“I saw myself change with the men around me: I saw what I knew was a group of strengthened young men whose passion for living the ritual of Pi Kappa Phi and the mission of Push America was more prevalent and exemplified in their actions,” fourth-year Justin Greenhow said. “It is my hope that I have ignited a flame within my chapter that will never burn out, as my passion to serve others will never fade.”
On June 6, 2007, in Seattle, WA, West Chester University students Greenhow and fourth-year John Farley geared up for their first day on their Journey of Hope, through the non-profit organization Push America, across the United States. Together, Greenhow and Farley rode by bicycle 4,300 miles and raised money and awareness for people with disabilities, before reaching Washington, D.C. on Aug. 12. They were the first in 12 years from WCU to complete the journey.
Greenhow, who spent three semesters doing technical training outside the University for the United States Air Force, was deployed for Operation Iraqi Freedom/Operation Enduring Freedom, which lasted from June to October 2006. Greenhow, currently serving in the reserves, acts as Inter-Greek Council president, Inter-Fraternal Council vice-president of Men’s Health and Pi Kappa Phi Fraternity vice-president.
Farley, risk management chair for Pi Kappa Phi, past president of Pi Kappa Phi and past philanthropy chair for the Inter Greek Council, helped raise over $40,000 for “Camp Dreamcatcher.” Camp Dreamcatcher is an organization that helps send children both infected and affected by HIV/AIDS to camp.
This past summer, Greenhow was the cyclist and Farley was the acting crew chief. Farley was the support vehicle driver along-side Greenhow as well as the financial manager of the Trans-America Team.
The Journey of Hope included three teams; The North Team, South Team and Trans-America Team. The Trans America Team was comprised of six crew members and 17 cyclists, two of whom were Greenhow and Farley.
On a whole, the Journey of Hope raised $580,000. All lodging and food costs were donated to the tour. This allowed for 86 percent of the total $580,000 raised to be returned to the local organizations across the United States that support people with disabilities.
“My reason for signing up for the Journey of Hope only weeks before I left was simple,” Greenhow stated. “I wanted to see my own country, travel with my brothers from all over the U.S. and most of all, serve people with disabilities to my best ability. The slogan of the 2007 Trans Am team was, ‘Do you know what you’re doing right now…You’re making a difference,’ and that phrase rang in my ear everyday, and still does as the weeks pass since the conclusion of the Journey. This truly was the one most encouraging experience, helping me mature even more into a man with a strong passion for service.”
The Journey of Hope is one of many activities sponsored by Push America. Push America is the only Greek Philanthropy founded, owned and operated by its own fraternity members. Another activity sponsored by Push America is ACCESSability, a project supporting the building of handicap ramps. All material costs are covered by Push America, and all labor is completed by the “brothers” of the fraternity.
Pi Kappa Phi Fraternity at WCU is expected to have its fourth ramp completed this semester at Saint Luke’s Church in West Chester. Also, brothers Matt McStravog and Ryan Schofield will be joining Greenhow in Push America’s Mini Journey of Hope, “Gear up Florida.” “Gear up Florida” is a two-week trek across Florida, which will be held in the summer of 2008. For more information on Push America, visit www.PushAmerica.org.