“I think I can speak for all of us when I say that we had a great time,” Jackie Greco, a volunteer for Habitat for Humanity, said. She and five other members of Alpha Sigma Tau sorority took time on Saturday, Feb. 9 to volunteer for the Habitat for Humanity organization in Chester, Pa. “The fact that we could physically see what our time and effort was accomplishing made it so much more rewarding than just mailing an envelope with a check and not seeing how it helped,” Greco said. These six Alpha Sigma Tau sisters embraced the chance to work with other volunteers to successfully build a future home, even if it meant getting their hands a little dirty.
The six Alpha Sigma Tau sisters, Jackie Greco, Katelyn McAneny, Donnelle Ciecierski, Amanda Russino, Jessica Todd- Marrone and Nicholle Starson, embraced the chance to work with other volunteers to successfully build a future home, even if it meant getting their hands a little dirty.
At 8:30 a.m., the girls arrived at the site on Poplar Street. Three houses were on this site, a single and a twin, two side-by-side. There they worked until midday on multiple tasks that were given to them, by their supervisor, Tom Burns. Some of the jobs were to sweep up the saw dust and to clear the scrap pieces by putting them in the dumpster. They also took all the heating ducts and organized them in the middle of the rooms so the perimeter was open for inspection, installed a staircase going from the basement to the first floor and moved the insulation to the second floor. Another task given to the volunteers was to knock down wooden pegs that were acting as temporary supports between the ceiling and wall, which were replaced with permanent ones.
At one point in the day Burns introduced the sisters to Cassandra, the woman who would be moving into one of the twin houses. She and her two daughters, one in high school, the other a commuter to a nearby college, were expected to move in hopefully by May or June. In order for this family to officially gain possession of the home, they must put in a certain number of hours of community service on the house. Along with that, the family pays for the goods it cost to build the home, never adding in costs for labor.
These girls and the rest of Alpha Sigma Tau are no rookies to volunteering and community service.
“We have had a lot of members, current and alumni, be involved with Habitat,” Arianna Mischello, a first-year student who joined last semester, said.
Mischello was very involved with Habitat for Humanity during her high school career and has even traveled to New Orleans to volunteer.
Meg Harding, who is an alumna that now works as an educational consultant for Alpha Sigma Tau National, volunteered every summer in high school and college at different sites on the east coast.
“My high school did week-long summer trips to building sites along the east coast, so I have had a close connection with Habitat long before my days with Alpha Sigma Tau,” Greco said.
The girls plan on doing this again. According to the sisters, they built a great relationship with the other volunteers and the people from Habitat for Humanity. They received dates and locations of where they can volunteer their time next.
Along with the Habitat projects that will soon to become a trend of the sorority, Alpha Sigma Tau takes time to raise money for a school in Kentucky for under privileged kids, participates in at least two walks a semester, one of which being for breast cancer, helps with other organizations’ events on campus and also supports Relay for Life.
There is also a donation to Camp DreamCatcher, for children affected with HIV and AIDS, where some Greek students, not only Alpha Sigma Tau members, participate as counselors. Their goal amount this year to donate is $50,000 through canning, raffles and sponsors.
The school to which they donate in Kentucky, Pine Mountain Settlement School, expresses their great appreciation and gratitude to this sorority on their National Website.
“The women of Alpha Sigma Tau don’t realize just how much they mean to us,” Robin Lambert said, executive director of Pine Mountain Settlement School. “We truly appreciate everything Alpha Sigma Tau has done for Pine Mountain over the years. Not just the financial support, but the goodwill and generosity of its members make a real difference.”
“I think that the Greek community here at West Chester University gives a very strong support for not only each other’s philanthropic endeavors, but also for each other in all that we try and accomplish,” Todd-Marrone, a third-year student in Alpha Sigma Tau, said.
Gina DiDomenicis is a third-year student majoring in communication studies. She can be reached at GD609385@wcupa.edu.