By Maggie Austin
There is no arguing that Greenville is a beautiful city. A walk down Main Street to Falls Park on the Reedy or a bike ride on Swamp Rabbit Trail are wonderful escapes from campus life. As a high school senior, the city of Greenville was a major selling point when I was choosing a college. Now, as a Furman senior looking back at my past four years, I can say I have fully explored everything the city has to offer. Greenville gives us a lot and asks students for little in return. Senior Morgan Kuhar recognized that students often take Greenville for granted, which inspired him to give back to the town that cradles Furman’s campus. Kuhar first conceived the service project, Greeks for Greenville, last fall while serving as president of Sigma Nu Fraternity. His role as president led him to suggest that the Furman Greek community band together and raise money for a part of Greenville in need.
Kuhar proposed Greeks for Greenville to his fellow sorority and fraternity presidents knowing that the project would not be possible without a great team to support him. Ed Anderson and Rebecca Crowe jumped on board as the two vice presidents of Greeks for Greenville. On the administrative side, Kuhar stated that both Cameron Smith, Assistant Director for Student Organizations and Greek Life, and Nancy Cooper, Coordinator for Volunteer Services, played a significant role in making Greeks for Greenville come to life.
The first matter of business for the team was to decide what aspect of Greenville was most in need of Furman’s help. The group chose to assist Alexander Elementary School, which is a low income school in the Greenville County School District.
There are three steps in the service project for Alexander Elementary. Coming soon you will see advertisements around campus for Greeks for Greenville, as well as bins for an item drive. The service project will collect school supplies, hygiene products, and clothes, specifically children’s socks, in large bins around campus. Everyone on Furman’s campus, Greek or non-Greek, can participate in giving to Alexander Elementary.
The second step Greeks for Greenville will take is handing off the responsibility of raising money to six sorority-fraternity pairs. Each pair’s monetary goal is $3,000. The pairs will organize a unique fundraiser to reach their goal. The ultimate goal of $18,000 will be used in a culminating third step, a service day at Alexander Elementary. The Greek community will arrive at Alexander Elementary to do tasks such as landscaping, painting, and enhancing the playground. The money raised will be used to buy new teacher’s supplies and hopefully furniture for a teacher’s lounge. One of the best features that the money will go toward is “backpack meals.” The elementary school students often have their last meal on Friday at lunch and will not have the means to eat until the next Monday at school. Church programs around Greenville provide the children easy-to-make meals in backpacks for the weekend. Many students are in need of these meals, and Furman has the opportunity increase the quantity and quality of the backpacks produced.
Sororities and fraternities are all passionate about their particular philanthropies. Throughout the year we all witness the multitude of fundraisers for various organizations and the huge impact each of those fundraisers makes. Kuhar recognized the capabilities of a single sorority or fraternity, and it became obvious that the Furman Greeks could have an astonishing impact on Greenville. Each year a new president and two vice presidents will be appointed as the leaders of Greeks for Greenville. This year those leaders were also the presidents of their respective sorority or fraternity, but any Greek has the potential to get involved in the leadership team. Kuhar, who graduates this spring, hopes each year Greeks for Greenville will positively affect a new aspect of the Greenville community. Contact Morgan Kuhar if you would like to know more about getting involved in Greeks for Greenville.