With classes being completely online for the rest of the semester, the Alpha Xi Delta sorority has taken an online approach in showing support for their philanthropy.
Their philanthropy is Autism Speaks. Since April is Autism Awareness Month, students would usually find chalk drawings across campus and an Alpha Xi table set up at the Memorial Student Center Plaza raising awareness and money for this cause throughout the month. Though, they have had to take a different approach this month.
Natalie Armbruster, philanthropy vice president for AXD, said she is working to make their new approach reach across the campus community like it would if they were still doing events on campus.
“We are lighting up our Instagram blue since we cannot light up our house or chalk up campus,” Armbruster said.
On World Autism Awareness Day, April 2, the sorority posted to its social media that their members were wearing blue in support and asked others to do so and post their photos. They are also using their social media platforms to do an “Autism Speaks Fun Fact Friday” each week to help bring awareness to their philanthropy in an interactive way. Alpha Xi is raising money through donation-based bingo flyers.
“We are doing a bingo board all of the month of April,” Armbruster said. “Anyone can donate through any of our sisters’ bingo boards, or if they would like to donate directly, we are encouraging that as well.”
Alpha Xi was able to host their big philanthropy event of the semester, Football FrenXi on March 13, before Marshall’s campus closed. They have raised around $1,600 to donate to Autism Speaks so far this semester and Armbruster said they are hopeful to raise more through the social media campaigns.
Alpha Xi Delta is not the only Greek organization that has taken to social media to raise awareness and support a cause. The Alpha Sigma Phi fraternity posted on their social media they had made support bags for Marshall students or community members in need.
“We know times are hard and social distancing is key right now,” said James Prentice, an Alpha Sigma Phi member. “We want to do our part even if it is small.”
Giving back in any way possible and trying to maintain a sense of normalcy and routine is important, Armbruster said.
“Just because we are no longer on campus does not mean that Greek Life has stopped fundraising for their philanthropies and doing work within their organizations,” she said. “A lot of great work is still going on in the Greek community during this trying time.”
Abby Hanlon can be contacted at [email protected]