Fraternity helps feed needy families
The brothers of Omega Delta Phi–Pi chapter woke up early Thanksgiving morning with one thing on their minds; it wasn’t football or preparations for Black Friday, but rather community service.
Omega Delta Phi teamed up with the Multicultural Education and Counseling through the Arts (MECA) organization to donate turkeys and side dishes to Houston families in need.
“It’s a very big tradition for us,” Omega Delta Phi Service Chair Erick Mariscal said. “The more you get involved, the more you see the big picture, and you see how good it is to help others. It’s really honorable.”
The turkey drop-off culminated a three-day event that began with a community dinner hosted by MECA, and catered by Omega Delta Phi on Tuesday. On Wednesday night, the fraternity hosted its own Thanksgiving dinner for family and loved ones.
The charity work began in 1997 when Rogelio Salinas, one of the alpha class members, contacted his mother, Liz Salinas, associate director of programs at MECA, and performed the first turkey drop-off.
This year, nine brothers of Omega Delta Phi, three guests and Liz Salinas drove primarily throughout the First Ward to hand out the turkey dinners.
“I felt good about helping out families in need,” Christopher Aranzabal, Omega Delta Phi recording secretary, said. “Times aren’t that great, and some people can’t afford a simple Thanksgiving dinner. It feels good to help these families out.”
As each turkey was delivered, each brother took turns speaking to the recipients. The recipients did not wish to comment when asked to speak on the record.
Omega Delta Phi participates in numerous community service projects, which include tutoring and mentoring at the Barrio Center, the Young Knights program and Operation School Supplies.
“Every day we strive to be gentlemen filled with morals that are strengthened through service, and we always look for an opportunity to roll up our sleeves and make a strong effort to create a huge impact in the community,” chapter President Jorge Reyes said.
“It’s a gratifying experience seeing the looks on their faces and knowing that we have made a difference in their lives.”