In June 2007, Justin Edward Greenhow, a member of the West Chester chapter of Pi Kappa Phi will be meeting 90 other Pi Kappa Phi’s from different universities across the nation. They will participate in Journey of Hope, a 3,900-mile cross-country cycling trip that hopes to raise funds for people with disabilities, while bringing awareness to those they meet along their journey. This team of 90 will be traveling from the west coast to Washington D.C., cycling from city to city spreading the message of Push America with presentations which will help others understand the issues that people with disabilities face everyday. The cyclists will travel an average of 75 miles a day, taking part in special activities and meeting with the people they are riding for. Since 1988, Journey of Hope has had Pi Kappa Phi members cycling across America to help benefit people with disabilities, and they have raised more than 8 million dollars. Greenhow plans to raise 5,000 dollars on behalf of Push America. He is currently stationed in Iraq and working as a check engine mechanic for the United States Air Force, and will be home in a few weeks. If there is anyone who is interested on giving a tax-deductible donation on behalf of Greenhow, they can contact him at firstname.lastname@example.org
Journey of Hope is just one project in Pi Kappa Phi’s national philanthropy, Push America. Push America was founded in 1977, by the brothers of Pi Kappa Phi with the intent of “instilling lifelong services in its members and enhancing the quality of life for those with disabilities.” The Push America mission is “Building leaders of tomorrow by serving people with disabilities today.”
Push America started when Durward Owen, the executive director of Pi Kappa Phi in 1976, when he wanted to mobilize the fraternity’s undergraduate members. Owen then met with Thomas Sayre, who designed a therapeutic play unit for children with disabilities, and it was with this collaboration that Pi Kappa Phi has created a philanthropic.
What makes Pi Kappa Phi and Push America so successful? It could be the core values, which are at the heart of it all. Abilities, teamwork, empathy, and integrity are what the members of Pi Kappa Phi utilize in their daily lives, and these are choice values to live by. With these values at play the members of Pi Kappa Phi are learning morals and beliefs that will see them through their lives, their jobs, and will make them better men and leaders which the world can be proud of.
Push America offers the members of Pi Kappa Phi “personal and professional leadership development activities” and “a passion for service.” The commitment that this fraternity has to this one charity rivals that of any other in the Greek world. John Farley, West Chester’s Pi Kappa Phi’s philanthropy director, said, “Its awesome to go with your brothers and get a chance to help build a ramp for the handicapped.” This is the kind of passion and enthusiasm that Push America and Pi Kappa Phi look for in its members. The feeling of helping someone, of accomplishing a goal using teamwork and the knowledge that you can make a huge difference in someone’s life is a great feeling.
To learn more about Pi Kappa Phi’s Push America log on to their Web site at www.pushamerica.org.