Two Weber State University students, members of the Pi Theta Xi fraternity, have started a competition with other organizations on campus to see who can donate the most to help the less fortunate in the Ogden area.
Brendan Woodhall, a WSU junior in business administration, and Nathan Richard, a WSU sophomore in early childhood and elementary education, both new actives to Pi Theta Xi, said they got the idea from their involvement with the WSU InterVarsity Christian Fellowship, which did a clothing drive for Christmas. They both said the drive was such a success it made them want to continue helping the community.
After bringing their idea to the Greek Council and getting support from Zeta Gamma Eta, Delta Chi Nu, Tau Psi Beta and Phi Gamma Lambda, Woodhall and Richard decided to make it a full-fledged competition to see who could donate the most clothing to Your Community Connection — a nonprofit organization that provides shelter and help to victims of domestic violence, rape and poverty, according to its website — by Feb. 19.
“We went to each organization individually, and we have four other organizations that are helping us out,” Woodhall said. “And if there is one thing people want to know about the Greeks, it is that we are competitive, so we are having a lot of fun with the competitive part of this.”
Woodhall and Richard devised a competition that would not just help the community, but also build the Greek community. Instead of the winner receiving a monetary prize, they decided to create a coupon book with a variety of winning selections, such as a coupon that states the losing organization has to throw a tea party for the winning organization, or spot the winning organization for a day at the gym.
“We tried to keep the awards as non-monetary as possible, so we weren’t spending our money that could actually go to charity,” Richard said. “That is pretty counterproductive in my mind. If we are throwing money to an award, then it just would not be beneficial.”
Woodhall and Richard created the competition to be broken down into two-week periods so that they could continually have donations to make to YCC.
“We wanted to have donations every two weeks so that we can get to the YCC in a timely manner, to make the donation available to people to use it when they need it,” Woodhall said. “It’s cold this time of year, and we are also trying to stretch it out as long as possible.”
The competition has yielded a total of 1,799 articles of clothing in the month it has been in effect, and that is only the beginning, said WSU interior design freshman Angel Lugo, president of the Zeta Gamma Eta sorority.
Zeta Gamma Eta is topping the competition with its donation of 611 articles of clothing. Lugo said she thinks the competition is fun and a win-win situation.
“We knew that it was a good cause, and it’s a little competition between all of our organizations,” Lugo said. “The more clothes that you donate helps, because it puts clothes on the backs of women and children, and that is really one of our biggest motivations.”
Lugo said her sorority sisters have been real “go-getters,” finding donations in a variety of ways, including going through their own closets, posting on their Facebook pages, asking family and friends, and even going to local dry cleaners.
“Our secretary donated the most clothes by going through and giving away about half her closet,” Lugo said. “She is the reason why we are at the top.”
As to how many articles of clothing the individual organizations have donated, Zeta Gamma Eta is at 611; Delta Chi Nu, 491; Tau Psi Beta, 439; Pi Theta Xi, 258; and Phi Gamma Lambda, 0. The competition is close, and the Greeks are encouraging students to donate as much as they can. Students can donate to individual organizations by going to the Greek Council, where the clothes will be distributed evenly between the sororities and fraternities, or by donating directly to YCC in Ogden. Donations will be accepted up to Feb. 19.
Students interested in getting involved with Greek Life can find more information through its link on the WSU main page, and Pi Theta Xi will host an event on March 29 at the Ogden Nature Center, where they will plant trees.
Richard said he wants to keep projects such as these going on continuously.
“I just want to do my part, because I know how it can be to be on bottom where you don’t have much to go with and start with nothing,” he said. “I moved from Maine, and it was really hard to get started, and now that I feel like I am stable enough, I just really want to put if forward and give back as much as I can. That’s the reason why I’m doing it.”