At West Liberty University, the Nu Theta chapter of Chi Omega takes pride in our philanthropic work. For 18 years, on a national level, Chi Omega has dedicated countless hours of service to Make-A-Wish in an effort to bring smiles and happiness to many young children. Since 2002, Chi Omega has raised over 26 million dollars and has volunteered over 1.2 million hours of service.
The Nu Theta chapter has contributed almost 2,000 hours of service, and $14,610 to the Make-A-Wish Foundation. This past April, we participated in a virtual walk called Walk for Wishes, which is normally held in Morgantown, West Virginia. However, due to COVID, we were forced to have the walk completely virtually. That did not stop us and we ended up raising $4,369, as well as being the top donating team in the Greater Pennsylvania and Southern West Virginia area. While this event would’ve been much more exciting in person, it was still just as rewarding virtually. A few weeks after the event, we all gradually received emails about who our money helped and how.
This is my most favorite part of our alliance with Make-A-Wish. Being able to learn about how your donation impacted a family is astonishing. At times, when we share a story of who our donation impacted, it’s hard to miss the tears that fill the room.
One of my other favorite events is Kisses For Wishes. One of our chapter members will bring her donkey, Rita, to campus and people donate money to nominate someone to kiss the donkey! This is one of our more popular events and the campus staff even gets involved. Rita behaves very well, and she certainly loves the attention. Any day that Rita is on campus, is a pleasant surprise for everyone.
In addition to our national philanthropic work, we also have a local philanthropy in which we contribute to each month, Owl Pals with Madison Gals. We go to one of the local elementary schools and spend the day with girls in grades 3-5. The school is a lower-income school, and some of the girls come from a challenging background. Spending one Saturday morning with them may not seem like a lot, but to them, it means the world. Seeing the smiles on their faces is very rewarding and the experience isn’t like any other.
One of my favorite events that we’ve done with them was going to the Oglebay Zoo for an afternoon. We got to see a lot of animals that we’ve never seen before, like a cockroach the size of my hand (yuck!) and a small armadillo. Aside from the nasty cockroach, it was really fun to be able to explore the zoo and have a beautiful picnic right outside. I can only hope that we made those girls just as happy as they made us!
Although COVID had other plans, we look forward to the days when we can spend our Saturday mornings with our Owl Pals and continuing to volunteer countless hours to the Make-A-Wish Foundation.
Xx, Sydney Jeffreys
West Liberty University, Chi Omega