By Heather Fabritze
Elm Staff Writer
Washington College’s chapter of Alpha Chi Omega Beta Pi celebrated their annual day of service, Hera Day, by running a food and clothing drive in Hodson Hall.
Hera Day, named after AXO’s patron goddess, falls on March 1 every year. How the sorority celebrates differs every year, but it is always a philanthropic event focused on giving back to the community around them.
This year, AXO ran a drive accepting food and toiletry donations for George’s Free General Store. According to an email sent out by AXO, options for donations included “non-perishable packaged foods such as chips, fruit snacks, granola bars, canned goods,” and “toiletry items including toothbrushes, toothpaste, floss, razors.”
AXO chose to partner with the store due to senior member Zairel Luna’s position there as a student worker.
Luna feels that donations for the store through the drive are especially important due to its accessibility to all campus students.
“People should attend because ultimately it is for them,” Luna said. “The Free Store was created for the campus community to have access to everyday necessities.”
In addition to food, AXO also collected clothing donations. Students could drop off their unwanted pieces or pick up new ones.
All remaining articles of clothing by the end of Hera Day were donated to the Department of Theatre and Dance’s Costume Shop.
Vice President Philanthropy for AXO junior Emma Russell reminded students of the universal access they have to the Costume Shop.
“Any student is also allowed to use the costume shop for any reason, so it wouldn’t just be for theatrical productions,” Russell said. “Anybody could come to check stuff out if they need it for school projects or if they need it for maybe job interviews; or even Birthday Ball.”
Sisters of AXO ran and supported the drive by tabling in Hodson Hall from 11 a.m. to 6 p.m., while simultaneously giving out information on their philanthropy, domestic violence awareness.
Luna feels that assisting with the drive is an example of AXO’s dedication to their cause.
“The drive is important to AXO because one of the pillars of our sorority is character, and I would argue that community service is a great way for character to develop,” Luna said. “I would also argue that our Beta Pi chapter is very centered around community service, noting that our philanthropic endeavors support organizations like Mid-Shore Council on Family Violence which is based on the Eastern Shore of MD.”
Russell emphasizes the philanthropic element, while also citing the sorotiy’s desire to give back to the WC community following their vast support of fall semester’s Casino Night — the WC community helped raise over $2,000 for Mid-Shore.
“I think it’s always great to give back because philanthropy is one of the big reasons that I personally wanted to become a part of Greek Life,” Russell said. “But you don’t have to be part of Greek Life to be involved in philanthropy, and just giving back to the campus community.”
Another sister, sophomore and Vice President of Finance Shannel Fraser, feels an especially strong “connection” to her sorority on Hera Day. An emphasis on acts of kindness and contributing to local endeavors is a large part of what makes Hera Day so special.
Fraser hopes that both Hera Day and the drive contribute to a kinder environment as the first half of the semester quickly finishes.
“It’s really good to have acts of kindness and I think we all really need that, looking at all that’s happening in society right now,” Fraser said.
Photo by Jakob Watt
Featured Photo Caption: The sisters of Alpha Chi Omega tabled in Hodson Hall from 11 a.m. to 6 p.m. to collect food and clothing donations for the campus community.