FAYETTEVILLE, N.C. (WTVD) -- The Fayetteville Technical Community College Foundation is raising money to put into a relief fund to help students hurting financially from COVID-19, after handing out its first round of funds.
Since March 1, the foundation gave out more than $32,000 to its students facing emergency needs like utilities, medicine, food and rent.
John Diket, an upcoming graduate this May, is one of those students who received some help when he needed it the most.
Diket is a medically retired soldier who served for nearly 10 years, touring in Iraq and Afghanistan.
In the last several years, he's been working on his Associate Degree, focusing on engineering, business and IT management.
Along with completing his degree online for the remainder of the semester, the veteran and husband recently recovered from COVID-19.
Diket started feeling symptoms in mid-March but got his positive test results back on April 5. Just a few weeks later, his new test results came back negative.
"Coughing, shortness of breath. I am asthmatic, so that was definitely something that was worrying. There were a few days that were pretty bad," Diket said.
On top of that, his wife, Jessica, was recently furloughed from her job in Durham, leaving them without any source of income.
"While we did apply for state aid and unemployment, we still haven't received any help from the assistance, from the aid, other than the stimulus payment from the federal government," Diket added.
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That's when Diket decided to reach out to his community college for immediate help.
In the last two months, the foundation has extended a helping hand to around 100 FTCC students.
With there being no money left, FTCC Foundation Executive Director Sandy Ammons is asking the public to help replenish the relief funds.
"There's always need among our students; but with COVID-19, there was such an overwhelming number of students who applied for aid, and they needed it quickly," Ammons said.
Diket says he received a $500 gift card to purchase groceries, allowing him to put food on the table for his wife and son for the entire month of April.
"I couldn't provide for them. And I was too sick, and my wife couldn't provide because her job didn't exist anymore," Diket said.
Ammons is now urging people to give by or on Giving Tuesday, May 5.
"We encourage everyone to make a donation on May 5 to the FTCC Foundation as well as to other nonprofits they support," Ammons said.
Anyone giving at least $20 to FTCC's student relief fund is eligible to receive a "Trojan Strong" T-shirt.
You can make a donation at FTCC's website or by calling 910-678-0094 or 910-678-8441.
Diket tells ABC11 he recently got accepted into the School of Management at N.C. State and intends to begin his first semester in August.
FTCC Foundation raising money to help students affected by COVID-19
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