Oregon State Brothers Surpass 1 Million Pounds of Food Raised 

The man’s coat was the type of orange that only a traffic cone could pull off: flashy and even a little gaudy, with a large beaver on the back.  But to him, a man from an area where homelessness was ever present, the jacket was much more than a donation.  It was a sign that someone cared.

Who was behind the orange coat donation, you might ask? The same group of brothers dedicated to the cause of providing for their community — members of the Alpha-Lambda chapter at Oregon State University.

While one crucial part of the fraternity experience comes from serving others, it was not until 2007 that Alpha-Lambda found the right fit for them in Community Outreach, Inc.  The organization’s mission statement reads “Helping People Help Themselves Since 1971”, but in 2007, it was they who needed some help.

Following the “Can You Dash” event, the amount of donations received surpassed the chapter members’ expectations.

After advertising on Facebook and searching for groups to help them fundraise, the Oregon State brothers decided, on a whim, to see how they could help.  The bond that formed between service organization and fraternity was unimaginable.

Since that decision to partner with Community Outreach, Inc., the Alpha-Lambda chapter has provided 81,000 dollars and 1.1 million pounds of food, along with other donations, such as our beloved orange coat.  To all employees of Community Outreach, Inc., the overwhelming support from Lambda Chi has been crucial in the success of the organization.

“This is one of our most important relationships for our agency and provides a vital link between students at OSU [Oregon State University] and our agency,” said Chris Quaka, Development Director at Community Outreach, Inc. “We are proud to work with Lambda Chi and appreciate their values and how this chapter is a standard of excellence on campus and in our local community.”

Recently, the chapter hosted a day of service called “Can You Dash”(Feb. 17-18) to benefit Community Outreach, Inc.  Brothers invited all sororities on campus to go door to door asking for cash, canned food, and clothing donations.  High Theta, Pattrick Gregson, stated that chapter members always wanted to host a winter philanthropy event, but what set this project apart was the goal of educating participants in addition to fundraising.

“I was more interested in something that would educate people about what Community Outreach is, because I wanted people to understand exactly what they were giving to,” said Gregson.

Alpha-Lambda hopes to involve more organizations, such as sororities, in Community Outreach, Inc.’s mission through shareable links, known as Network for Good.

Quaka helped the chapter achieve this initiative by coming to the house the day  before the event to provide information about Community Outreach, Inc. and how the chapter fit into their mission.

“Can You Dash” yielded 2500 dollars in cash donations, just over 1000 cans of food, and 1100 articles of clothing and helped push the chapter over the 1 million pounds of food mark.

To recognize all of the brothers’ efforts, Quaka awarded the chapter the “One Million Pounds of Food” award as a small token of gratitude.  Gregson, along with other members, could not have been happier about the award, but recognized that in the end, their work in the community was far more rewarding than any plaque.

“It’s a really cool award to receive, but more importantly, it’s something that I know everyone in the house appreciates because we will all go and do the canned food drives at the local grocery stores, two to three times a week,” said Gregson.  “We will volunteer in events that support Community Outreach…so we seriously, as a brotherhood, are putting in so much work and so much effort…so it’s nice to see what exactly we have been doing is actually making a difference.”

Gregson assures that the bond will continue to evolve, though.  During the rest of the school year, he has challenged members to reach 100,000 dollars donated to Community Outreach, Inc., in honor of the chapter’s centennial year.  The junior also hopes to continue educating his brothers on their impact in the community.

“It’s really important to understand as a chapter that there is this insecurity in the community and I think everyone in the house is starting to get that,” said Gregson.  “Everyone is getting behind Community Outreach and feeling empowered and feeling like they are making a difference.”

To learn more about Community Outreach, Inc. and their efforts, click here.