Hi sisters! My name is Sam, and I’m a summer intern with Her Sorority Journey! Participation in community service and philanthropy with my chapter has impacted both my personal development and leadership skills. Every organization supports a philanthropic effort with donations of time and money, and I'm eager to share my journey and how you can get involved too!
I am a senior and the current chapter president of Alpha Phi at Adrian College. I have served in various leadership positions during my time in Alpha Phi including Vice President of Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion for my chapter and the university’s Panhellenic Council, House Manager, and Director of Philanthropy. Having the opportunity to be a part of chapter operations has dramatically influenced the way I view serving others and philanthropic efforts in such a positive way, and I am so excited to be able to share that.
Community service is an integral piece of the sorority experience. Having the privilege to be a part of an organization of like-minded, goal-oriented women comes with great advantages and it is important to see how much we all have to offer. Most college chapters will have a set amount of community service hours a member may be required to reach, either per semester or per academic year. For my chapter, we require 15 hours of service per semester. This can sound daunting, but this is meant to showcase the impact we are able to have on the people around us who continually support our efforts.
This opportunity completely shifted my mindset on “giving back” because I always felt it had to be material. Before joining a sorority, I didn’t understand that one of the best ways to give back was through acts of service rather than just physical items that can be shared. I have had the opportunity to volunteer over 250 hours of my time to local efforts during my time as an active member, and it is some of the most rewarding work I have been able to do.
As VP of Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion, I was able to not only facilitate the chapter’s cultural expansion but also log community service hours and give suggestions of where to donate time and resources in the community.
If you’re looking for ways to get involved and donate your time, I always recommend:
Domestic violence shelters
American Legions in your county
Meals on Wheels
If you are willing and able to donate money to local efforts, you can always:
Donate money/supplies to local schools
Donate toiletries/clothes/shoes to local shelters
Donate to the American Legion
There is never a limit on what you’re able to give back to a community that puts its support and faith into students and chapters in the area.
A chapter's philanthropy is the cause they support through fundraising and raising awareness. Some organizations may only have a national cause or a local cause and some may have both. While sorority life is meant to bring you closer to people and provide a support system for your years of college and beyond, another shared goal of sorority life is the ability to give to causes close to our hearts.
Alpha Phi's national philanthropy is called the Alpha Phi Foundation, which supports women’s heart health through research and treatment. We are able to support our foundation by hosting annual fundraising events where all proceeds go to the foundation in order to advance ongoing cardiac research. Some of these events include the Red Dress Gala, Mr. Alpha Phi (a pageant we encourage the men on campus to participate in and fundraise), Hoops for Heart, and many more.
Every chapter hosts philanthropy events throughout the year (don’t be shy to ask during recruitment!), so there are a lot of ways to get involved! On a chapter level, ask how you can help prepare for these events. You can help set up events, help advertise, count funds raised, and so much more - this will serve as SUCH a big help to your philanthropy committee. Eventually, you can even apply to be an executive board member in charge of planning and executing these events or apply to be a member of the philanthropy committee!
At the national/international level, look at what’s happening on your organization's website and social media pages! Lots of organizations will post about days of giving, large fundraising efforts, and other ways to support the philanthropy whether that’s through donations or volunteering. As collegiate members, we are able to routinely educate ourselves about our cause and give back through chapter- and campus-wide efforts. As alumnae, we can stay in touch and in tune with how to keep giving to the cause! A lot of women go on to be advisors, members of the national/international executive board, or ambassadors for philanthropy committees on a larger scale.
Having three full years to work alongside my sisters to advance our mindset of giving in so many ways has been such a blessing. Sorority life has inspired me to be the best, most generous version of myself and has done that for thousands of others! I hope to see this legacy of charity continue for years to come - because if anyone can, sorority women can.