Volunteers Help Non-Profit Neighbor
The tasks may not have been glamorous, but the work was meaningful as Delt undergraduates from Gamma Nu Chapter at the University of Maine volunteered for the Ronald McDonald House (RMDH) last fall. Brothers worked to clean, sanitize and prepare guest rooms and weeded the vegetable garden in preparation for winter. On a return visit, chapter members painted a bedroom at the facility. At least two-thirds of chapter members have volunteered with RMDH so far, this academic year.
Gamma Nu Chapter members have always had a focus on service, but when members decided to increase their community focus they reached out to the nearby Ronald McDonald House to ask how they could help.
Ronald McDonald House is part of a network helping millions of families with sick children find comfort and support when they need it most, focusing on vital resources and compassionate care to children and their families.
“The relationship we are building with the RMDH is a very precious one to our organization,” said Joseph Christie (University of Maine, 2021), who took the reigns as community service chair in the fall. “Our chapter is trying to focus more on community service and helping individuals, and the RMDH has been a great help to us in the process. We are very excited to continue working with them in the future as they are an amazing organization.”
Christie said RMDH representatives spoke to fraternity and sorority members during Greek week and he found their message particularly compelling. Christie has experienced past hospitalizations, due to complications from type 1 diabetes and this first-hand experience inspired him to help the local RMDH chapter.
“The staff are all very friendly and the cause is amazing. It didn't take too much thought for me to want to organize an event with them again this semester and we plan to work with them again in the future,” said Christie.
Whitney Linscott, house manager for Ronald McDonald House Charities of Main said the organization greatly appreciates Delta Tau Delta’s support.
“They have helped with projects a few times this year at our Bangor House and are always happy to assist with any needs we have. As a non-profit organization, primarily run on the support of volunteers, it is most helpful to have groups who can take on tasks that might otherwise take one or two volunteers or staff much longer. Delta Tau Delta has helped with painting, gardening and lots of cleaning throughout the house. They are a group of kind young men who demonstrate great work ethic, always have positive attitudes and display a steady commitment to serving in the community. We are honored to have their support,” said Linscott.
As the spring semester begins the chapter is working to plan at least five service events before summer. Brothers are also encouraged to seek their own community service projects as well and have been moved to support philanthropic causes.
Last spring, a chapter member died following complications due to cancer and within the year one of Christie’s close friends at the university was diagnosed and began chemotherapy for brain cancer. The chapter is fundraising to support a scholarship in memory of the chapter brother and to support young men currently going through chemotherapy. Based on the success of a trivia night fundraiser netting $1,100 last year, chapter members are working to repeat that event as part of their community outreach.
The chapter is also planning a fundraiser for JDRF this semester. “As a type 1 diabetic myself I’m very excited to make these fundraising events as successful as possible. The main reason I joined Delta Tau Delta was because of our philanthropy, and I plan on making sure we raise as much as possible for them this semester,” said Christie.