Due to efforts of members of the Greek Life Community, thousands of dollars will be going back into rehabilitating local communities.
This year’s Philanthropy Week has already far surpassed their original fundraising goal of $40,000 with more charitable events to come. All of the proceeds gathered will be donated South County Habitat for Humanity Rhode Island, a non-profit organization that works towards eliminating substandard housing by creating decent homes for people in need.
“We as a community believe in the cause,” said Panhellenic Council Vice President of Philanthropy and Service Jordan Broadbent. “Habitat helps people have safe and affordable housing. Everyone deserves a place to live and grow that is safe and a place to call their home.”
The partnership between Greek Life at the University of Rhode Island and South County Habitat for Humanity is nothing new, according to Assistant Director of Greek Affairs Megan Fox. Over the past several years, Greek Life has raise $500,000 for the organization.
What is new, according to Fox, was choosing to campaign during the Fall semester, rather than the Spring. Despite some concerns, Fox said the week has turned out to be better than expected.
“Greek students, when it comes to philanthropy, which is one of their four core values, they know how to make it work and do the right thing,” Fox said. “Not only are they raising money for South County Habitat for Humanity, during philanthropy week they also do service hours.”
While some students completed hours at animal shelters or senior centers, others had the opportunity to volunteer their time at local build sites for Habitat for Humanity. Senior Adam Reinstein of Alpha Epsilon Pi and director of Alumni Archives and Campus Outreach for the Interfraternity Council said his experience on a Habitat for Humanity build site in Peacedale was enjoyable despite not having any prior experience.
“My experience on the build site was honestly one of the best community service things I’ve done so far in college,” Reinstein said. “Just being there with the whole team, they were so focused on making sure that we all learned something. There were all different types of experience levels and roles to be done.”
This year’s Philanthropy Week kicked off with Greek BINGO on Sunday night, which raised more than $5,000 alone, according to Fox. The week has played host a number of other events as well, such as Greek Games and last night’s “So You Think You Can Dance.”
Other smaller scale events, like the sale of Allie’s Donuts and cider or Penny Wars, have been ongoing. Fox said Penny Wars has offered the opportunity for friendly competition between Greek Life team pairings while supporting a great cause.
Greek Life has also been able to help the local community through partnerships with Rhody Outpost and the Nutrition Club to create food baskets for the Thanksgiving season, according to Fox.
Most of the money that has been raised has come through online fundraising, but the events such as these have helped to push them past their goal. One thing stressed by Interfraternal Council Public Relations Director Aiden Keene is that all of these events are open to the public, not just students in Greek Life.
“Every event and fundraising effort is open for all of our great URI community to enjoy,” Keene said. “We hope to break any stigmas and increase participation and fundraising for this annual fall program going forward.”
Due to the collective efforts of all the fraternity and sororities on campus, Fox said she’s looking forward to the grand reveal of this week’s collective total at tonight’s Greek Idol.
“I think we’re definitely going to surpass our goal and be around $60,000,” Fox said. “They have worked really hard.”
Tonight’s Greek Idol competition will take place in Edwards Auditorium at 7 p.m.