UR sororities are firmly dedicated to a multitude of community service projects. In addition to miscellaneous minor projects, each sorority has at least one cause to which all their chapters are dedicated nationwide. Almost all sororities require mandatory participation in philanthropic activities from their members.
“Collectively, [UR sorority chapters] give about 2,500 hours of hands-on community service a year and donate about $15,000 a year to various agencies in support of their programs to continue to assist those in need,” said Monica Miranda, Director of Greek Affairs.
The majority of Kappa Delta’s community service efforts go to helping the Girl Scouts of the USA and Prevent Child Abuse America, two of their national philanthropies. This February, the UR chapter raised $1,800 through the Shamrock Project.
This project is conducted by all KD chapters around the nation, with 20 percent of the proceeds going to Prevent Child Abuse America, and the remaining 80 percent to each chapter’s local philanthropy of choice. The UR chapter assists the Girl Scouts by volunteering in events throughout the year such as the Girl Scouts Reality Store, a career day for girls in grades 7-12 and their annual Cookie Kickoff.
The sisters and pledges of Alpha Phi are required by the sorority to participate in the Teeter-totter-athon and the Valentine’s Day sale, both annual fundraisers. The proceeds go to their national philanthropy, the AF Foundation, which supports cardiac research. Also, AF’s recent sale of Krispy Kreme donuts raised approximately $600 for St. Jude’s Children’s Hospital.
“Our sisters are actively involved in community service, not only through AF, but also through involvement outside the sorority,” said junior and AF president Sarah Gluchowski.
One of Phi Sigma Sigma’s major events is the Rock-a-thon, an alcohol-free live music concert which takes place annually in the fall, usually raising $1000-1500 for the National Kidney Foundation. Later this spring, sisters plan to volunteer at the Sojourner House, a shelter for battered women and children.
The Sojourner House also receives support through volunteering by Delta Gamma and clothes donations from Alpha Kappa Alpha.
The local chapter of Omega Phi Beta, which is comprised of UR and RIT students, adopted a 2.8 mile stretch of East River Road this year under the Adopt-a-Highway project. In the fall, they participated in a mentoring program, hosted by St. Michael’s Church, for middle and high school students.
OFB also helped the Al-Sigl Walkabout for Mary Cariola Children’s Center, an organization for helping disabled children, by donating money and taking a part in the walk.
Sisters from OFB, Lambda Pi Chi, and Sigma Psi Zeta are also planning to volunteer for a Habitat for Humanity house building project at the end of spring.
Every fall, DG hosts Anchor Splash, a fundraising event for Aid to the Blind and Sight Conservation, their national philanthropy. “Numerous organizations across campus put together teams and participate in swimming competitions, such as relays and synchronized swimming,” said junior and DG president Callie Soderland.
This past fall, the event raised $1,500 for this philanthropy. A large percent was used to sponsor a seeing-eye dog in the Rochester community.
Every April, the Rochester chapter of AKA holds the Mr. Pink Panther Scholarship Ball for minority men, the winner of which received a scholarship. In addition, they run the SOS Shoebox Project in the same month, which collects donations for school kids in Africa.
“[Community service] is one of the central tenets in our sorority,” said senior Jeanette Moy, community service chair of SYZ. This year, the sorority mentors children at Families With Children From Vietnam, a nationwide adoption support network. They also attempt to get minorities on campus to register for the National Marrow Donor Program, previously registering as many as 107 volunteers in one year.
Gamma Phi Beta has two major annual charity events, the majority of proceeds from which go to the Hillside Children’s Center. The Lucky Rubber Ducky raffle, a rubber duck race down Genesee River, is held in the fall, and “Throw a Pie at Gamma Phi” contest is in the spring, this year scheduled for April 5.
The Rochester Lambda Phi Chi chapter, along with their other chapters nationwide, work with a number of programs. The Hermanas for the Advancement of Career and Educational Resources Initiative strives to help minority and low-income students further their education and careers by providing information and financial resources.
Project LEAAP ? Latinas Educating on AIDS Awareness & Prevention ? uses service programs to help halt the spread of the AIDS virus through the Latino community. LFC also sponsors the “Young Scholars with FLAVA!” essay contest for minorities, which provides five winners with computers and software for prizes.
Not only do sororities participate in annual events, but many have projects that happen on a more frequent basis.
Sigma Delta Tau spends time at the Sojourner House once a semester but they also deliver food for Meals on Wheels every weekend.
SDT will be hosting a pancake dinner at the Delta Upsilon house on April 16 to raise money for Prevent Child Abuse America.
“People think that joining a sorority is all social, but a lot of us are community minded,” junior and president of SDT Sheida Jafari said. “Service comes naturally.”
Uzilov can be reached at