One sorority, three philanthropies, all for good causes

Matt Hasty

Philanthropies are a way for fraternity and sorority members to have a chance to give back to people in need. They are meant to encourage a kind spirit and a feeling of doing something good for others.

While most fraternities and sororities have only one philanthropy, Kappa Kappa Gamma has three philanthropies: Reading is Fundamental, Girls Academy, and the Kappa Kappa Gamma Foundation.

Lauren Zahrn, the philanthropy chair of Kappa Kappa Gamma, went into more detail about these three organizations.  

“Reading is Fundamental is all about promoting literacy for children in elementary school, as this is the critical period for developing reading and writing skills. As a member of Kappa, we use the money we raise to buy books for every child at select local elementary schools who have a high population of children in need,” Zahrn said. “Girls Academy is an overnight retreat that we are able to put on every other year where we mentor 5th grade girls to be great leaders, have confidence, and embrace their education. Finally, we support the Kappa Kappa Gamma Foundation by donating money which goes to Kappa alumnae who are in need or have gone through a recent crisis.” 

Kappa Kappa Gamma holds two fundraising events, one per semester. In the Spring, they hold the Amazing Race, an event based off of the TV show. It is an on campus event and many organizations participate. The first time the Amazing Race was held was last semester.

In the Fall, Kappa Kappa Gamma has Kappa Bowl, a bubble ball soccer tournament where they partner with Kappa Alpha Order, a fraternity here on campus.

Events directly involving the philanthropies of Kappa Kappa Gamma include “Reading is Key” events, where they donate one book to each child at local elementary schools. This semester, Kappa Kappa Gamma donated 700 books to Tates Creek Elementary School.  They also help children with their literacy skills at this event. 

Zahrn went more in detail about what each member’s role is in these philanthropy events.

“All members are required to attend the fundraising events and mostly everyone comes to the Reading is Key events because they are so fun! We highly encourage our members to attend the non-required events at the local schools because it is very powerful to see the direct impact that we are making as a chapter,” Zahrn said.

Reading is Key are events sponsored by Reading is Fundamental.

According to Zahrn, Reading is Fundamental has been partnered with Kappa Kappa Gamma for ten years and is their main philanthropy. 

So, what exactly does Kappa Kappa Gamma solve through Reading is Fundamental? Zahrn answered that, too.

“Reading is Fundamental helps to solve the issue of low income children not having access to reading material. When children do not own books and are not encouraged to read, their literacy skills suffer,” Zahrn said. “This has a lifelong impact as it can affect their qualification and ability to do well in school, and later in their careers. With RIF, every child at the schools we help are able to leave with a free book in their hands which encourages them to practice their literacy skills and nurture their passion for reading.”

The work Kappa Kappa Gamma does is amazing. It is remarkable that one organization supports three philanthropies. It just shows how dedicated and good-spirited the Kappa Kappa Gamma women are. Reading is important and it should be a priority for children in their academic careers.