The Promotional Products Education Foundation (PPEF) is moving forward with awarding $276,750 in scholarships this year as originally budgeted. On an April conference call, the PPEF Executive Committee discussed if any changes were needed and the decision was made to adhere to the plan as students will need the help now more than ever. The Scholarship Committee is currently reviewing the applications and working to stay on the planned schedule of awarding the 161 scholarships by the end of May, even though most volunteer judges have been working from home.

"Industry individuals and companies have been so generous over the years. In so many ways, the industry is like a family. The PPEF Board of Trustees decided that we need to take care of our family during these unprecedented times. Thank you to all the donors who have given to PPEF over the years and who are now allowing us to help during this incredible time of need," says Dana Porter, MAS, PPEF chair and director of information services at SAGE.

PPEF's application numbers have not been affected by the shutdowns as its March 15 deadline was met before schools and businesses started to close. PPEF actually had an increased number of applications this year with 482 applications compared to 414 in 2019.

Porter adds, "This is my first year to participate in the judging process and I’m so thankful for the opportunity. The students are truly inspiring and bring to light why we do this … to help children in our industry achieve their dreams. Hats off to the volunteers on the Scholarship Committee. This isn’t a quick and easy process and they all dedicate hours to ensure the most deserving kids receive these scholarships."