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The Daily Wildcat

The Daily Wildcat


Gamma Phi Beta, Sigma Alpha Mu host philanthropy


Courtesy of Kayla Urbanski

The members of Gamma Phi Beta pose for a photo outside of their house in fall 2014. This is the first time that Gamma Phi Beta and Sigma Alpha Mu have gathered together to participate in a philanthropy event.

Gamma Phi Beta and Sigma Alpha Mu are working together to better the Tucson community and the image of Greek Life.

The two Greek Life chapters have organized a Toys for Tots collection that will take place on Thursday from 8 a.m. to 6:30 p.m., with a goal of donating over 500 toys to the charity.

The U.S. Marine Corps Reserve Toys for Tots program is a nationwide charity to collect toys in local communities for children for Christmas who otherwise would not have received anything during the holiday season.

According to the Toys for Tots website, the organization had donated about 16.8 million toys to over 7 million children at the end of its 2012 collection.

Kayla Urbanski, philanthropy chair for Gamma Phi Beta, said this is the first time Toys for Tots will pick up from a greek house at the UA.

She said this is also the first time that a greek chapter at the UA is doing a philanthropy event that will directly affect the Tucson community.

“We all have national philanthropies, but no one’s done anything for Tucson,” Urbanski said. “Hopefully, this influences other chapters as well to do more things for Tucson.”

Urbanski and Jordan Sandler, philanthropy and design chair for Sigma Alpha Mu, started planning this philanthropy event in early November. Both said it is also the first time that the two UA greek chapters have done a philanthropy event together.

Sandler said he always had the idea of doing a philanthropy event with Gamma Phi Beta.

While Gamma Phi Beta and Sigma Alpha Mu are the chapters officially hosting the event, other chapters are involved as well — all with the common goal of donating toys to kids in the Tucson community.

“It’s really great that all of Greek Life is coming together to donate toys,” Urbanski said.

She said there have been incentives created among the different chapters to collect as many toys as possible. Within Gamma Phi Beta, there is a competition between the different pledge classes, Urbanski said, and whichever pledge class donates the most toys will get a Sauce Pizza and Wine-sponsored dinner.

Other chapters are offering their members community service hours for donating toys, as community service is a requirement for each greek organization.

Urbanski also said this is an opportunity to bridge the gap between the UA Greek Life community and the local Tucson community.

Urbanski and Sandler both said they hope to collect 500 toys for the Tucson community, but they also want to improve the image of Greek Life through this event.

There has been a lot of media attention on the “bad parts” of Greek Life, Urbanski said, but not the other things chapters are doing.

“We’re just trying to make it public that Greek Life isn’t just partying individuals,” Sandler said. “I joined a fraternity to do philanthropy. I didn’t join a fraternity just to party.”
Urbanski said she would like to see the relationship grow between those in Greek Life and members of the Tucson community.

“We want to show we’re here to impact Tucson and that we want to,” she said.


Follow Meghan Fernandez on Twitter.

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