Oftentimes in Greek life, the word “philanthropy” stirs up a whirlwind of both positive and negative emotions. On the one hand, it’s great to do good things in the community and for charity, and it can be a lot of fun if you really get into it. On the other hand, though, these things almost always take up an entire Saturday that could be better spent drunk. If you do it right, however, it can be a great time for a great cause. These eleven organizations did just that.
11. Beta Theta Pi, Indiana University
This incredible promotion video proves once and for all that philanthropy events can actually be really cool. The girls had every chapter on campus play “Broomball” for charity. I’m not exactly sure what that is, but as 90% of the success of a philanthropy event is the promotion, I sure as hell want to play now.
10. Iota Phi Theta, Kean University
When the city of Newark, NJ ran a Valentine’s Day promotion for people to purchase a plot of land for a reduced price, these gentlemen jumped on it. The natural assumption would be that the boys wanted a new house or satellite house to rage in. But no, Iota Phi Theta did buy a plot of land, but not for themselves. They purchased it for a homeless family and are now building a house for the family to live in. That’s right, they are BUILDING A HOUSE and giving it away. Nice job, gentlemen.
Obviously, Alabama’s Greek system is one of the largest in the country. So it’s no surprise their annual Greekfest concert is huge. Partnering with Costa Sunglasses, Greekfest hosted Wiz Khalifa, Dispatch, and Mother Funk who played for approximately 10,300 attendees. Through the event, Greeks raised over $100,000 for tornado relief efforts last year, alone.
In an effort to promote their event “Kappa Kickoff,” Kappa Kappa Gamma put together a badass cover of Iggy’s “Fancy,” called “Philanthropy.” They highlighted all the incredible philanthropic deeds they do throughout the year, from working with the elderly, to Relay for Life, to working with children, and making hair donations. These girls will shut down anyone who says Greeks are no good real fast.
It wouldn’t seem that a philanthropy that involves people beating the shit out of each other is exactly a good idea, but you know what? Sigma Chi managed to make that happen. Their annual “Fight Night” raised over $100,000 for cancer research, with the help of 2Chainz who showed up and performed at the event.
Sigma Chi does it again, this time with their Derby Days event at GW. Lots of campuses have some version of Derby Days, but when we make it personal, it really matters. That’s what these guys did when they raised $100,000 for cancer research to honor the memory of a member’s sister who was lost to cancer. They hope that tragic stories like hers soon become a thing of the past.
We often don’t think of “rival fraternities” and “philanthropy” in the same sentence. We actually don’t think of “rival fraternities” in the same room, let alone putting on events together. But at Indiana, Beta Theta Pi and Sigma Chi rose above their indifferences for the American Brain Tumor Association. It started a few years ago, when the boys put on an ice hockey game, just for funsies. When they raised $2,600 in ticket sales, they donated it to the Susan G. Komen foundation, and realized it was probably time to make “Frat Classic,” an annual event. This past year, the gentleman raised $30,000.
Every year on September 11, most of us take a moment to reflect. Being so close to Ground Zero, and knowing so many people affected, Greeks at Montclair State University in New Jersey do a hell of a lot more than that to honor “the survivors, the people we lost, and the soldiers who defended us all on that tragic, tragic day.” On September 11, 2001, thousands of people walked from Manhattan, over the George Washington bridge, into New Jersey, as the only way off the island and back to their families was by foot. The “Pike Hike,” sponsored by Pi Kappa Alpha encourages members of the Greek community at Montclair as well as neighboring schools like Rutgers, Ramapo, Rowan, NYU, Columbia, and Hofstra to make that seventeen-mile walk in reverse — from New Jersey, to Ground Zero to honor the memory of that tragic day.
I’m so selfish that I bitch about having to give up a Saturday to work at my chapter’s philanthropy event, but how about giving up your spring break to walk 160 miles across freezing cold Michigan to raise $15,000 for the National Multiple Sclerosis Society, like Alpha Tau Omega from Grand Valley State did? Thanks for making me feel (deservedly) like crap, guys.
Lots of chapters put on date auctions, and those are great. But University of South Florida’s Kappa Sigma took it to a whole other level with a Magic Mike themed auction. And yes, there was dancing – even a choreographed number to the Backstreet Boys “I Want It That Way.” All of the shirtlessness helped raise over $2500 for Fisher House, which aids wounded veterans and their families in recovering as they come home from war. Helllllllllllllllllllo, boys.
I may be biased on this one, since I had so much fun reporting on it, but Tri-Delt and Delta Sig managed to create a philanthropy event that revolved completely around puppies. Not only did the event let students come out and play with puppies, it also raised funds and signed up new volunteers for the Prince George’s Country Animal Shelter. And seriously…anything involving cuddly canines is always going to be number one in my book. Yes, even more than half-naked dudes..