Starting April 20, the Delta Tau Delta fraternity has actively hosted its second annual Volunteer-a-Thon. The competition is designed to increase student activity both on campus and in the community. The members of Delta Tau Delta inform current participants about activities on campus, encourage and reward people and publicize awareness programs.
The goal of the Volunteer-a-Thon is to earn as many hours as possible volunteering on and around campus. Teams can volunteer together to earn hours, or individuals can take on volunteer opportunities such as helping out at local organizations such as COTS, the local homeless shelter, the YMCA, and the Fox Valley chapter of Habitat for Humanity. In addition, many students participate in Lawrence-sponsored activities such as the Shack-a-Thon, the Lawrence Assistance Reaching Youth buddy program, and Dorm Storm, in which volunteers knock on doors asking for donations or non-perishable food.
Not only can teams earn hours by volunteering, but they can also earn half-credits for attending awareness events. Delta has advertised events such as To Write Love on her Arms, an organization that raises awareness about depression, addiction and self-injury.
Delta Tau Delta helps facilitate programs, transportation and helps advertise events for the teams. “We will help in any way possible,” said the former philanthropy chairman of Delta and current member, Drew Stuart. “Delta helps by setting up transportation, moving objects and supplies, and finding ways to advertise. If we can’t help you with something, we will direct you to others who can.” Delta also collaborates with the Volunteer Center, which records team hours and notifies the house of the team standings.
The competition is open to any students. Last year, around 200-300 people signed up. Traditionally, Lawrence’s fraternities comprise a majority of the teams. However, other groups such as Lawrence Christian Fellowship, Habitat for Humanity, Sigma Alpha Iota and the Pan-Hellenic council have participated. Last year’s winner, Pan-Hellenic council, volunteered for 250 hours. Because of their advantage of being the biggest group, the Volunteer-a-Thon has capped teams with a limit of 30 members. This year’s prize is a trophy, which will be housed in Warch if the team does not have a house.
Kappa Alpha Theta team member Diana Jurand ’12 raised money in an entertaining and creative way. “Two Fridays ago, I was in a fake wedding. The event was an improv dinner theater event that was held to raise money for the Emergency Shelter of the Fox Valley.” The event raised $12,000 for the shelter, and included a cast of about 10 people. Jurand and her fellow actors met once to discuss a storyline, and were donated costumes by a local seamstress and a bridal store that had gone out of business. “Fast forward to the night of the event — we did two rough runthroughs, and then let ‘er rip!” Jurand added. “It was a wild success with dancing and a DJ after the ceremony and dinner. The various raffles and prizes were a hit and the whole night was a fun way to support a local effort.”
Not only is the competition a fun way to bond with fellow team members, but it is also it an extremely rewarding experiences all individuals involved. “Last year, the Inter Fraternity Council hosted the Wisconsin Games,” shared Stuart We raised money for Harbor House, a domestic abuse house, through Wisconsin related activities. [These] activities included selling bratwursts and soda, a cheese curd toss, a root beer chug and a bratwurst eating contest.”