Pi Beta Phi and Phi Gamma Delta (FIJI) are partnering together to host their annual Pi Phi/FIJI Christmas event at the FIJI house, located at 79 College Ave., on Friday, Dec. 11.
The event, which will include refreshments and other activities to spread holiday spirit, will benefit the Crossroad Ministries in Old Town as well as the University of Maine’s Bodwell Center for Service and Volunteerism.
Crossroad Ministries is a resource center that seeks to assist low-income families and combat hunger and homelessness.
Although Crossroad Ministries mainly focuses their efforts on hunger, their work is not limited to food donations. Crossroad Ministries also assists families in paying utility bills and obtaining clothing, basic household items, furniture and other resources.
The members of Pi Beta Phi and FIJI will be collecting toys, books and monetary donations to help Crossroad Ministries with their mission. While the event is hosted by Greek organizations at UMaine, it is open to everyone who wishes to participate.
“It’s a great opportunity to make a difference this holiday season,” Tom Beutler, Philanthropy Chair for FIJI and the fraternity’s next president, said. “We welcome all to our house.”
Pi Phi/FIJI Christmas has become a favorite among UMaine students. Those involved in Greek Life, as well as many students who are affiliated with other organizations, have fond memories of the event in past years.
Sarah Bosworth, a third-year UMaine student, enjoyed last year’s event so much, that she plans to go again this year.
“It’s great vibes and good people,” Bosworth said.
Molly Mendola, a Pi Beta Phi alumna, loves the annual event for its ability to bring UMaine students together while also assisting the local community.
“It’s a special feeling when you can make a child’s Christmas better and knowing we can do that is awesome,” Mendola said. “When everyone stops by the house and donates, it unites the school community.”
Mendola added that the event is exceptionally important to members of UMaine Greek life because it gives Greek organizations the opportunity to showcase the philanthropic work they do together.
“Even though all of the sororities and fraternities have different philanthropies that support different causes, it’s always great when we can come together to support a single cause,” Jenna Savage, a member of Chi Omega, said. “Last year’s event was really fun, so I’m looking forward to seeing how successful it can be this year.”
The communal nature of the event has turned it into a tradition for UMaine students. Megan Hurrell, a new member of Pi Beta Phi, is looking forward to attending her first Pi Phi/FIJI Christmas.
“I’m excited to come together with another part of Greek life to support a good cause,” Hurrell said.
The Pi Phi/FIJI Christmas event is one of many charitable holiday efforts that will be hosted by UMaine organizations this year. For more information on Pi Phi/FIJI Christmas, contact Thomas Beutler or Kaitlynn Malinowski on First Class.