NIU greeks donate gifts for holidays

By Amanda Martin

NIU greeks are getting into the spirit of giving this season as they prepare for philanthropic and community service activities throughout the DeKalb area.

The Sigma Phi Epsilon fraternity and Alpha Phi sorority hosted a party Dec. 7 for more than 30 underprivileged children in the DeKalb area with the help of the Salvation Army. Local DeKalb business also helped out by donating food and soft drinks for the festivities. This is the second year the fraternity has hosted the party, and members want to make it annual.

Sig Ep President Tom Caruso said, “Last year was a blast. The kids were great, and they really appreciated everything we did.”

The Alpha Sigma Alpha sorority planned, also for the second year, to attend the NIU Special Physical Education Teaching/Research Clinic program party Dec. 10. The SPEC program provides specialized one-to-one care for people ranging in age from 18 months to 65 years with mental, physical and learning disabilities.

John Dlabal, coordinator for the SPEC program, said last year’s party was a real success, and the sorority did a “great job” dressing up as elves and singing carols.

Dlabal added that the SPEC program is a non-profit organization and relies heavily on this type of support from NIU and community organizations.

“The Skulls (Phi Kappa Sigma fraternity) has helped out a lot this year,” Dlabal said. The fraternity donated many of the proceeds collected from their Second City Comedy night several weeks ago to the SPEC program. Dlabal said the money helped to buy new wheelchairs for people in the program.

Other activities sponsored by greek organizations include a canned food drive for families in the DeKalb area conducted by members of the Delta Upsilon fraternity. Chris Behrens, a member of DU’s, said the canned food drive is an annual activity for the fraternity.

Jeff Cufaude, an adviser with University Programming and Activities said philanthropic activities are an integral part of greek life.

“Philanthropic activities like these get fraternities and sororities into a spirit of giving in their undergraduate years that continues over into the years after they leave this institution,” he said. “Many of them also enjoy being with people and getting to interract with people from the community.”