One of the greatest parts of being a Theta Chi is our organization’s commitment to philanthropy. This rings especially true for Alpha Mu chapter at Iowa State. We take pride in the philanthropic events we hold each semester, all while making a commitment to support as many other chapter’s philanthropies as we can.
Philanthropy: What exactly is it?
One often gets confused on what exactly philanthropy is or means. By one definition in Webster’s dictionary, philanthropy is “usually manifested by donations of money, property, or work to needy person.” In simpler terms, philanthropy is the act of donating something you have to someone who is in need. Theta Chi has at least one event per semester in which we hold an event to raise money for a non-profit organization. Our goal is to use our own resources and creativity to truly help those who are in need of a “Helping Hand.”
Hope 4 Africa Inc.
Not many other chapters at ISU can claim that one of their members founded their own non-profit organization, which is why Theta Chi takes a lot of pride in its support for Hope 4 Africa Inc. In addition to benefiting the organization with Gobble Fest, our chapter has supported Hope through several of their events including Hunger Out 4 Hope, Greek Campaign, Hope 4 Africa Night and several others. Hope 4 Africa started out as a club at one high school, and has since grown to a full non-profit organization with ten clubs at schools across the country. Many of the chapter members are highly involved in the Iowa State club, and some have had the chance to travel to Kenya with the organization. Our current Alumni Advisor, Dr. Jon Fleming, also serves on the Board of Directors for the non-profit. To learn more about Hope 4 Africa, visit their website.
Outside of supporting philanthropies at other chapters in the ISU Greek community, Theta Chi is highly involved in several philanthropic events through out the year. Some of the bigger events are as follows:
Dance Marathon: The largest philanthropy at ISU, it is typically run by mostly members in the Greek community, including members of Theta Chi. We also have several members participate in the event, in which they raise money, dance, and get to meet with the families they are benefiting. It is truly a great event, and all proceeds benefit the University of Iowa Children’s Hospital.
Reggie’s Sleepout: A unique event in which participants collect cardboard boxes and use them to build a house to sleep in outdoors for a night. Participants are required to camp out and sleep in their cardboard houses, all while having fun and learning more about youth homelessness. Donations received at the event benefit Iowa Homeless Youth Centers.
Hunger Out 4 Hope: Lasting from 7 PM – 7 AM, participants raise money and stay up all night without eating and only drinking water to put themselves in the shoes of those who don’t have access to food. Participants are divided into teams, play games and have fun competitions throughout the night. Theta Chi has had the highest Greek house participation at the event since it started at ISU in 2010. All proceeds from the event benefit Hope 4 Africa Inc.
Relay For Life: An overnight event in which participants and teams take turns walking around a track in support for those who have suffered from cancer. The event features food, games, and activities throughout the night. All proceeds benefit the American Cancer Society.
All brothers of Theta Chi live by our Fraternity’s motto “The Helping Hand.” By becoming a member of our organization, members pledge to always help out those who are in need. Whether this is another brother, or someone we have never met before, Theta Chi takes pride in our willingness to assist all those who seek it.
Community Service vs. Philanthropy
Often, members of the Greek community fail to distinguish what differentiates community service and philanthropy. Community Service is active participation in an event geared towards helping your community. Some simple examples would be picking up trash in a park, building a shed, or serving food at a shelter. On the flipside, philanthropy normally involves giving some sort of gift or donation towards a cause.
Theta Chi Community Service Expectations
At Theta Chi, we require all members to serve at least 10 hours of community service per semester and encourage members to go above and beyond. We do this not because we feel the need to force this service upon or members, but rather because of the impact we have seen it have on them. Many of our members come into the chapter with little to no experience with community service, and leave with a dedication to helping others. With endless community service opportunities as a Theta Chi, it is very easy to get involved and find your own passion for serving others.
Community Service Events
While our chapter participates in several different community service events, here are a few the main ones we do:
Sawyer Carnival: This is a fun event that takes place every spring every at Sawyer Elementary School in Ames. The school puts up several different carnival style events for the night, and many of our members help volunteer running the events for the kids and their families. We have always had a good time, and the families are always very appreciative.
IPTV Telethon: For this event, our members simply help answer phone calls for a few hours during the IPTV Telethon. The telethon helps raise money for various charitable causes.
Blood Drive: Held every spring and fall semester, our chapter typically has close to full participation in this event. It’s a simple way to make a difference, and potentially save lives.
Our chapter also never hesitates exploring additional community service opportunities. Whether it’s helping out alumni or anyone in the Ames community, feel free to visit our Contact Us page if you would like to submit a community service opportunity to Alpha Mu.
Our maxim of Theta Chi Fraternity states, “Alma Mater first and Theta Chi for Alma Mater.” Our chapter values academic scholarship since it is the main reason all our members are at Iowa State. Our chapters a variety of scholarships for both current members, and incoming students who represent the motto of Θηρόποεα Χείρ – which translates to “An Assisting Hand.” The scholarships offered are listed below:
It is through our chapter’s emphasis on academics that we commit to provide all our new members with a one time scholarship of up to $250 so long as they achieve a semester GPA of 2.75 or higher on a 4.0 scale. Additionally we award 4 scholarships at the beginning of each semester to current members who have the two highest GPA’s and the two most improved GPA’s. The members with highest and most improved GPA receive scholarships of $500 each and the runner ups received scholarships of $250 each. We do this to make members want to give their best effort towards their academics and encourage continuous improvement within our academic performances.
Helping Hand Scholarship
To practice our motto of extending the helping hand, we also offer scholarships to current students at Iowa State. The Helping Hand Scholarship is awarded annually to students who exemplify past commitment to community service, strong academic achievement, capacity to be a leader and demonstrate a drive to succeed. We award four scholarships totaling to $2,500: (1) $1,000 scholarship, (1) $750 scholarship, (1) $500 scholarship and (1) $250 scholarship.