Oklahoma State University


Gamma Phi Philanthropy

By: Lori Allmon

Gamma Phi Betas at Oklahoma State University have been long time supporters of children in the College of Human Sciences.

This year, the Gamma Phi Betas have once again made a substantial impact on the lives of many children through their work and generosity to the Child Development Laboratory Program.

According to Chapter Advisor Sarah Ehrlich, the Gamma Phi Beta chapter was a contributing founder of the Program, making a large donation in 2006 that helped fund the current program.

“We just had a partnership through some of our students and so we chose to continue to support it,” she said.

That partnership has been maintained over the years through financial contributions. Ehrlich noted that the Gamma Phi Beta's national philanthropy is Campfire USA.

“Since Campfire USA doesn't have a local chapter and this also promotes ‘building resiliency in girls,’ it was a good fit,” Elrilich said.

Each year the chapter holds a pancake dinner and the proceeds go toward the Rise Program. Pancake Palooza is held in the backyard of the Gamma Phi house and other Greek houses are encouraged to attend.

“We play music and even have a pancake eating contest,” Samantha Anderson, Gamma Phi Beta New Member Educator, said. “It's one of my favorite things about the fall semester!”

This year’s event took place September 15, and was attended by nearly 800 people. From event proceeds, the chapter was able to donate $6,389 to the Child Development Laboratory Program.

According to Child Development Laboratory Program Director and Early Childhood Specialist Dianna Ross, the donation could not come at a better time. Major funding for the Child Development Laboratory Program has been cut over the past two years due to current restrictions in budgets, resulting in reduced funds available to the program.

“Words are not enough to express my deepest gratitude for the recent Gamma Phi Beta Philanthropy donation,” Ross said. “The check was astonishing and unexpected. I realize that a donation as substantial as this took many hours of organization, effort and time to complete.”

She added, the contribution will allow the program to purchase much needed equipment, supplies and resources for the children.

In addition to their monetary donation, the Gamma Phi Beta chapter created sensory bottles for the children in the Child Development Laboratory Program. The sensory bottles are designed to stimulate the children’s senses through sight, touch and sound.

Members of the Gamma Phi Chapter presented Child Development Laboratory Program classes with 75 colorful sensory bottles. The children were enthralled by the bells, floating flowers and colorful glitter that filled the bottles.

“Presenting the sensory bottles to the classrooms was so heart-warming,” Anderson said. “Seeing the reaction on the student's faces made the whole experience so worthwhile.”

Photo Gallery

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