Southeast Missouri State University’s Greek Week 2019 held April 6-14 was a tremendous success, raising more than $40,000 to support the local community, the largest philanthropic effort in Greek Week history.
During the week, Southeast Greeks raised $40,331 to benefit a number of organizations, including One City, Hope for One More, the Honorable Young Men’s Club, SEMO Network Against Sexual Violence, Voice for Children/CASA, Community Caring Council and Boys & Girls Club of Southeast Missouri. This year’s theme was “Reality TV.”
“Every record that had been set in previous years was shattered, and the Greek community worked harder than ever before to blow our expectations out of the water,” said Zack Koeller, chair of Greek Week. “Looking at the total numbers of all of the events this year, it is truly amazing to know what we are capable of, and we are so proud of what we accomplished.”
Greek Week is an opportunity to celebrate the values of Greek Life and give back to the community. Southeast Greeks performed 3,824 hours of community service during the week, Koeller said.
“During Greek Week, members are provided with so many opportunities to fulfill our promises of building bonds with other Greeks while doing something to better the world around us,” he said. “We are here to support the community and those making a difference in it.”
For the second year in a row, the Greek community hosted a clothing drive to benefit the Safe House for Women in Cape Girardeau and Teen Challenge USA. More than 8,000 men’s, women’s and children’s clothing items were collected, double the amount from last year’s totals.
“We had planned to split the donations between the Safe House for Women Thrift Store and the Teen Challenge Thrift Store both in Cape Girardeau, Missouri, but after a few hours we had to expand to the Teen Challenge Thrift Store in Jackson, Missouri and other stores in the surrounding area because the storage rooms of the thrift stores were overflowing,” Koeller said.
“It was a great problem to have, though, because it just means that our impact in the community is even deeper than we had planned.”
The blood drive netted 1,244 units that were donated to the American Red Cross, up 50 from last year’s collection. The donations can result in 3,732 lives being saved.
“Because of this year’s blood drive success, Southeast is considered a top five single-site blood drive in Missouri in terms of donations,” Koeller said. “Two of our chapters even had 100 percent participation. Additionally, we had more Power Red machines this year than ever before, which helped fill the very critical need for O positive and negative blood.”
In addition, Southeast’s Greek community collected more than 15,000 canned goods or food items that were donated to the Redhawk Food Pantry, which serves members of the University community and is located in the Textbook Rental area of Kent Library.
“The great thing about our canned food drive is that these items were donated by Southeast students and will be going directly back to other Southeast students in need,” Koeller said. “This drive truly embodied the fraternal spirit of supporting our own. To make it even greater, once the Redhawk Food Pantry was completely restocked, any overages were donated to other local food banks.”
Greek Week featured a number of events, including Special Olympics, Greek Games, the Walk-A-Mile In Her Shoes sexual violence awareness initiative, God and Goddess Penny Races, a lip sync battle, Greek Sing and an All-Greek Chapter meeting.