Fraternity puts on clothing drive in ‘very cold winter’

Mark Hammontree

With temperatures dropping, students at The University of Alabama with spare winter clothing can donate their apparel to those in need through Phi Beta Sigma’s winter coat drive.

“This clothing drive is to give individuals on UA’s campus an opportunity to donate clothing such as scarves, hats, coats, earmuffs, gloves, etc. to give to the homeless during this very cold winter season because it’s obviously colder this year than it was last year,” said Varrecke Johnson, president of the Theta Delta Chapter of Phi Beta Sigma Fraternity Inc.

Members of the fraternity will be present at the Ferguson Center food court from noon to 4 p.m. Friday to receive any warm clothing that students and faculty are willing to donate.

“We’ll have boxes set up where they can place the clothing they want to donate to the homeless, and we’ll make sure that everyone knows that what this is going toward is for a good cause,” Johnson, a senior majoring in telecommunication and film, said. “After everything is collected, we as a chapter will take the clothing people donate and give it to a homeless shelter of our choosing.”

Johnson said the fraternity is still in the process of determining which homeless shelter they will donate the collected items to.

Phi Beta Sigma Fraternity Inc. was founded in 1914, and the Theta Delta chapter was started at the University in 1976 and was the first black fraternity to have a house on campus at the University, Johnson said.

“The purpose is not only to show UA’s campus that the Theta Delta chapter of Phi Beta Sigma desires to give back to the community, but it’s celebrating our 100years of service because our founder’s day is actually Jan. 9,” Johnson said. “This is our centennial year, so it’ll be 100 years of existence.”

Johnson said the Theta Delta chapter is in a rebuilding phase and currently has four active members but that it wants to join other chapters of the fraternity in celebrating 100 years of existence with service.

“It’s pretty much all around Alabama, all around the world that our organization is conducting different service projects throughout the year just to celebrate this achievement,” Johnson said.

The chapter chooses a service project each year, and Johnson said he wants to continue to increase the amount of service the organization is involved in moving forward.

“It’s one of the three principles of our organization – we’re founded on brotherhood, scholarship and service, and we are a service-based organization, so we want to show the campus that we’re exemplifying the ideals of our organization,” Johnson said. “That’s pretty much what this whole service project is about, to give back to the homeless and live out what our organization was founded upon.”