Phi Alpha, Pi Rho Chapter, from Texas A&M University-Central Texas has received its fifth National Service Award for their dedication and commitment to strengthening the bond between its chapter members, the surrounding community and the University.
One of the most successful service activities the organization had this past year was hosting the largest-ever holiday party for senior citizens living at Sunshine House in Copperas Cove. This is a project Phi Alpha has conducted every year for the past twelve years, and this year over 120 gifts were collected and distributed. During the party the students and advisor played bingo with the residents, assisted those with disabilities and provided bingo prizes. They also served lunch for the seniors and visited with them while they were eating. Lastly, “Santa Claus” met with every resident of the housing development and provided them with a present and a bag of goodies—including treats for the seniors with pets.
Additionally, chapter members conducted a School Supply Drive by placing donation boxes throughout the A&M-Central Texas campus, and received a donation from the Scott and White Hospice Thrift Store. Over $1,000 worth of school supplies were collected and distributed to East Ward Elementary School, located in the most economically depressed area of Killeen. The supplies were used by students whose families could not afford them, and for students whose families have had to take-up temporary lodging at the local domestic violence shelter, which is also located in that school’s service area.
Members also volunteered with the Killeen’s annual homeless count, collected books for Heritage House (the local hospice care center), and assisted in creating the Gay-Straight Warrior Alliance at A&M-Central Texas. Since 2008, the group has also provided assistance to the Scott & White Hospice Thrift Shop in Belton through bake sale fundraisers, reorganizing the store to be more customer friendly, volunteering at the store and even donating their own items to be sold.
“We are very pleased that the Pi Rho Chapter of Phi Alpha has had another exciting, fulfilling year of activities, all of this in spite of the inordinately busy schedules of all the student members and the faculty representative,” said Faculty Advisor and Social Work Professor, Dr. Claudia Rappaport. “This is a testimonial to their dedication to the ideas and values of the Phi Alpha organization. I am deeply honored to be the faculty liaison for such a dedicated group of students.”
Phi Alpha is an organization comprised of a faculty advisor, honorary faculty, community members, bachelor of social work students, as well as alumni that come together to serve the needs of the University and community. The goal of Phi Alpha is to foster an environment of academic achievement, while improving and furthering the goals of social work in the community, state, nation, and world. Specifically, Phi Alpha Students at A&M-Central Texas learn how to recognize needs and raise awareness, support, and funds for those needs. Members gain continuing education opportunities and valuable experiences that help them excel in the social work profession.
Each year, Phi Alpha raises the bar with their extraordinary dedication and commitment to community service and campus involvement. Congratulations to the Phi Alpha Honor Society on winning yet another National Service Award to add to your growing collection!