By Jessica Landman
With the holiday season approaching, many shift their focus to giving back to those around them. There are several events happening on campus dedicated to giving back.
Joy-FUL, a group on campus run by Chartwells, hosted a campus food drive. It ran from Nov. 1 to 15. Students were able to drop off canned goods they wished to donate at the Chartwells office located on the first floor of Clinton Dining Hall.
Another event set up by the college is the Adopt-A-Friend program. This is where students can donate money to help local families in need for this holiday season. Several sports teams are also involved in this program. Each team received a local child that they would “adopt” and buy holiday gifts, such as clothes or toys for.
Along with the sports teams, the residential staff has gotten involved as well. Each dorm building had its own incentives to raise money for Adopt-a-Friend. As advertised on flyers in Hood Hall, Community Advocate Vladamiere Perry will shave his head publicly if the staff in Hood collected $200 dollars for the cause. DeFredenburgh Hall paid to pie the community advocates and Community Director Zane Bazzano in the face with whipped cream. Mason Hall held a bake sale Nov. 12.
However, fraternities and sororities host the most philanthropic events as community service is a foundation of Greek Life organizations.
One event hosted by Tau Kappa Epsilon fraternity a couple of weeks ago was nicknamed TKE-saw. This tradition required brothers of Tau Kappa Epsilon to stand in Amitie Plaza outside of the Angell College Center for 24 hours collecting donations in exchange for a ride on the seesaw. According to newly-appointed Tau Kappa Epsilon President David Jones, this event raised a little more than $300, all of which went to St. Jude Children’s Hospital.
Another event involving not only Tau Kappa Epsilon, but every other fraternity and sorority on campus was the No More Cancer Rally Kickoff, sponsored by the Inter-sorority and Inter-fraternity Council. The event took place Nov. 12 from 5 to 9 p.m. In order to attend, every member had to raise $25, which was donated to St. Jude Children’s Hospital.
At the event, there were games such as musical chairs, Connect Four and a Twister competition.
“In-between events, you could play cornhole,” Jones said. “You could go grab food. There was absolutely delicious catering.”
Another attendee, Theta Alpha Lambda Sister Kristyn Penera, said that her favorite part of the event was the informational video about the St. Jude Children’s Hospital that described what kind of work the hospital does in its research and what their donations get put toward.
“I felt like it definitely went over why we were doing what we were doing rather than just walking in and thinking, ‘Oh, it’s just an event and we’re just going to have food,’” Penera said. “It felt rewarding to know why we were getting to be part of the event.”
Other fraternity and sorority organizations that have become involved in philanthropy this semester are Zeta Beta Tau and Alpha Epsilon Phi. They will be hosting a volleyball tournament tomorrow, Nov. 19, from noon to 3 p.m. in Memorial Hall. Each player must pay $4 to enter.
Half of the proceeds will be going to Alpha Epsilon Phi’s philanthropy Sharsheret. Sharsheret was founded four months after a Jewish woman named Rochelle Shoretz was diagnosed with breast cancer and ovarian cancer. The other half will go to Zeta Beta Tau’s philanthropy, Jewish Women International, which is an empowerment organization for Jewish women and girls.
“Honestly it’s just been amazing working toward supporting a great cause,” said Zane Ovitt, Zeta Beta Tau’s chairman of philanthropy, community service and academic committees. “The logistics of this tournament have been challenging, but I absolutely love it because it is allowing me the opportunity to work on something much larger than myself. That is something that I really appreciate and I believe reflects the values that Zeta Beta Tau works to install in all of its members.”
Like Chartwells, Fuerza: Black and Latinx Student Union, is hosting a canned food drive. This event was held Nov. 1 to 17. Any donations can be brought to the donation box in the H.U.B. Fuerza believes that, although the “season of thanks” should occur all year long, the upcoming holidays encourage people to be more giving and this is how Fuerza can ensure the community is taken care of this season.
There are many opportunities to help the local community this holiday season for anyone willing to give.