Even with a snowstorm, the brothers of Phi Gamma Delta — more commonly known as Fiji — were able to make an impact in the Philadelphia community.
On Friday, the fraternity wrapped up a week-long collection of clothing donations, mostly from other Greek organizations on campus. Every year, Fiji's freshman pledge class puts together an event for a philanthropic cause of their choosing. This year's pledge class chose to support the non-profit Goodwill.
Patrick Dunne, a Wharton freshman and Fiji's freshman pledge class president, played a major role in organizing the event. Dunne is also an analytics staff member for the Daily Pennsylvanian.
“When we were thinking about what we were going to plan for our philanthropy event, we kept thinking about how many piles of clothes we always see at different events and fraternity houses,” he said. “With this event, we have an impact both on awareness within Penn’s campus — and particularly in Greek life — but also within the Philadelphia community.”
In light of their experiences, Dunne and his pledge class decided to reach out to Philadelphia's Goodwill chapter, a non-profit organization that sells donated clothing in its thrift stores in order to fund job-training programs for disadvantaged individuals.
This year, the group collaborated with 12 other fraternities, sororities and multicultural groups in which each organization was responsible for collecting clothes from their members. Donations poured into Fiji's chapter house all week, though most came in on Friday afternoon during what was supposed to be a celebration to mark the end of donations. Fiji was planning on hosting a barbecue along with a musical performance from rapper Kayvon Asemani, a Wharton freshman.
Though the snowstorm resulted in a cancellation of the barbecue and performance, the fraternity was still able to garner 917 total articles of clothing.
“The snow might’ve changed how many people came and stayed, but I’m still very proud of how the event turned out,” Dunne said.
Fiji is still accepting donations, and Dunne urged anyone interested in donating clothing that they might not need to contact a Fiji brother or deliver them to the Fiji chapter house on 36th Street and Locust Walk.
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