Greeks collect coins for Japan relief effort

Photo illustration by Michael Uribes

Fresno State fraternities and sororities held a coin collection earlier this month to aid in Japanese tsunami relief efforts.

The program, called Corners for Coins, took up donations on busy street corners surrounding the university and in the free speech area.

Megan Hamik, vice president of public relations for the Panhellenic Council, said the event was designed to help in the relief efforts and to bring the Greek community together as a whole for one cause.

“By the Greek community coming together for a cause, it will hopefully encourage other Fresno State students to come together and help in the relief efforts,” Hamik said.

Melisa Sanders, president of the Delta Gamma sorority, said that it even also helps the Fresno State campus unite. “Other campus clubs may see it and want to do something like it of their own,” Sanders said. “It raises awareness that there are other people out there that need help, and helps encourage people to keep up with current events around the world.”

Natalie McCallum, a sophomore and member of the Kappa Kappa Gamma Sorority said the Greek community saw the need and wanted to help.

“We had done Hope for Haiti the previous year and developed a coin drive on the corner, and this year we did one day on the corner and one day down here in the free speech area,” McCallum said.

McCallum said unlike other philanthropies, fraternities and sororities participate in, the Corner for Coins program is not a competition.

“This isn’t a competition at all,” McCallum said. “This is just raising money for one goal and we’re doing it together. It’s just not one person’s philanthropy.”

Hamik said it’s important to have events like this because it reminds the community that there is more to the Greek community than the stereotypes and negative connotations that exist.

McCallum said philanthropies remind members of the reasons to join a fraternity or sorority.

“It allows us to remember why we joined in the first place,” McCallum said. “It’s not for the brothers, sisters or best friends, but for contributing to a greater cause.”

The exact amount of money raised was not available and will be released when it is.

Relief efforts are currently underway by the Japanese Student Association. For a list of relief activities and volunteer opportunities contact the Jan and Bud Richter Center for Community Engagement and Learning at (559) 278-7079.

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