Marshall sorority raises awareness for domestic violence

Breanna Francis, Reporter

Alpha Chi Omega is preparing for their candlelight vigil at the end of October with other fundraisers and tabling as part as Domestic Abuse Awareness Month.

“Our philanthropy is domestic abuse awareness, and we work with local shelters to raise funds and supplies to help those escaping dangerous situations,” Natasha McFarland, vice president of philanthropy for Alpha Chi Omega and junior health care management student, said. “Domestic abuse is such a taboo topic because of people’s upbringings and beliefs, and we want to show students and the community that this behavior is not normal and not okay.”

McFarland said their fundraising benefits local shelters, such as Branches in Huntington, and helps them to obtain resources for those who came to them seeking help.

“We are working together with Delta Zeta to gather coats for people in shelters for the upcoming winter,” McFarland said. “We’ve also been holding a lot events this month, especially to try and really get the word out. We have already done ‘Pie an Alpha Chi,’ where someone pays $1, $2, or $3 and depending on what they paid, could pie one of our members, and all of the money goes to Branches.”

McFarland said that this philanthropy helps to teach students what a healthy relationship is in a very delicate part of their lives.

“College students are learning what is and isn’t normal in a relationship, and our sorority giving out information as to what is abuse, whether emotional, physical or mental, is only going to help teach men and women how to protect themselves from abuse in all kinds of relationships.”

Alpha Chi Omega president Blair Young said giving back to these shelters helps drive the members of the sorority to continue their charity work.

“This is such an important issue because this cause hits home for a lot of people, whether they are a victim or know a victim of domestic violence,” Blair Young said. “We want to better the Huntington community, and we want to make the community aware of what’s happening. We know where our hard work is going, and we know that they need us. Branches letting us know how much we help them gives us all that extra push to do better and continue to do more for them each year.”

Alpha Chi Omega plans to close out Domestic Violence Awareness month with a candle light vigil in honor of victims of abuse Oct. 23.

Breanna Francis can be contacted at [email protected].