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Each year, Arizona's chapter of the Association of Fundraising Professionals awards a group of students who go above and beyond in the name philanthropy — and thanks to some outstanding work by Arizona State University's fraternities and sororities, this year's award has been given to a group of Greek Sun Devils.
ASU's Greek representatives were nominated for the philanthropy award by the Valley of the Sun United Way, and they were named the recipients of the award over the summer. They will be honored at a banquet at the Sheraton Grand Phoenix on Wednesday.
"I think this really helps shed the light on what our Greek community does philanthropically year in and year out," said Dustin Jones, a marketing and management major who will be one of the student representatives accepting the award. "Hopefully it can also help motivate future ASU students to be a part of something that has an impact on our surrounding communities."
With the help of Sun Devils Unite, an on-campus organization dedicated to service, ASU has seen a spike in volunteer-related efforts throughout the past four years. Fraternity and Sorority Life has been at the forefront of that movement, leading to the nomination for this year's award.
The group's production during Greek Week ultimately went a long way toward winning the prize.
Greek Week is an annual spring semester tradition that promotes community pride while engaging in community service and team-building events. Over the last two Greek Weeks, Fraternity and Sorority Life raised nearly $200,000 for Valley of the Sun United Way (VSUW), a Phoenix-based organization dedicated to fighting poverty.
"I think that's ultimately the reason that VSUW nominated us," Jones said. "Our community worked really hard together and was focused on doing whatever we could to reach the goals we set for Greek Week."
In addition to the work being done by Fraternity and Sorority Life, other Sun Devils have also been making a difference. Two dozen ASU students qualified for the President's Volunteer Service Award earlier this year, and 830 students participated in community engagement programs in 2016 for a total of 1,261,648 hours.
"What excites me is the communities we're impacting," Jones said. "I was fortunate to meet some of the families we helped, and the coolest thing is knowing that our Greek community helped them get meals on the table and made their lives a little easier."