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 the spring semester of 2018 we re-introduced our annual Wish Week, which had been on our hearts for some time. 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?’. The week ahead seemed long, but raising over a fourth of our goal in a single day gave our girls the motivation to reach that $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 weekend. After selling stars at the Ferguson Center, we allowed students and members to write their name on a star and truly be part of granting this wish. Through online donations and parents weekend tactics, our members raised over $3,000 in one day, putting us over that $8,000 goal. 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 to King’s Island at the end of the week.
Our chapter’s favorite aspect of our partnership with the Make-A-Wish foundation is 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 spring 2018, we hosted a spa themed wish granting party complete with food, decorations, nail painting, and face masks! In fall 2018, we hosted another wish granting party for a young boy that is an Alabama football and Spiderman enthusiast. After their meet-and-greet with Coach 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 and sports themed games.
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, friend, 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 of $50,000 and raised our highest total yet in 2018 - $56,000! 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 get 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 the area. 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 communities.