Serving Others and Building Bonds

Lamda Chi members volunteering
January 20, 2016
by Carson Harais

*Lambda Chi Alpha is a fraternity that dedicates its time and money to helping fight hunger through Feeding America. This is one member’s account of why he helps feed America.

Recently, 19 members of the University of Texas at Austin chapter of Lambda Chi Alpha attended a service event at the Capital Area Food Bank, our chapter’s local Feeding America member food bank.

This was the first time in quite a while that a group of more than five of us had attended a service event together and I was surprised to see the chapter’s eagerness to help people facing hunger in our community. Volunteering has always been something I value strongly, and I’m glad so many of us in my fraternity feel the same way.

During the service event, the food bank asked us to prepare donated food to be distributed directly to people facing hunger through food pantries. I found it rewarding because not only did we help people in need, but volunteering also gave me ample time to further build relationships with other members of my fraternity who were also volunteering. By the end of our time, we had prepared over 4,000 pounds of food that would be given out to people in need.

Personally, this was one of my favorite events that my fraternity has held so far this semester. Connecting with others around me and realizing that what we were doing was going to benefit thousands of people in my community was indescribable.

By the end of the day, seeing how much of an impact our two and a half hours of help had made left all of us with smiles on our faces. At Lambda Chi Alpha, service and duty are two of our seven core values. Through volunteering at Capital Area Food Bank that day, I felt we truly lived out both of those values.

It is important to serve people in need. It signifies that you value helping others before yourself and makes your community a better place to live. I’m proud that last year alone, Lambda Chi Alpha raised 1.75 million pounds of food to donate to the Feeding America network. We definitely could not have made such an incredible impact without each dedicated member fulfilling their duty of service.

It is our duty to serve people who may be struggling because we never know when we may encounter challenges that lead us to struggle. Something our volunteer coordinator said before we left that stuck with me is how it is “important to serve while you are blessed with the ability to serve.”

Each of us had other things we could have been doing, such as studying, sleeping or socializing. By fulfilling our duty of serving, we each had a sense that we were helping our community—and we had a great time doing so.

I’m pretty sure every person who attended the service event came up to me within the next week telling me how great of a time they had and asking when to book their calendars for the next one. Not only did this experience make me proud that I was able to help someone else, but it also made me proud of my fellow fraternity members. It’s a privilege to work alongside them and it’s also a privilege to have the chance to help put food on the tables of people facing hunger  I look forward to the time when we can come together, roll up our sleeves and help people in need again soon.

*Carson Harais is a member of Lambda Chi Alpha and a sophomore accounting major at the University of Texas at Austin. You can pledge to volunteer and find ways to get involved with your local food bank.

**Photo courtesy of Lambda Chi Alpha.

Tags: Hunger Heroes , Volunteer

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