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Philanthropy Week is Here, Now What?

If you would have tried to explain how a sorority philanthropy would be the reason I stuck with Greek life today a year ago, you probably would have had a really confused and freaked-out girl looking back at you. Entering into a chapter as a new member is already a large commitment and overwhelming at points. Adding on the time commitment of philanthropy is enough to make any new member's head spin. However, here is your guide to philanthropy week and my personal story of how my chapter's philanthropy gave me a sense of belonging.

It was my first semester in the Beta Psi Chapter of Kappa Delta, and I personally did not have a solid grasp on what was going on a lot of the time. Pre-sorority, philanthropy was not a word that came up in my vocabulary a lot, but I knew it meant service and commitment to a greater cause. We volunteered a lot of our time to the Girl Scouts, which was such an amazing way to instill confidence and happiness within young girls. 

However, never having been in Girl Scouts as a child, I felt I was still trying to find my connection to our philanthropy. Shamrock Week is a week of events every chapter of Kappa Delta puts on to raise money for our supported organization of Prevent Child Abuse of America. I finally had my lightswitch moment where I realized just how important the word philanthropy was going to become to my vocabulary. Since I was sixteen years old, all my jobs have involved working with children in some context. I have always loved being able to work with children and see them thrive in all parts of their lives. This sometimes involved meeting children who are not coming from the best family situation. In my work position, I knew there was only so much I could do; coming into Kappa Delta, I saw my connection and place in this philanthropy and how I could aid children in need beyond my job. Philanthropy is a major pillar of what sorority life is built on, so being able to find a connection to a chapter's philanthropy, even if indirect as mine was, is critical in your experience as a member and the difference you can make through your service within Greek Life.  It creates a sense of belonging as a member and an understanding of your impact on a deeper level.  

So, you found your place and your people, and now your philanthropy week is coming up…what the heck are you getting into? All philanthropy events are a bit different but structured in a similar way. There are smaller events such as pieing or caking a chapter member, percentage nights held at different food establishments, or even mini golf or smaller sports events. You then have a larger main event that coincides, such as a larger main sporting event for all Greek organizations to participate in. With all Greek organizations, such as sororities and fraternities having the opportunity to participate in and compete in each other's philanthropies, you have an amazing opportunity to build closer bonds outside of your chapter! 

I will be the first one to say I am not an expert on philanthropy. I will, however, say that if you are still looking for your connection or your reasoning, there is a very good possibility that it all lies in the philanthropic efforts you can contribute to a chapter. 

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