Phi Gamma Delta raises $1,500 for the USO

The Sam Houston State University chapter of Phi Gamma Delta held its second annual Freedom Week from October 12 to October 16, 2015 in efforts to raise money for the United Service Organization.


The United Service Organization provides military personnel with several services, such as comfort items, places to sleep during travel and even services that help their families when travelling or at home.


The United Service Organization is the national philanthropy of Phi Gamma Delta.


Phi Gamma Delta Recruitment Chair Leo Meshell discussed what the USO is, and what they aim to accomplish.


“The USO stands for the United Service Organization, and basically they’re mostly in airports,” said Meshell. “It’s really geared toward military personnel and their families. Basically what that does is gives them somewhere to sleep, they can rest or get food.”


In addition to providing services in airports, the USO sends care packages overseas. Meshell went on to talk about the families who are affected by military enlistment and how the USO tries to comfort them as well.


“They do their best to connect the families whether it’s over Skype or just sending them things that remind them of home,” Meshell said. “They try to make it seem not so far away.”


The Phi Gamma Delta Freedom Week held several events over the course of a few days in hopes to fundraise money to donate to the United Service Organization.


Phi Gamma Delta Correspondent Secretary Rubin Sandlin talked about the events that took place.


“This year our fundraiser for the USO included several different events spread throughout the week with all of the proceeds going directly to the USO,” Sandlin said. “On Monday, we had a dunk tank on campus. On Wednesday, we hosted a FIJI Night at Buffalo Wild Wings where 10% of every order with a FIJI flyer was donated to the USO. Thursday we had Pie a Phi on campus,” Sandlin said.


Pie a Phi included a cutout where a Phi Gamma Delta member stood behind it, and with a $1 donation, students and faculty could throw a pie at the member.


Friday was the second annual 5K Freedom Run. The run had a $25 fee, however all proceeds went to the USO, with students signing up for the event for three weeks prior to the event.


Meshell went on to talk about the successes of Freedom Week.


“The dunk tank was definitely our biggest attraction,” Meshell said. “It was fun and something different that people seemed really into. They just had to donate a dollar to throw a ball.”


Meshell discussed the different reasons why the Sam Houston State University chapter chose to donate to the USO.


“The USO is actually our national philanthropy,” Meshell said. “We wanted to stick with it because a lot of people don’t know about it, and [we wanted to] give to something that is a little bit different.”


Phi Gamma Delta Treasurer Michael Gonzalez went on to unveil the total amount of money that FIJI will be donating to the USO.


“Between the money that we’ve raised throughout the week with all of our events, as well as donations that we’ve received from our graduate brothers, a few sororities on campus, and surrounding businesses in Huntsville, in total we are going to end up donating $1,500 to the USO,” Gonzalez said.


Gonzalez was asked what other events Phi Gamma Delta has held for fundraising.


“We had our first freedom run last year,” Gonzalez said. “We were really just trying to get our feet on the ground with it. In the spring of last year, we did a barbeque cook off. We co-hosted it with the softball team and did the cook off before the game. All of the brothers ended up going to the softball game afterwards, so this has really been our third philanthropy event.”


All three Phi Gamma Delta members talked about the ease of donating to the USO due to many FIJI members who are either currently enlisted, or will enlist post graduation.


“We do have a couple of brothers who have military ties, so they can relate to the actual struggles of the military,” Sandlin said. “The cause really hits home for them.”


Phi Gamma Delta will continue on with the tradition of Freedom Week into next semester and with their future brothers.

Leave a Reply