MU fraternity gives back to Boys and Girls Club
HUNTINGTON -- The list of toys and athletic equipment delivered to the Boys and Girls Club of Guyandotte on Wednesday almost reads like a Christmas wishlist.
It includes seven basketballs, six Frisbees, 12 jump ropes, five hula hoops, a volleyball set and a complete wiffleball setup, and that doesn't even describe half of the items that members of the Marshall University chapter of Pi Kappa Alpha distributed to the kids at the club.
The members, many of whom volunteer at the shelter on an almost daily basis, bought the equipment using money from their own pockets, along with a few donations from family and friends, to purchase the items, said Chase Lafferty, president of the chapter.
"We spend a lot of time with the kids here," Lafferty said. "We noticed a need for better athletic equipment, and we decided we wanted to give back to the kids."
The kids certainly were ready to accept the gifts from Pi Kappa Alpha, and they wasted no time in practicing their jump shots, baseball swings and double-dutch skills moments after they received them.
It was the latest milestone in a mutually beneficial relationship between the fraternity and the center said Michael Patick, director of operations for the center.
The MU Fraternity and Sorority Life organization began a three-year partnership with the Boys and Girls Club in 2012 to help raise funding, awareness and resources for the three clubs in Huntington.
"I hope the kids get a sense that someone, somewhere cares about them and is investing in their future in some way," Patick said. "Our specialty is to help these kids with their homework. I think there is a misconception that we just open the door and let them run around, but the focus here is on their education and making sure they have the help they need."
Lafferty said he hoped the students took away their own sense of community spirit from the gift.
"I hope it reinforces their interest in giving back, and when they go to college they come back to a community like this one, and they'll want to give back," Lafferty said. "I hope it's good for them and that it paves the way for them to be successful in giving back to their own communities."