Season of Sharing

Sorority, fraternity team up to bring children gifts and smiles

By Calvin Hobson

Alpha Omicron Pi Sorority and Sigma Alpha Epsilon Fraternity worked together last night to provide 19 children who attend Johnson Elementary School with gifts and laughter at the fraternity’s and sorority’s 10th-annual Christmas Party.

The children were nominated by their teachers to participate in the event. After the students made their Christmas gift lists, SAE and AOPi collected more than $3,000 to buy gifts from each of the students’ list.

“It’s funny because usually each kid wants something different,” said Andrea Frye, vice president of communication for AOPi. “But this year a lot of them wanted toy cars or some kind of electronic.”

The children and their parents arrived at the SAE house at about 7 p.m. and were greeted by members of the fraternity and sorority, along with the smells of pizza and sugar cookies. There was also an appearance by Santa Claus, who was actually senior SAE member Scott Dailey.

“This is my third year as Santa, and it’s great, because the kids are always nice to Santa,” Bailey said. “They get all the clothes and more boring stuff from the brothers, but they always let Santa give out the good gifts.”

A few of the members on this year’s committee are first timers, but they managed to make the event more successful by raising nearly $1,000 more than last year, said Jenny Bui, a member of AOPi and director of the event. This allowed them to get gifts for more than the usual 10 to 15 students.

The lack of ornaments on the Christmas tree was made up with the many gifts that surrounded the tree, which didn’t seem to bother the children.

“I’m glad they chose me,” said Michael Green, an eight-year-old third grade student. “All I wanted was NFL Madden ‘08 for my PS2.”

The children and the members of the Greek organization weren’t the only people who showed their excitement about the event. Parents and grandparents were also in attendance and expressed their thanks to the two organizations.

“This was very nice of them to do this, and I really, really appreciate it,” said Natasha Gay, the mother of a child receiving a gift. “It’s just good to know that there are people out there who think of someone other than themselves.”