By: Jennifer “Impression” Nguyen, Chapter Liaison

So far, the New Year has brought many changes – whether it is simply writing a new number when we write the date on papers or just changing our habits for the traditional New Year’s resolutions. Nevertheless, sisters at the University of Georgia have not forgotten the importance of giving back to the community and its heroes.

At UGA, sisters continue to work with children and teenagers ages 6 to 18 at the Boys & Girls Clubs of Athens. The students arrive after school at the Boys & Girls Clubs, where they can enjoy many activities, from doing art projects to playing a recreational sport or simply doing homework. Upon volunteering, sisters get to interact with the kids through helping them with homework, playing a game with them or just talking to them. Through such interactions, and in addition to the warm environment provided at the Boys & Girls Clubs, the children are able to have a positive experience every day. The sisters of Alpha Chapter choose to volunteer at the Boys & Girls Clubs of Athens because sisters believe in giving back to the community, so why not try to make a difference in the present community?

Furthermore, on January 25, Christina “ICON” Shin, in cooperation with the President of Delta Epsilon Psi Fraternity, Inc., hosted “Bookmarks for Kids” on campus. This was an event in which sisters, along with other Greeks and students, were able to make and decorate bookmarks to donate to a local elementary school. The chapter decided to host the event because it was a fun and great way to promote reading and education among children. By donating handmade bookmarks, children are able to receive encouragement and see how much people around them care. After all, as John Kennedy once said, “Children are the world’s most valuable resource and its best hope for the future.”

On February 8, sisters hosted a mixer with Xi Kappa on campus to make care packages for soldiers. Under the coordination of the chapter’s co-philanthropy chairs, Jaleesa “Aspire” Reed and Grace “Silhouette” Huang, the care packages went to the troops that are fighting in the forward deployed bases. Sister Karla “Rumour” Schott brought the idea to chapter because her father is a soldier who informed her of the situation. He said that items such as tissue, snack foods, games, etc. would really help the soldiers. Therefore, the chapter agreed to buy and donate the following: packs of pocket tissue, games (crossword puzzles, Sudoku, cards, etc.), candy, drink mix packets, travel-size toiletries, individually wrapped snacks, toothbrushes and toothpaste, hand sanitizer, razors, wet wipes and lip balm. The event was special in that it allowed sisters to show our support by helping out those who sacrifice their lives for us. Furthermore, it showed how sisters will not struggle to help a fellow sister and her family when the occasion arises. In any case, everlasting sisterhood is what we hold to be the truth.

The following day, Nyla “Prevail” Lieu, the chapter’s internal vice president, held a program concerning domestic violence on campus. Speakers from Project Safe came and told personal stories, which showed everyone that domestic violence does exist and that we can lend a hand in stopping it. Founded in Athens, Project Safe is a non-profit organization that is dedicated to ending domestic violence through advocacy by way of prevention and educational programs, crisis intervention, ongoing supportive services for survivors of domestic violence and their children. We chose to host the event so that students could be informed about what it means to be in an abusive relationship and how we can all help spread the word about turning those in need to Project Safe. We also held a donation as well in which people could donate items such as toiletries and cleaning supplies to Project Safe so that they could provide it their survivors. A lot of donations were given and three big boxes were filled. There were around seventy people who showed up and found it very informational, making it a successful event.

Lastly, the sisters at the University of Georgia have chosen to lend a helping hand in fighting hunger among orphans around the world. Through the website www.ricebowls.org, rice bowl piggy banks were ordered, and sisters are now all collecting donations. The chapter chose to work with Rice Bowls, which works with orphanages all over the world, because we all understand that philanthropic work cannot only take place within our nation’s borders. Ultimately, the rice bowls turn pocket change into food for orphans.

Photo credit: Jennifer Nguyen