With over 400 Greek students volunteering at various Ithaca and Tompkins County community organizations, “Greeks Give Back” had its most successful day of service in Cornell history on Saturday.
In one day, students devoted a combined total of 639 hours of service, according to Drew Lord ’18, vice president of University and Community Relations for the Cornell Interfraternity Council.
This biannual day of service is hosted by the Cornell’s Greek Tri-Council, according to Lord. Participating organizations included the YMCA, Ithaca Children’s Garden, Tompkins County Public Library and Ithaca Welcomes Refugees.
Lord said volunteers from the Interfraternity Council, Panhellenic Council and Multicultural Greek Letter Council register each semester to participate in service projects in the Ithaca community.
“Philanthropy is a fundamental pillar of Greek life at Cornell,” he explained. “Greeks Give back merely allows Greek students the avenue to carry out this commitment on a semesterly basis.”
Lord added that this event serves as a unifying force for the Greek community.
“[Greeks Give Back] allows Greeks to unify as one Greek community as members are able to socialize with people outside their respective council or chapter,” he said. “Our Greek community is full of members who boast incredibly diverse backgrounds and perspectives — this event encourages these experiences to be shared.”
Alyssa Friedman ’19 and Valerie Beech ’19, members of Delta Gamma sorority, said they spent their morning picking up garbage in Collegetown.
“It felt really rewarding to represent my sorority while doing something good for the community and giving back,” Friedman said. “The most rewarding part of my experience was meeting new people in the Greek community and working together to clean up collegetown.”
“It felt good to give back to a place that gives so much to its students,” Beech added.
Lord called this day of service “tangible,” because it is “truly realized at several levels of our community.”
“Greeks are making a difference — it’s not often that such a large group of volunteers are able to come together and commit hundreds of hours of service in a single day,” he said.