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Fraternity, Sorority Members Lead Day of Caring Effort to Clean Up Community

2020 day of caring

Some 300 SUNY Plattsburgh students will be out in the local community volunteering throughout the day April 24 as they help clean up and fix up the local community during the annual Day of Caring.

Working in cooperation with the United Way of the Adirondack Region, volunteers from the college’s fraternities and sororities will be cleaning up in Blumette and Penfield parks, along the Saranac River Trail from the Field House to the Plattsburgh City Police station and along Route 22 south of the city along their Adopt-a-Highway section.

Allison Swick-Duttine, director of fraternity and sorority life at the college as well as Project HELP, said the Interfraternity Council and Inter-Sorority Association stepped up to the plate in a big way this year.

“Project HELP isn’t open this year from lack of funding so the councils, in cooperation with Fraternity and Sorority Life, have assumed responsibility for the Day of Caring in conjunction with the United Way,” she said. In addition, some of the groups will be holding a food drive at Yando’s Big M at Skyway Plaza, which benefits the Interfaith Food Shelf, Swick-Duttine said.

For its part, the United Way has issued suggestions for virtual Day of Caring activities in addition to the in-person projects the students are undertaking. They include:

  • Thanking the frontline: Show your gratitude to frontline workers, medical staff, first responders, law enforcement and essential workers by writing letters, sending messages, post videos, hang signs and other ways of giving thanks
  • Promote mental health and wellness: Call or message people who may need a kindness; share messages of wellness
  • Donate needed funds: Make a monetary donation to a local or regional charity of your choice; visit unitedwayadk.org for a list of partner agencies or contact the United Way at 518-563-0028 for more information
  • Help neighbors: In accordance with COVID protocols, help an elderly or disabled person with yard work, minor repairs or spring cleaning; help clean and beautify public places
  • Donate food to alleviate hunger: Donate food to a food shelf; contact the food shelf directly to ensure it is accepting donations and to arrange drop-offs

Luke Geddies, vice president of the Interfraternity Council, and Anayce Cody, vice president of the Inter-Sorority Association, said they appreciate how an even like Day of Caring brings students involved in Greek life out into the community where they can make a difference, at the same time, perhaps diminish what Geddies called “the stigma” on fraternities and sororities.

“When I joined Greek life, I was aware of some of the stigmas against Greek life but was happy to see that not all organizations fall into those categories,” Geddies said. “Instead, what I see is people coming together to support one another and in this case, those in the area. We want to show each other and the City of Plattsburgh that service is an important part of who we are. It helps with our leadership skills, our social awareness and with the bonds we've made with one another.”

For more information on Day of Caring and Fraternity and Sorority Life, call 518-564-4825.

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