Phi Beta Sigma helping the homeless

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A couple of weeks ago I was speaking to a group of students at Ohio University, and I stressed the importance of giving back to the community. College students have a duty to help those that are less fortunate, and there are so many people within our communities that don’t know where their next meal is coming from, let alone plan a career. My commitment to community service came from my local chapter of Sigma Pi Fraternity in Buffalo, New York over 20 years ago. That sense of purpose and giving back to the community will continue to stay with me for a lifetime. It’s something that we must build into all of our Greek leadership conferences, and it’s something that should be a part of every Fraternity or Sorority calendar.

For those chapters that are struggling with brotherhood events but have social events planned out for every weekend of the semster, my suggestion is to cancel half of the social events and put more focus on community service. There are so many great organizations in your community that you can get involved with. Not only will you feel better as a person once you complete that community service event for the day because you made a positive difference, your chapter will be closer because there is nothing better than working alongside your brothers/sisters to help those in need.

One great example is the members of Phi Beta Sigma at St. Cloud State University. Place of Hope, a local organization that helps the homeless, was the perfect fit. As this article describes, members of Phi Beta Sigma gave out blankets and jackets to the homeless in their community. They also hosted a sleep out event on campus to raise awareness about the homeless.

Take a look at your chapter calendar for the semester. What’s the proportion of your social events to community service events? If you’re lacking brotherhood or sisterhood in your chapter, this is the easiest way to correct that and give back. It’s also the way to live the values of your organization, and the way to communicate those values to your University/community. Once word gets out, other students that share those values will be motivated to join you in your mission!

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