Alpha Kappa Alpha Performs 29 Service Projects for International Conference in Houston
Jo-Carolyn Goode | 7/20/2018, 10:07 a.m.
Wherever the ladies of Alpha Kappa Alpha Sorority, Incorporated go, one thing is for certain. Service will be rendered. Since 1928 when the first graduate chapter of Alpha Kappa Alpha Sorority, Incorporated, Alpha Kappa Omega, was chartered, Houstonians have had a front row seat to the work of the first Greek-letter organization. Six undergraduate chapters and an additional fourteen graduate chapters later, it is hard to find a place in the Houston area that the ladies have not impacted. Their reach had a greater grasp as Houston played host to the organization’s 68th international conference where 19,000 plus members performed a total of twenty-nine acts of service.
The sorority kicked off their excitement of the international conference with “29 Moments of Service” worldwide that began in January 2018 in Washington, D.C. when members packaged more than 1,908 bagged meals for homeless citizens and presented a $1,908 for ongoing efforts. Grocery bags of healthy food and snacks were also distributed to Howard University students. Houston members brought resources home by collecting money to purchase infant formula for L.I.F.E Houston. Another project in partnership with the City of Houston – the Complete Communities Initiative, allowed members to revitalize a neighborhood under the city’s initiative.
Neighbors in Houston’s South side now have access to fresh fruits and vegetables due to AKAs’ community garden project at the Park at Palm Center. Local chapters have pledged to commit volunteer manpower to manage the community garden. Funded through a $100,000 grant from the U.S. Department of Agriculture, community gardens will be planted in the ten regions of the sorority.
Projects six, seven, and eight focused on education. Honoring the sorority’s founder, Ethel Hedgeman Lyle, members across the country held a day of service reading to children to encourage a love for reading. A sorority driven virtual backpack drive where members donated money to purchase backpacks, school supplies, and groceries for needy students to address childhood hunger and support educational enrichment was held. As a result of these efforts, sorority members surpassed their goal of donating one million backpacks to students worldwide over the course of four years under 29th International President Dr. Dorothy Buckhanan Wilson.
The ladies of Alpha Kappa Alpha reduced their carbon footprint on the world through Acts of Green with projects nine through ten and twelve through fourteen. On Earth Day, tips to go green where shared and practiced. Community shred day events were held throughout Houston to shred personal and business documents. Undergraduate members made their college campuses flourish by restoring, refreshing and renewing various areas. Park benches were dedicated on the campuses of Texas Southern University and Prairie View A&M University with donations of $10,000 to each university. Lastly, during the conference in Houston members went green by recycling paper, glass, and plastic products as well as recycling old electronics and tracking their progress socially.
Exercising their political voice members pulled on the ears of their local, state and national legislators to advocate for legislation that supports the goals of the sorority’s international program.