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Helping Hand Initiative

What can a fraternity do to benefit the community in which it is located? Simply put, get involved. So, how do we get involved? How do we determine which organizations to help?

There are numerous community organizations that need the help of fraternities and sororities. From volunteer work to fundraising efforts, fraternity and sorority members bring added enthusiasm and exuberance needed by these organizations to fulfill their missions and efforts. Sigma Nu Fraternity has established the Helping Hand Initiative in an effort to collectively draw its members toward servant leadership and to understand the importance of making a positive impact within each members' local community.

What is the Helping Hand Initiative

In 2004, at the 61st Grand Chapter, Sigma Nu Fraternity established the Helping Hand Initiative, the official international philanthropic and service effort of the Fraternity. The Helping Hand Initiative consisted of two primary components: Founders' Week of Service and the Helping Hand Partners.

In 2008, at the 63rd Grand Chapter, Sigma Nu Fraternity expanded the Helping Hand Initiative's Founders' Week of Service into the Founders' Month of Service. Since the 2008-2009 school year, the month of April has been designated the Founders' Month of Service to coincide with the April 1 birth date of founder Greenfield Quarles.

As for the Helping Hand Partners, they consists of five philanthropic and service-based organizations whose efforts are closely related to the mission of Sigma Nu. The Helping Hand Partners been selected based on their alignment with Sigma Nu's values and offerings for the fraternity's chapters. The Helping Hand Partners are: 

Participation in the Helping Hand Initiative will benefit not only the community, but will benefit the collegiate chapters and members of Sigma Nu as well. By participating in the Helping Hand Initiative, chapter members will continue to build various skills such as: Project Management, Communication Skills, Networking Skills and Leadership Development. The collegiate chapters will also benefit by improving community relations, building a positive chapter image and furthering the brotherhood of the chapter.

The Helping Hand Initiative exhibits a flexible, multi-faceted model of organizational interaction established to meet not only the needs of Sigma Nu chapters, but the needs of the community organization(s) with whom the chapters are working. The Helping Hand Initiative was NOT established to replace any community service or philanthropic traditions that may exist at any individual chapter. Rather, the Helping Hand Initiative was established to further the efforts of the collegiate chapters in regard to community service and philanthropy. The Helping Hand Initiative was established to promote the service and philanthropic efforts of the collegiate chapters and place Sigma Nu members, everywhere, in a position to realize the benefits and satisfaction of being a servant leader.

How does a Chapter get involved?

Getting involved in the Helping Hand Initiative can be done by following the steps below:

  • STEP 1 – Has your chapter identified a cause or organization it is passionate about supporting? If so, you are already participating in the Helping Hand Initiative. If not, we encourage you to check out the Partners page to learn more about the Fraternity's Helping Hand Partners or schedule a time to visit with your university's office of community service. There you can discover new opportunities for your members to get involved with local or national efforts.

  • STEP 2 - Your next step is to determine the timing of your event(s) and how individual members will be able to participate. The Fraternity encourages its chapters build a long term relationship with their community partners and to provide monthly opportunities for members to be involved in the chapter's effort. If possible, we also encourage chapters to considering participating in the Founders' Month of Service.  Regardless of when your event(s) takes place, it is important that you keep record of your participation and activities for your chapter and university records and for inclusion in the annual Pursuit of Excellence Self-Assessment. To track the chapter's efforts, feel free to utilize the Service and Philanthropy Tracking Sheet template.

  • STEP 3 – Now it's time to have fun! The chapter has put in the hard work of planning and preparing for the event and now is the time to put that plan into action. Host the chapter's event(s) on the day(s) it is scheduled for and enjoy the camaraderie of the brothers and the people the chapter's efforts are benefiting. Once the event has concluded, be sure to send out press releases to local news affiliates and share your story with us at news@sigmanu.org! For assistance with composing a press release, check out the Generating Positive Press resource guide and don't hesitate to contact the General Fraternity for more information. 

Questions regarding the Helping Hand Initiative, the Founders' Month of Service, and the Fraternity's Helping Hand Partners can be directed to Christopher Brenton, Associate Director of Leadership Development at christopher.brenton@sigmanu.org or (540) 463-1869 Ext. 652.

© 2015-2016 Sigma Nu Fraternity, Inc.
9 North Lewis Street, P.O. Box 1869, Lexington, Virginia 24450
Phone: 540.463.1869 | Fax: 540.463.1669 | Email: headquarters@sigmanu.org

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