Wednesday, January 19, 2011
“Excellence is our aim” is Kappa Alpha Order’s motto, and the fraternity is trying to put this into action by starting an outreach program called Brothers for Others.
The Westminster College fraternity, which currently consists of 42 members, decided it wanted to “lend a hand” to those in need and show the community it cared. Kevin Moritz, fraternity president, said many people have a negative image of college fraternities.
“As the decade changes, we’re hoping to change that image,” Moritz said.
To facilitate this change, the fraternity started Brothers for Others, a program the group hopes will grow, expanding to other fraternities and sororities and involving more local charities. Brothers has started by collecting cash donations from every member during chapter meetings and using the funds to buy extra food every other Sunday for the evening meal. All the leftover food from that meal is then brought by Adam Ross, a sophomore in KA, and other members to Wiley House in Fulton.
Moritz said the fraternity has provided menu items like fried chicken to Wiley.
“They’re good home-cooked meals, rather than just sandwiches hastily thrown together,” he said.
Wiley House is one of the homeless shelters in Fulton, a part of the Our House: Caring for Callaway’s Homeless program. Linda Clemens, executive director of Our House, said the fraternity’s food donations are a part of the effort to provide Callaway’s homeless with meals over the weekend. She said the Fulton Soup Kitchen hosts meals during the week, Monday through Thursday, but Friday to Sunday meals are brought to HAVEN House or Wiley through donations by First Christian Church, the Soup Kitchen and Brothers for Others.
Clemens said it’s nice to see young people like those in Kappa Alpha caring for others.
“I think it’s wonderful, because a lot of these young men aren’t even from Callaway County, and they’ve really kind of taken the homeless in Fulton under their wing,” she said. “They’ve really embraced the homeless community in Callaway County. I think it shows character at that young age — stepping outside yourself to see the world around you.”
Junior Sean Peterson said the fraternity tries to promote an idea of being a “southern gentleman,” which means to “lend a hand to any of those in need of aid.”
“A lot of us came from pretty wealthy backgrounds,” Peterson said.
Brothers for Others is a way members can share what they’ve been given, he added.
“By doing this program, we can give back to our home Kappa Alpha at Westminster and our home in Fulton,” Ross put in.
Brothers also does highway clean up along Fourth Street from Westminster Avenue to Highway 54. The group intends to expand charitable activities in upcoming months, and Moritz said the 18 students waiting to pledge to KA must come up with more community project ideas for Brothers as part of their “pledgeship.”
“Our house is part of this community, not just this school,” Moritz said.