FAST Fund gives diapers, peace of mind over holidays

NOW: FAST Fund gives diapers, peace of mind over holidays

MILWAUKEE (CBS 58) -- While being short on money has been part of college life for decades, for some students the need can force them to quit school. Liz Franczyk, Director of MATC's FAST Fund, is trying to relieve that financial stress for students.

"We're talking about single moms with multiple children at home, working multiple jobs, trying to go back to school to better their lives," she said.

In a partnership with the Milwaukee Diaper Mission, on Tuesday, Dec. 20, the MATC FAST Fund handed out diapers to students who needed them. One by one, students like Portia Reed came in to grab some diapers, and maybe a little peace of mind.

"It provides for my son because he was in need of these diapers, so I'm grateful," she said.

FAST Fund doesn't just hand out diapers, MATC students can apply for a one-time grant. Franczyk says sometimes the money goes to pay a utility bill, or to fix a car.

"Our whole goal is to help students get over small financial hurdles that would potentially derail their education," she said.

Franczyk says the average grant is $275. And because FAST Fund operates outside of the college administration, it can often cut through some red tape and live up to its name.

"When they fill out our super short application, we don't want to make them prove their poverty," Franczyk said.

If a student does overcome financial hurdles and graduates from college, Franczyk says the benefits can resonate for generations.

"Increased pay, job security, which leads to housing security, which leads to food security," she said, "it's this domino effect."

The MATC FAST Fund helped more than 750 students last school year and is on pace to double the number of students this school year, with awards to students topping $500,000.

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