Tulanians Lend a Helping Hand

December 6, 2003

Bryan Cole, <i>Hullabaloo</i> assistant news editor

In conjunction with the holiday season, multiple student organizations are working in and around the city to raise money for local causes or assist various citywide charity programming. The Engineering Student Council recently held a kiss auction in order to raise money for the Kid Smart Foundation in NOLA. Matt Pang, publicist for the event and member of the ESC, stressed the importance of the programming to the Tulane community.

"It's a lot of fun and helps raise money for a good cause," Pang said. "It is also a great way to help engineers reach out and meet people they otherwise wouldn't have."

Numerous fraternities and sororities are organizing their own fundraisers or events. Chi Omega, for example, sponsored a raffle over this week to raise money for the Make-a-Wish Foundation. The group collected donations from local businesses, including restaurants, sports teams and day spas, for prizes. They intend for the proceeds to allow them to send a seven-year-old girl to Disney World with the money they make.

"We really wanted to grant her wish, so we knew we had to do something big," Karlye Brennion, the chapter's community service chair, said. Delta Tau Delta is participating in an Adopt-a-School program, assisting at Hynes Elementary School. Volunteers tutor students on a regular basis, as well as organize fundraisers, cleanup days and "parent work days," where parents come in to the school to explain their jobs to the students.

Pi Beta Phi also pitched in with its annual Burgers for Books program. The sorority collected money and books, handing out food to those who donated. The children's books they received were donated to local schools and literacy programs in the area, and those books with a higher reading level were given to a women's shelter run by the Salvation Army.

Jacob Bolin, director of fraternity and sorority programs, praised the Greek organizations for their involvement in the community.

"They have the manpower to give back to the community and to make people aware and offer their time," Bolin said. Bolin also explained the importance of these events to the community at large, saying, "It gives students a different perspective on New Orleans that they might not normally see. It's a great opportunity to make Greek life more well-rounded. Most importantly, the students [that volunteer] put a real face to the Tulane student body."

A large number of students and organizations, working in conjunction with Xavier University, sponsored the Book Giving Tree for the fifth consecutive year. Nearly 1,000 New Orleans area children received books through this project, and another 400 received books on tape recorded by Tulane students to accompany the books they were given. Jena Hellman, in her second year as project coordinator, said, "Giving children books not only promotes reading, but also gives them a sense of pride for having something that is just theirs."

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