Greeks Give Back Too

Courtesy of Philip Mendoza

Courtesy of Philip Mendoza

Philanthropy. Giving back to the community. Lending a helping hand. These are values that are instilled, more or less, to members of UC Irvine’s Greek community, made up of nearly 50 fraternities and sororities (including multicultural organizations), and encompasses about 11 percent of UC Irvine’s student population.

So how do these organizations, with their wide array of members band together to make a difference and give back to the community?

Each year Greek fraternities and sororities join forces to host Greek Week, their week-long philanthropic event that calls the entire Greek community into action for one cause.

This year’s chosen organization is UC Irvine’s own Campus Blood Donor Center which operates out of the bottom floor of the Student Center.

Past philanthropic organizations that Greek Week has collaborated with include UCI’s Medical Center, the March of Dimes and the Make-a-Wish Foundation.

Andrew Le, this year’s Homecoming King and Marketing Coordinator of the 2013 Greek Week, is one of seven members of the Greek Week Board who organized this year’s event.

“We’re trying to give back, that’s our main focus,”  Le said.

For Greeks looking to win the competition, they’ll find themselves competing against each other in a bloodthirsty battle for points, no pun intended. For each donation that a member contributes, their team (which is made up of one fraternity and one sorority) will receive a point and double points for platelet donations.

With roughly 30 fraternities and sororities participating, Le and the rest of the board hope that the Blood Donor Center receives a huge influx of eligible donors this week, not only from the Greek community, but the larger UC Irvine community as well. Even if you’re not a sister or a bro, every student is eligible to participate in Greek Week and choose which Greek pairing they would like their points to go towards.

The Blood Donor Center, which serves UCI’s Medical Center in Orange, needs more than 11,000 units of red blood cells and 3,500 platelets annually to give to patients in need. In choosing the Blood Donor Center, the Board hoped to support the center by encouraging the Greek community and non-Greek students to give back and give blood.

“Not a lot of people know where they are and they can always use more donations,” explained Le. “We really wanted to give to the Blood Donor Center.”

During Greek Week, other events will include a UTC night with proceeds going toward the winning pair’s philanthropy, a boat race and a tug-of-war game that will weed out the winners in a friendly, yet testy match.

For those looking to give back even after Greek Week is over, the Blood Donor Center is open Monday through Friday.