help from CSUCares meant to me and my family. That this University community would be willing to help people they don’t even know is such a tremendous gift, both financially and emotionally. We are so grateful.

– Ben Lawhon, a Warner College of Natural Resources graduate student, who fled his home in Lyons with his wife, 7-year-old son, and mother-in-law. CSUCares gave Ben and his family hope when they struggled at their lowest point.

A New Beginning

There was about 27 inches of water in the house. We didn’t expect the water to get that high. The house has been there 75 years, and it never happened before. We’re so grateful for the help that the CSU community has given us.

– Eric Gill, CSU graphic design student and CSU OnlinePlus employee. Eric’s family farm was devastated by the September floods, and the impact of the disaster was compounded by the fact that they didn’t have flood insurance. Gill applied for help through CSUCares, which awarded him a $2,000 grant.


Eric Gill’s family farm was devastated by the September floods.

Amazed and Flabbergasted

“‘Blown away.’ ‘Flabbergasted.’ ‘Amazed.’ These might be adequate descriptions of how I felt when I learned that my family and I were going to receive assistance from CSUCares, even though I had been employed at the University for less than two months when the floods hit in September. Conversely, ‘thank you’ appears to be so insufficient, but no words will ever be able to properly express our gratitude. Thank you for truly showing me that CSU is really a family.”

– Becca Romine, University Counseling Center staff assistant

Prayers Answered

Thank you so, so much for the generous grant you awarded me last month after my home flooded. This has been a terrible few months for me – vet school alone is stressful enough, but adding the flood and the life-threatening illness of a close family member has made things almost unbearable! When I received the check from you, I sat in my car and cried with relief. You have made a huge difference, and I am profoundly grateful. Thank you so much!

– LaShelle Lyman, veterinary student

Your gift to CSUCares will provide emergency funds to members of our CSU family in their time of greatest need. One hundred percent of the money donated to this fund will be used to help members of our CSU community. While this fund was recently used to assist those impacted by the floods, it will remain in place to assist those in the CSU community who are impacted by future qualifying disasters.