FSL Penny Wars

Jars set up by Beta Theta Pi and Pi Kappa Alpha fraternities, along with other organizations, stand on display at Wolf Plaza on Monday, Oct. 29, 2018. The jars collected money for Penny Wars as part of Red and White Week, and all of the profits went towards the Student Emergency Fund.

As part of NC State’s fraternity and sorority life, emphasis on philanthropy is a significant goal for each chapter. The chapters focus on individual service initiatives and seeks to raise money through various events and projects, as well as to spread awareness on issues to the NC State community.

Assistant Director of Fraternity and Sorority Life Emily Mitch released a portion of the 2017-2018 Community Assessment report, which states that the total philanthropy dollars raised from all Greek life service projects was $290,393, with an average of $79.93 raised per member.

Kappa Kappa Gamma President Allison Hellwig, a fourth-year double majoring in chemical engineering and paper science and engineering, stresses philanthropy as a life skill that builds leadership, social entrepreneurship and charitableness.

“I think it gives our members a way to give back to the local community and make a difference hands-on,” Hellwig said. “It really helps our members stay well-rounded and gives them opportunities to engage in campus activities and become better leaders. I think it is just a life skill everyone should have continuing forward outside of the college realm.”

Nationally, Kappa Kappa Gamma participates in service for Reading is Fundamental, an organization that supports literacy amongst underprivileged youth.

“Along with our interest in promoting literacy, we do what are called ‘Reading is Key’ events in the local community,” Hellwig said. “We go to different locations and read to kids. Every kid goes home from those events with a book." 

The sorority’s most recent event was a book and school supplies drive that took place in November.

“We donated 15 very large boxes of books and school supplies to elementary schools in New Bern, North Carolina, whose libraries were destroyed by Hurricane Florence,” Hellwig said. “It was really successful, and we were super happy about it.”

According to Hellwig, Kappa Kappa Gamma donated $1,500 in the spring 2018 semester. A percentage of membership dues go to the philanthropy chair for putting on service events. The revenue that is then donated to the non-profit organizations comes from ticket sales for events and a percentage of purchase nights at restaurants around Raleigh. 

Jacob Abramow, a third-year majoring in electrical engineering, is the philanthropy chair and new member education chair for Alpha Epsilon Pi. According to Abramow, the fraternity’s service initiative is to donate to Alpha Epsilon Pi’s Repair the World Fund. Every year, the chapter gets together and agrees upon ten different beneficiaries. This year, some of those beneficiaries include Innovation: Africa, Gift of Life Marrow Registry, IDF Widows and Orphans Organization and more.

A unique service event held by Alpha Epsilon Pi around the country is called the Rock-A-Thon. Members of the fraternity sit in rocking chairs on the Brickyard for a total of 24 hours straight and ask for donations from passers-by. All of the proceeds go toward the Gift of Life foundation.

Similar to Kappa Kappa Gamma, Alpha Epsilon Pi receives a large portion of their revenue from various events and a percentage of purchase nights, according to Abramow.

“Most of the revenue comes from direct personal connection, family members or people in the Jewish community,” Abramow said.

Hailey Turner, Zeta Tau Alpha’s Director of Philanthropy, is a third-year majoring in business administration. The focus of their philanthropic efforts is breast cancer education and awareness.

According to Turner, a minimum of six out-of-house service hours and six in-house service hours is required of all members. Some in-house service projects include making dog toys from old t-shirts and making cards for patients in hospitals.

“Every semester, we have about two or three major projects we do,” Turner said. “Our biggest one this semester was our flag football tournament on November 10th. We raised around $6,000 to donate to our philanthropy through an entry fee of $7 per person.”

Turner looks forward to the Crown Classic Golf Tournament that will held in the spring semester.

“This event will be similar to the flag football tournament, where everyone will make teams, and a lot of times we have had dads come to participate,” Turner said. “They get to play golf all day, and we also have food trucks that come out, so it is a really fun event.”

Turner believes that regardless of the philanthropy they partake in, NC State students are impacting someone else in a much bigger way than they could ever imagine.

“It is good to be involved in something bigger than yourself,” Turner said.