As students gear up for the final stretch of finishing projects, papers and finals, some are also working to get volunteer hours in before the fall semester comes to a close.
With the community in mind, Kappa Alpha Theta members have been volunteering throughout the semester.
Serving as the event coordinator for Kappa Alpha Theta, junior Arianne Wunder finds new ways to get the members involved during this time of year.
“It’s all about giving back,” she said. “Especially now, we want to spread the holiday cheer.”
Volunteer-based activities enable the growth of the philanthropy mission statement sororities are built around, Wunder said.
This year, Kappa Alpha Theta took part in the Parade of Lights Dec. 5 on Main Street. Handing out candy to children and singing along to holiday songs, the parade was a good opportunity to give back to the community while also bringing in the season’s greetings, Wunder said.
First-year Alicia Khatt, also a member of Kappa Alpha Theta, said the parade was a fun activity and something she will always remember.
“The holiday joy we are able to bring to everyone is so rewarding,” Khatt said. “It makes me so proud to be part of a group that is so caring about others.”
Khatt said she, along with the other women in her sorority, is excited to bring the seasons’ joy to everyone.
Another volunteer opportunity members have taken advantage of this season is helping raise funds and awareness for the Salvation Army by ringing bells. Standing outside grocery stores and other businesses, volunteers ask people for donations which go directly back to the community.
Junior Kathleen Serie is Kappa Alpha Theta’s service and philanthropy director and has to make sure initiated members of the sorority get at least five hours of community or volunteer service each semester.
Having heard about “Ringing of the Bells,” Serie said she was excited to share this volunteer opportunity with the members, especially because it incorporated a sense of holiday spirit.
“‘Ringing of the Bells’ is a fun and easy way to help the community and receive service hours,” Serie said. “The Salvation Army is such a visual and beneficial organization, (and) Theta was glad to help.”
The United Church of Christ in Vermillion helped organize the project for the Salvation Army, with 90 percent of profits going toward causes stationed in Vermillion. For places like Vermillion’s Emergency Center, receiving donated funds from the red kettles of the Salvation Army makes a difference.
“Volunteering is a huge development in who we are,” Serie said. “When college community service turns into a habit, it helps you grow up and really discover who you are.”
(Photo: The Kappa Alpha Theta and Alpha Phi Delta sororities walk in the Vermillion Parade of Lights Dec. 5. Malachi Petersen / The Volante)