Being a member in a Greek organization comes with negative connotations from an outsider’s standpoint. Greek Life is aware what people think about them no matter how hard they try to prove them wrong. Being in a fraternity or sorority does come with an active social life, but it also means leadership, scholarship, loyalty and, most importantly, philanthropy.

What some people fail to recognize is that we are not sorority girls or fraternity boys, but women and men in a sorority or fraternity. Each member has their own reason for joining the organization that they’re in, and if you ask a member why, some of the replies will surprise you.

Each Greek organization has a philanthropy that is near and dear to their heart, such as the Wounded Warrior Project, domestic violence awareness, Ronald McDonald House and plenty more. While each organization hosts their annual benefits and fundraisers for their philanthropies, they are also going out into the community and trying to give back in any way they can.

The Greek life community is responsible for service to their surrounding community. In addition to the service that is done as an organization, each member is also responsible for a certain amount of individual community service hours per semester.

Young men and women either per semester or per month participate in highway cleanups, carwashes, nursing homes or help with certain elementary school programs. As long as the member is not accepting any monetary payment or reward of any kind, it counts toward their required hours.

Greeks find that going out into the community and helping is enjoyable and rewarding. Some volunteers even go above and beyond their required service hours. It gives you something to do, and you don’t have to do it alone. You can bring as many friends or fellow Greek members as you wish. The more the merrier.

Playing with puppies on a Saturday morning sounds like a great time, and if that’s what a person has to do to receive some hours, then go and do it. It’s simple, and you are doing a great service to the shelter and the puppies’ spirits as well as your own.

Donate clothes and old items you no longer have any use for to the Salvation Army so someone else can enjoy them. It can be fun to go through your closet trying on old clothes and some that you didn’t even realize still had price tags on them. Rid yourself of what you have not worn and probably never will.

If you are ever at a loss of what to do or where to start, go to the Project Help office. All one has to do is walk in and say that they are interested in helping out the community and the office staff will gladly show you all of the organizations that would love the help from a volunteer. You can even join the Project Help Facebook page. They can also set you up with alternative spring breaks.

Going Greek is a well-rounded experience for anyone who is a part of it. Sometimes it’s hard to see that there is more to the social aspects of it when all you see is a group of people wearing their organizations letters and playing Frisbee on their front lawn.

What you don’t know or maybe even realize is that an hour before you saw them, they were probably studying or down at the local soup kitchen helping out.

Not every member of Greek life cares only about partying.

An old saying goes, “Don’t judge a book by its cover.”

Email Jennifer Greenberg at jennifer.greenberg@cardinalpointsonline.com.

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