A sorority at Seton Hall is working with several philanthropic organizations by engaging the community to participate in fundraising events, raising awareness and encouraging self-love and acceptance.
Allyson Link, a senior social and behavioral sciences major, interns at the National Eating Disorders Association (NEDA) and is a campus representative for the Buddy Project, a mental health organization that pairs people on the internet to make friends for those who have trouble doing so.
Link said that she originally, was an education major, but after student teaching, she felt that it was not right for her and wanted to have a more hands-on role with students with disabilities. She said she started working with mental health awareness in college.
“It’s definitely rewarding,” Link said. “It definitely makes you feel good to help other people and it’s kind of like a ‘runner’s high,’ like how you start running and just can’t stop.”
In addition to her work with students and mental health awareness, Link is also a philanthropy co-chair for Delta Phi Epsilon (DPhiE), a sorority that works with philanthropic causes.
Katherine Kontos, a senior social and behavioral sciences major, is the vice president of programming of DPhiE and explained that the sorority supports three causes: The Cystic Fibrosis Foundation (CFF), The Association of Anorexia Nervosa Associated Disorders (ANAD) and the Delta Phi Epsilon Educational Foundation.
Kontos said the sorority holds annual philanthropy events to raise money for CFF and ANAD with “the goal of engaging the community by providing opportunities to contribute to two amazing, and very different causes.”
Kontos explained that the sorority’s largest philanthropy event is the ANAD Auction, an afternoon where DPhiE students, faculty, friends and family come together and spend the day participating in various activities and listening to a guest speaker. More than 40 raffle baskets ranging in value were available for guests to win. Kontos said that the event raised over $7,000, which was twice the amount made last year.
In the spring, Kontos said the sorority runs ANAD Week, a five-day-long event that raises awareness, instead of funds, for eating disorders. The sorority hosts events like “Trash Your Insecurities,” where students and faculty write down what makes them insecure and throw them in a giant purple trashcan.
Kontos said the sorority also hosts an ANAD Vigil, where respects are paid to those who have lost the battle against eating disorders and honor those who are fighting. She said that every year, sisters present their experiences with eating disorders, but this year, a man came to read on behalf of another man who has been battling the disorder.
“We felt that it was important to remind Seton Hall students that eating disorders do not discriminate by gender and anyone can be impacted,” Kontos said.
“Eating disorders affect about 30 million people in the United States and self-love and acceptance are important for everyone to work on, especially teenagers and young adults,” she said. “We have found that our focus on encouraging unconditional love for yourself despite your perceived flaws is a universal goal and to have the ability to work with ANAD to raise awareness on Seton Hall’s campus is invaluable.”
Amanda Halpin, a sophomore elementary and special education and speech and language pathology major, is a member of DPhiE. Halpin said she believes that the sorority’s sisters are driven and hardworking, which distinguishes them from other sororities on campus.
“I feel that all of my sisters have such high goals and do not stop until they accomplish them,” Halpin said. “Being around people like this influences me to strive for my best.”
Liam Oakes can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.