March 4, 2015
Collegiate Perspective: Alpha Phi Gives Back
If you are like me, service is one of the things that drew you to Greek Life and Alpha Phi especially. Alpha Phi’s commitment to community outreach and service is truly incredible, especially at Carnegie Mellon University during the spring semester. Our largest Greek event of the year has a philanthropic focus, which this year was expanded to have community service involved. The largest campus event is a campus wide community service day.
Each semester there is a day called “1000+.” The entire campus is encouraged to participate in service activities organized by a leadership board that has often included Alpha Phi sisters. On this day we all come together, regardless of being Greek or not, regardless of our chapters, our majors or our interests and we give back to the community that houses our school. This event takes months of planning but the pay off is amazing. It truly lives up to its name as over a 1000 students each semester take to the streets of Pittsburgh to pick up trash, plant trees, volunteer at shelters and try to leave the community a little better than we found it. For me, the day is only improved by the people I meet; without fail I form new relationships, deepen my bonds with my sisters and fall more in love with Alpha Phi. These days of service have strengthened my desire to perform service and will stick with me far past my collegiate career.
The Greek commitment to philanthropy is even more evident in our annual event, Greek Sing. While it may seem like just a series of 13-minute musicals, it is so much more. Every few years we make a new commitment to a local institution and we pledge to them a sum we will raise. My junior year was the end of a four-year commitment to The Children’s Institute in Pittsburgh. The cheers for the winners of the show were loud, but they were nothing compared to the noise we made when it was announced that over four years we as a community had raised $250,000, nearly double our initial pledge. This year we have begun a two-year commitment to Our Clubhouse, an organization that provides support to the patients and families of those dealing with cancer. We have pledged $160,000 over the next two years and Our Clubhouse is making big plans for how to use the money.
This year as a community we also voted to add that in order to be eligible for the philanthropy award, each chapter would have to volunteer at Our Clubhouse. We wanted to do more to help in every way possible. It’s decisions like this that make me so confident I made the right decision in going Greek and in picking Alpha Phi. College is an incredible four years and as my time here wraps up I am grateful for all the times Alpha Phi provided me with the opportunity to give back and make a meaningful impact on the community.
Rachel Pustejovsky is a collegiate member at Carnegie Mellon (Iota Sigma). Learn more about Rachel by clicking here.