Filed under: Fun Ways to Give | Tags: college events, college life, fraternities, fundraising events, Giving, Greek life, Penn State, sororities, University of Florida, University of Kentucky
Today’s guest post is from Alvina Lopez.
A hallmark of all university Panhellenic groups is community service and charity. Every year, thousands of member students across the United States commit their time to furthering hundreds of different causes. Whether big or small, these charity and volunteer programs always make a positive impact in the lives of others and are what make Greek life so vital for a college town and its surrounding area.
Every event is significant in its purpose and deserves to be highlighted. Alas, there are so many, it would be impossible to ever cover them all, so here are three great examples to exemplify what every Panhellenic chapter strives for every school year.
THON at Penn State
THON is the shorthand nickname for The Penn State IFC/Panhellenic Dance Marathon. This annual charity event is the “largest student-run philanthropy” in the nation and has raised millions of dollars over the years for children’s cancer research and support (over seven million dollars was raised in 2010 alone).Although the charity works a full year to raise funds, the event is capped off every February with a two day, no sitting, no sleeping dance marathon. Over the years, interest in the cause has grown exponentially, and many other universities have mirrored similar dance marathon charity events from Penn State’s.
Panhellenic 5K and Ghouls, Goblins and Greeks at the University of Florida
Throughout the year, the Panhellenic Council at the University of Florida hosts several fundraisers and supply drives for the Peaceful Paths Domestic Abuse Network of Gainesville. In addition to these events, multiple chapters also take part in an annual 5K walk/run to further benefit the domestic abuse cause, as well as other local charity causes. Ghouls, Goblins and Greeks is another event hosted every Halloween that provides a safe trick-or-treating environment for local families. All chapters on Sorority Row decorate their houses and participate in the event.
Greek Sing at the University of Kentucky
Greek Sing is an annual fundraising event at the University of Kentucky that raises funds for the Make-a-Wish Foundation of Kentucky, a charity that helps grant the wishes of children suffering from life-threatening medical conditions. It is essentially a talent show, featuring the talent of all UK sororities and fraternities. Although tickets are sold to raise money, chapters also work to raise additional funds leading up to the show. Over $124,000 was raised at the 2011 Greek Sing event, and participants hope to break that record at next year’s event.
A freelance writer and blogging extraordinaire for seven years, Alvina Lopez now mainly contributes her expertise about online colleges to accreditedonlinecolleges.com. Her ultimate goal is to help future students discover their potential by enrolling in the right program for them. She also writes about trends in education, personal finance and sustainable living. She loves getting feedback from her readers at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Filed under: Fun Ways to Give, Volunteering | Tags: family, kids, parents, take action, Volunteering, volunteering with children
Today’s post is a guest article from Kate Croston.
No matter how young or old you are, volunteering is one of the single most rewarding and impacting experiences you can have. Helping those who are less fortunate than us not only puts our own blessings in perspective, making us more appreciative of the lives we’ve been fortunate enough to have, but it also is very emotionally gratifying as well, building us into stronger and more compassionate people. This is why it’s so important to help our kids understand the importance of volunteering early on. You might meet some initial resistance with kids volunteering, as most would rather be out playing with their friends; however, with the right approach you’ll have them engaged in no time.
1) Volunteer together – Instead of sending your children off on their own to volunteer with different organizations, make it a family affair. They’ll be less resistant to attending this way and it will help create a bond between your family as you all grow both individually and together.
2) Let them pick a cause they are interested in – Having your kids pick the cause they want to volunteer for automatically makes them more engaged in the activity, and they’ll benefit the most from doing something with which they personally identify. If they have a passion for animals then try volunteering at the local animal shelter. If they love being around elderly people then take them to the nursing home. There are so many organizations out there that are always looking for volunteers that you’re sure to find the right match in no time.
3) Volunteer regularly – Make volunteering a habit early on in their lives. The more it seems like a normal, everyday activity, the more likely they are to stick with it throughout the years instead of only going once or twice before losing interest.
4) Start small – You don’t have to have them jump headfirst into 20 hours a week of volunteering. Instead have them do a Christmas shoebox that you drop off for the less fortunate children one year, then add on a more intensive volunteering project, and then something else after that… Starting small makes it easier to transition slowly into bigger projects.
5) Make it enjoyable, not overwhelming – Volunteering should be something that your children look forward to doing, so don’t obligate them to so many different volunteer organizations that they become overwhelmed and burned out. Moderation is key in everything, and volunteering is no different.
There really are no drawbacks when it comes to volunteering. Not only will you and your kids be helping others, but you’ll also be helping yourselves. It’s the perfect balance where each side comes out ahead.
Kate Croston is a freelance writer, holds a bachelors degree in Journalism and Mass Communication. She writes guest posts for different sites and loves contributing on internet service related topics. Questions or comments can be sent to: katecroston.croston09 @ gmail.com.