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Make a Difference!

Instead of finding some clever way to express my Deltasig experience at our Gulf Western Region MADD event, I'll just say it straight. It was a blast and I loved every bit of it. Many of you that haven't been in the Fraternity that long should know that Make a Difference Day is an annual event Delta Sigma Pi participates in every year. It's an event that helps personify the message in our fraternity preamble; to promote brotherhood and help the civic and commercial welfare of our communities.

I was fortunate to have time this semester to participate in two national service projects. I participated in the Graffiti Wipe-Out in San Antonio and the Delta Sigma Pi Food Can Drive 2011 in Corpus Christi. Talking numbers the Graffiti Wipe-Out involved six chapters and over 200 participants (Deltasig and non-Deltasig) that helped make a difference. The team I was assigned to was titled Team Roadrunner and we were the first to finish our grafitti wipe-out tasks! To top it off KROV 91.7-HD2 FM San Antonio featured us as their first guests and promoted the event! (Video below.)

The Delta Sigma Pi Food Drive was hosted by the Corpus Christi Alumni Chapter and Iota Psi. They were collecting food for the Corpus Christi Food Bank. Four chapters participated (UTSA, TAMUK, TAMUCC, University of Houston and CC Alumni) and collected over 250 pounds of food for needy families! (Pictures below.)

I encourage brothers and alumni to participate in your region's MADD wherever you are. Take the chance to become closer to brothers as you help enrich your life and others around you. There are those that do not have the means to improve the situation they are in so lend them your strength to help make that happen. Make A Difference! And as always, proud to be a Deltasig!

Make a Difference Day Delight

Throughout my two year journey with Delta Sigma Pi I have learned many important life lessons. One of the most important lessons I have learned is that in anything you are involved with, whether it is a relationship, school, work, or the fraternity, the amount that you gain from an experience is directly related to how much you are willing to put in to it. I did not know how true that statement was until the Make a Difference Day Graffiti Wipeout.

What is funny is that the MADD Graffiti Wipeout was inspired 100% by my recent experience at the 48th Grand Chapter Congress in Louisville, Kentucky and the brothers that I met there. I knew that I would see all of my new friends at initiation in Houston in November but one thing we all knew was that now that we had this great new connection, we could not let it be just that, it had to benefit the region somehow. Although it is rare for some other regions, the Gulf Western Region now sees joint regional initiations as the norm. One thing our region had never done was a regional community service event. What better reason is there to get so many people together than to do something good for others, and what better day to do it than Make a Difference Day?

When I realized that there were very few community service opportunities that could accommodate the approximately 80 brothers that I had originally hoped for, I saw it as the perfect opportunity for us to start our own event. I contacted my personal friend and General Manager of the HD radio station 91.7 HD-2 KROV, Tommy Calvert, to see if he could use his connections to help and he said that he not only would like to offer his contact list, but he would like to do it as a joint event with his radio station that currently has over 106,000 listeners locally. Tommy''s father, TC Calvert, also happens to be a widely known community organizer and President of Neighborhoods First Alliance, an organization made of Seniors from the Westend and Edgewood neighborhoods on the West Side of San Antonio that focuses on the issues of their community and solutions for how they can improve the overall environment.

Together, we found people to donate everything we needed from paint and supplies from the City of San Antonio to food and drinks for breakfast and lunch from several restaurants, to advertising companies for t-shirts, name tags, banners, copies, and volunteer certificates. I was a guest on several of KROV's radio shows to promote the event including the newest one, "Roadrunner Radio Show", that showcases UTSA student organizations, student involvement, and student and faculty opinions. On the day of the event, brothers from Omicron Phi, Iota Psi, Eta Psi, Lambda Upsilon, Pi Omega, and the Corpus Christi and San Antonio alumni chapters joined volunteers from the west side community, San Martin de Porres Church, CPS Energy, and listeners of KROV to paint over the graffiti. Volunteers were split in to teams and given a list of addresses that needed to be painted over. The event was featured on 91.7 HD2 KROV, Fox 29 News and other small publications to show taggers that we will no longer tolerate this criminal act.

What I did not mention was the fact that my first MADD meeting was on September 10th, meaning that there was a whopping 6 weeks to get the entire event together. I learned that if you believe something can happen enough, sometimes that is just enough to pull it off. I learned that if good people with pure motives unite with a common goal in mind, magic happens! I learned that although it sounds like a beauty pageant answer, doing something good for those in need is really one of the most rewarding things you can ever do for yourself. Finally, I learned that if you surround yourself with positive, like-minded people, you will continue striving to do great things and to be the best brother that you can be.

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