Plenty of service planned for Greek Week

Fun and philanthropy are the pillars of the U’s Greek Week this year, which begins this Saturday and ends seven days later.

The theme this year is “My Big Fat Greek Week.”

“To be honest, I think the whole week is just about having fun,” said Jessica Reade, vice president of the Panhellenic Council.

That “fun” will include some games, dinners and partying, as well as four different service projects.

Beginning Saturday, the greeks will clean up trash and debris in the area around their chapter homes.

Tuesday, they will take children from The Neighborhood House, a day care for children from low income families, to the zoo.

According to Vicki Mori, the executive director of the center, the activity gives the children some valuable one-on one time with an adult.

That time can be hard to come by for these youngsters. Mori said that 80 percent of those using the day-care services are single parents who try to handle the responsibilities of what two normally take on.

“They rarely get time to spend with their families…Mom is too busy doing everything else. She doesn’t have time to come down and eat dinner,” Mori said.

On top of that, the majority of the parents are probably earning $8 or less per hour, according to Mori.

“[We help] mostly women. They range in age from 18 to 24 years. They have approximately two kids and their economic status is such that, if they’re lucky, they have a high school education,” she said.

This year, about 100 children will be going to the zoo with sorority and fraternity members.

“They love the zoo. They love to see animals…the kids just have a great time,” Mori said. “We feel very fortunate to have the support of the greek fraternities and sororities of the U…they have very big hearts.”

Throughout the week, greeks will also be collecting donations from students for Utah’s largest homeless shelter, The Road Home. Acceptable donations range from money to children’s games and clothing to hygiene items.

“It’s great because those are items that we wouldn’t just go out and buy for ourselves. We really rely on those donations…it offers a lot to the shelter,” said Melissa Petersen, a service coordinator at the shelter.

During the last day of Greek Week, members will be beautifying and remodeling the YWCA grounds in cooperation with the Bennion Community Service Center.

The week is not entirely about service. The Panhellenic and Interfraternity councils have scheduled a dinner with the Lesbian Gay Bisexual Transgender group, a soccer tournament with Pilates balls, a quiz show, a Stingers baseball game and a Friday night party at Odd Fellow Hall.

To help motivate members to participate in the events, seven greek teams made up of one fraternity and one sorority house each will accumulate points for participation. The team with the most points wins Lovesacs for their chapter houses.

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