Greeks 4 Kids, an Isla Vista charity that uses resources from UCSB fraternities and sororities to aid organizations seeking to educate underprivileged children, plans to hold their second in-kind donation on Nov. 8 to benefit Storyteller Children’s Center, a local school for at-risk children.
The donation includes $2,000 in school supplies, funded through an Alpha Tau Omega (ATO) rally earlier in the quarter, and the charity gift is intended to bring local community members together with youths in the Storyteller Children’s Center. The organization will also hold a barbeque at the ATO house which is open to the public.
Interfraternity Council President Carl Provenzano, a third-year biopsychology major, co-founded Greeks 4 Kids with fellow ATO member Charles Jones, a second-year economics and Chinese double major. The organization chose Storyteller Children’s Center due to the center’s need for financial support and its charitable mission of offering much-needed education to underprivileged youth, Jones said.
“Their mission statement coincides with ours in that they provide tuition-free, early childhood education for homeless and at-risk children, which is very similar to ours in that we take our money and buy books, toys, games and supplies for other non-profit organizations, and we go and interact with them,” Jones said. “It’s a good way to connect with the children.”
Jones said the charity always donates in person so that Greeks 4 Kids members can personally connect with students receiving the donated items.
“It really just bridges the gap. Anyone — I mean like you or me — anyone could write a check and be like, ‘Okay, I did my part for charity.’ But that’s not what charity is,” Jones said. “Charity is going in and donating a part of yourself. It’s actually putting the work in and spending time with the people and helping them.”
In addition, Jones said the process of donating a “part of yourself” gives a feeling of satisfaction and even an altered point of view, as he has attained “a whole new perspective on [his] life” after doing such work.
Lucia Torres, a teacher at Storyteller Children’s Center, said the school was glad to see members of the Greek community reach out to children.
“We are looking forward to meeting the members of the group and they want to come and interact with our children,” Torres said. “I hope it works well, and I hope we continue collaborating with them.”
Provenzano said he expects to see a turnout of about two dozen people, eight of whom have already signed up, but he said the event is open to everyone.
“It’s just another thing we’ve been doing to make everything less exclusive. That’s kind of the image we’re really trying to portray,” Provenzano said. “While our organization is called ‘Greeks 4 Kids,’ it’s still a non-profit with a very simple and fulfilling mission. Everyone can come partake in it.”
A version of this article appeared on page 5 of the Thursday, October 24, 2013 print edition of the Daily Nexus.