A Greek Thanksgiving

Nov 182010
Authors: Erin Udell

With Thanksgiving just around the corner, CSU Greek Life decided to make the holidays a little merrier for some Fort Collins families.

Members of the Interfraternity Council, the Multicultural Greek Council, the National Pan-Hellenic Council and the Panhellenic Council decided to sponsor Fort Collins families in need by providing boxes of food items necessary for Thanksgiving dinner.

“We identified the neediest families in the Poudre School District, partnered with the administrations of those schools and made arrangements with Albertsons to get the best deals on food,” said Rich A. Salas, the associate director for Greek Life and El Centro.

The food items were packaged together at Albertsons and paid for by sororities and fraternities within the four Greek councils. These food packages were then given to select families of students at Irish Elementary, Putnam Elementary and Lincoln Middle School.

“In this economy a lot of our families are struggling,” said Melinda Cowgill, an administrative assistant and teacher on special assignment at Irish Elementary School. “Providing a nice feast can be kind of expensive.”

Each food package included a turkey, stuffing, gravy, pies and other Thanksgiving classics, as well as a family board game.

“Just to be able to sit around the table and have a hot meal with your family, that’s just something words can’t describe,” said Ashley Griffin, president of the National Pan-Hellenic Council and member of the Alpha Kappa Alpha Sorority, Inc.

The project originally started with a goal of helping 75 families but, with overwhelming support from the CSU Greek community, almost 150 boxes of supplies were donated to the cause.

“I think this is really a testament to the great work that CSU Greeks do to serve their community,” Salas said. “Our main objective is to provide a service to our community, bridging CSU Greek organizations with the community.”

This year’s Thanksgiving project was created through a collaborative effort with all of the councils.

“We know a lot of families that are going without and are struggling to make ends meet,” Salas said. “All Greek organizations come together collectively for a common good. What better time than Thanksgiving?”

This is the second year CSU Greek organizations have donated their time and money to Irish Elementary School during the holiday season. Last year, the councils adopted the elementary school as a community service project and provided every student with a Christmas present.

“They’ve (CSU Greek Life) been wonderful,” Cowgill said. “We teach our kids how important it is to give back to the community and it’s better when they can see the students, making that personal connection.”

As for the future of these Greek life community projects, Salas says the sky is the limit.

“We can pretty much do anything we set our minds to. The students are powerful, resourceful and creative when it comes to helping our local community,” Salas said. “That’s something that I think we’re all proud of.”

City Council Beat Reporter Erin Udell can be reached at news@collegian.com

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