Iowa state sorority Kappa Alpha Theta hosted its annual philanthropy fundraising event earlier this month at their sorority house for Court Appointed Special Advocates (CASA).
All proceeds went toward benefiting Story County's division of CASA. CASA is an organization that helps abused or neglected children from foster care find safe, permanent homes through the juvenile court system.
Although CASA is not an organization that most have heard of, it is an organization that Kappa Alpha Theta provides monetary support for. They do fundraising in lieu of interaction with the children due to intensive 30-hour training requirements and a time commitment of over a year and a half per child case, for which college student advocates do not have the necessary time to invest.
Each semester the sorority hosts one major philanthropy and a smaller one later on in the year benefiting CASA.
“I think it’s really cool that we have an organization like this that isn’t as well known as some of the other chapters have on campus because there are organizations that have Make A Wish or St. Jude's and it’s not something that really has to be explained,” said Nicole Ernst, Kappa Alpha Theta’s fundraiser director. “When we are trying to describe the organization that we are supporting we have to come up with a way of talking about it so that people understand what it is because we can’t interact directly or donate our time.”
For this year’s event, pretzel twists were available for attendees along with an array of dips, cinnamon rolls, a house tour, games and fun activities despite the cold weather Iowa has been experiencing.
“We invite a lot of community members to our events because we invite volunteers from Story County CASA to come and alumni from our Des Moines alumni chapter,” Ernst said.
The girls of the sorority advocate each year on campus and through social media platforms such as Instagram in an attempt to try and get people more involved and informed about CASA.
“Funds go right back to the community so you can kind of see how it’s affecting people rather than just shoving it to the national organization and not seeing where the money goes,” said Hannah Noble, Kappa Alpha Theta’s chief external affairs officer.
The national Kappa Alpha Theta sorority has been supporting this cause since 1989 and said it doesn’t plan on stopping.
“We’ve been working more on advocating on campus and trying to get people who aren’t a part of the sorority and fraternity community knowledgeable about what CASA is," Ernst said. "It would be such a cool thing if, in the next few years, we were able to partner with on-campus organizations that also could have some kind of connection to CASA because I think it’s an important thing to not just focus on the sorority and fraternity community, but to focus on the Iowa State community as a whole.”