Nationally, Chi Omega supports the Make-A-Wish Foundation, a philanthropy that all Chi Omega chapters share. The Make-A-Wish foundation grants the wishes of children with life threatening medical conditions, allowing magic to happen in the lives of these children and their families. Through the experiences granted by Make-A-Wish, our aim is to make a difference and enhance the lives of children and families as they fight these illnesses together. Chi Omega’s greatest source of fundraising is through our annual “Wake Up for a Wish” pancake breakfast and annual Wish Week. We also participate in many other fundraising opportunities through various store promotions, trunk shows, percentage nights, and t-shirt sales throughout the year. The monetary donations that we are able to collect go towards granting some of life’s most important wishes. In 2021, Chi Omega Nu Beta raised $84,294.60 for Make-A-Wish!
In the spring semester of 2019, we decided to host our second annual Wish Week. With a goal to grant a wish all on our own in just one week, we planned a week where not only our members but the entire University could help our Wish Kid. We kick-started the week with a donut wall, asking people ‘Donut You Wanna Make-A-Wish?’. Raising over a fourth of our goal in a single day, gave our girls the motivation to reach the $8,000 to grant our Wish Kid’s wish. Numerous trunk shows came to the house, donating 15-20% of their sales to our week, as well as shops donating a percent back all week. After selling midday study snacks at the Ferguson Center, we allowed students and members to learn more about our cause and truly be part of granting this wish. Every member and the campus as a whole put their heart and soul into granting that wish, and we could not have been more excited to send our Wish Kid on a dream Alaskan Fishing Cruise at the end of the week.
Our chapter’s favorite aspect of our partnership with the Make-A-Wish foundation is the Wish Granting parties. We have been able to host several parties at our house revealing to Wish Kids that their wish is being granted! This hands-on experience with our philanthropy has been deeply meaningful to the chapter and has brought a renewed passion for our work with the Make-A-Wish Foundation. All members are invited to help in the party planning process and attend the Wish Granting parties. In fall 2018, we hosted a Spiderman and Alabama football-themed wish granting party with a surprise Bryant Denny Stadium tour! After their meet-and-greet with the head football coach Nick Saban, and the football team, they came to the Chi Omega house for a combined Alabama football and Spiderman themed party that had all his favorite foods and Spiderman-themed games. In spring 2019, we hosted another wish-granting party for a young boy that is a fishing enthusiast who dreamed of going on an Alaskan cruise. Most recently, in the fall of 2019, we turned our living room into a winter wonderland themed party to tell our wish kid that we were sending her to Disney! These parties are a favorite past time of our chapter and we cannot wait to continue to grant more wishes in the near future!
Wake Up for a Wish Pancake Breakfast
The Wake Up for a Wish Pancake Breakfast is Chi Omega’s biggest and most successful philanthropy event of the year. After several months of planning and external fundraising through family, friends, and alumni support, the actual event takes place one morning before an Alabama football game. A $5 ticket gives access to a live band on our back patio, fun picture opportunities, and an all you can eat buffet. Our extensive buffet consists of pancakes, bacon, sausage, fruit, juices, coffee, and toppings. Nu Beta surpassed our fundraising goal in 2019 of $50,000 and raised a total of $54,596! We were so excited to have nearly 2,000 people attend one of the most fun and meaningful events of the year at Chi Omega!
Boys & Girls Club
Chi Omega’s local philanthropy is the Boys and Girls Club of West Alabama. The Boys and Girls Club is an after-school and summer program for children in underserved communities. The programs offered by the Boys and Girls Club give children of all ages a safe place to spend their afternoons doing things that will help them grow as individuals. Activities at the club include the following: working on homework in the library, making crafts in the art room, exploring electronics in the computer lab, and being active either in the gym or outside on the playground! Our members spend afternoons at the club interacting with the children and helping them to alleviate the staff’s workload. We also host many fun events each year, including a Valentine’s party, St. Patrick’s Day party, Easter egg hunt, fall carnival, Trunk or Treat night, and Thanksgiving celebration.
Because the Greek System at UA is constantly growing, there are multiple opportunities for Chi Omega members to participate in and to serve the Tuscaloosa community. Our Panhellenic Delegate serves as our official liaison and informs the chapter about philanthropic and community service opportunities in our community. Chi Omega believes that it is important to not only support our own philanthropy, but also the philanthropies of others organizations. Whether it is building houses for tornado victims with Habitat for Humanity, serving lunch at the West Alabama Food Bank, dancing for 13 hours straight for Children’s Miracle Network Hospitals, or organizing a clothing drive for the Temporary Emergency Service, Chi Omega members humbly devote their time to bettering the University of Alabama and Tuscaloosa community.
Meet our Director of community service!
"Hi! My name is Sydney Helgeson and I could not be more excited to be serving as our Director of Community Service this year! During recruitment, I was captivated and inspired hearing about Chi Omega’s involvement with the Make-A-Wish Foundation and the Boys & Girls Club. Not only do we raise thousands of dollars each year for these organizations through events like our annual Wake Up For A Wish Pancake Breakfast but we are able to have a hands on impact with these children to make a difference in their lives as well as our own. There isn’t a better feeling than helping to celebrate a child’s wish come true at a Chi O wish party or truly connecting with children at the local Boys & Girls Club. As one of our six purposes, Chi Omega Nu Beta is dedicated to community service and each members philanthropic experience. I’m so grateful to have found a sisterhood that values service as much as I do and I am eager to bring my passion into this role to elevate our chapters impact!"