Last week, the men of the Beta Tau chapter of the Alpha Tau Omega Fraternity held a fundraiser for Hurricane Harvey victims in Houston. The fraternity had a table outside of the Brewer Dining Hall with an idea for raising money. They called it “Change Wars.”
“We decided to make the fundraiser a competition to encourage more people to donate,” said member of Alpha Tau Omega, Addison Turner, a junior in mechanical engineering. “How it worked was there were several bins for the five other Greek organizations, the four different classes and the faculty.”
People had to decide to either help their group of choice with change, or they could set back another group who was ahead of theirs by putting any paper bill in the other group’s bin. A dollar was worth negative-100 points and a penny was worth one point.
Each night, the fraternity would count up the money raised and post the rankings of each organization on the fraternity’s Instagram. The competition between the different groups involved in the fundraiser was a tight race all week long, with a new leader pulling ahead each day. The competition aspect of the fundraiser made raising money more exciting for everyone on campus.
All of the money raised during the fundraiser was donated to Samaritan’s Purse, an organization currently working with churches in the Houston area that were affected by Hurricane Harvey. In total, Alpha Tau Omega was able to donate $359.57 through Change Wars.
While Beta Tau’s chapter philanthropy is St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital, Alpha Tau Omega as a national organization does not have a specific national philanthropy. Instead, each chapter is encouraged to raise money wherever and whenever they feel led as a brotherhood.
“We feel incredibly blessed to be members of Alpha Tau Omega, and know that we are called to give to those who are less fortunate,” said Kyle Souleyrette, a senior in business management and member of the fraternity. “I cannot imagine what [the hurricane victims] are going through, and we are honored to be able to impact people’s lives.”
“Since the people of Houston and the surrounding area have been devastated by the effects of Hurricane Harvey, we felt as if we needed to do something on campus,” said fraternity member, James Matthew Wyatt, junior political science major. “Alpha Tau Omega is all about philanthropy and giving back to our communities. The Change War was a small highlight of what we do throughout the year, but we love volunteering and giving as much as we can.”
Wyatt also stated that this will not be the last Change Wars the fraternity will hold, so be on the look-out for more friendly competition for a good cause from the men of Alpha Tau Omega.