Kappa Sigma Gives Back

The Kappa Sigma house is located on 2504 College St., and it is home to their members as well as their philanthropic events.
The Kappa Sigma house is located on 2504 College St., and it is home to their members as well as their philanthropic events.

The Mu Upsilon chapter of Kappa Sigma is set to host their block party on Saturday, Sept. 23 in honor of the Kappa Sigma Military Heroes Campaign. Like other chapters within fraternity and sorority life at UNI, their philanthropy event supports a cause close to their chapter. But this year, Kappa Sigma took their philanthropic efforts a step further to see their impacts closer to home. 

Normally, Kappa Sigma donates the funds raised by the event to their national philanthropic campaign, Military Heroes. But this year, the chapter has decided to donate a portion of the proceeds to Americans for Independent Living, located in Waterloo. Americans for Independent Living (AFIL) provides a variety of services for struggling veterans in the Cedar Valley area. AFIL provides a transitional home for veterans at risk of homelessness, counseling services, and equips veterans with the life skills necessary to go about daily life. AFIL also works on consulting for home modifications for veterans with disabilities and may need further accessibility in their homes. “This year we get to have an impact on the Cedar Valley itself,” chapter president Samuel Castaneda-Velasco commented. “It’s something we haven’t done in the past. It’s a great opportunity for the chapter to continue to grow in supporting our community.” 

Vice president of the chapter, David Kremer, also weighed in on the impact of Kappa Sigma’s philanthropic endeavors within the fraternity and sorority life community. “It shows the importance of what fraternities and sororities actually do. It’s about the service, the community. This is what we do.” One of the four pillars of the Interfraternity Council that governs all fraternities is service, and Kappa Sigma hopes to embolden that value in their philanthropic pursuits this fall. “It really reflects the true character of the community,” added Castenada-Velasco. Kappa Sigma continues to grow and find a variety of ways to further impact the Cedar Valley community. This year, 80% of the chapter’s proceeds will go to their national philanthropy fund, Military Heroes, which also supports funds like Homes For Our Troops, Veterans Moving Forward and Veteran Success Resource Group. The remaining proceeds will be donated back to AFIL to give back to the Cedar Valley community and help ensure the veterans of the Cedar Valley continue to be supported. 

I’m a military kid. The military has a huge impact on my family and my life. I hate seeing veterans struggle.

— Skylar Buss

The block party gives the entire fraternity and sorority life community of UNI the opportunity to participate in their philanthropic mission with the fanfare of their annual sweetheart competition. The sweetheart competition involves one volunteer from each UNI sorority to help Kappa Sigma raise money for the Military Heroes Campaign. Whichever sorority woman raises the most money becomes the sweetheart for the school year, and has her own place on the Kappa Sigma composite. This provides another avenue for chapters to get involved in Kappa Sigma’s philanthropy and impact the Cedar Valley community. “The sweetheart competition really gets the entire FSL community involved,” Castaneda-Velasco added. “It’s great to see the way that the FSL community comes together to support our philanthropy.” 

Beyond the impact of the chapter’s philanthropic mission on its surrounding communities, it also carries strong ties with its members. For the chapter’s philanthropy chair and organizer of the event, Skylar Buss, the Military Heroes Campaign is personal. “I’m a military kid. The military has a huge impact on my family and my life. I hate seeing veterans struggle,” Buss elaborated. “All that they’ve done for us and people walk over them. I don’t think it’s right. They deserve more recognition.” Recognition they will receive at the Kappa Sigma Block Party fundraiser, where Buss’s goal for the chapter is to raise $10,000. “This kind of stuff really helps us grow. Not just as fraternity members or college students but just as people. There’s always more to do,” said Castenada-Velasco. 

The event will include a wide variety of activities, including a visit from the National Guard. “We’ll have a rock wall and a couple military vehicles including a Humvee courtesy of the National Guard,” said Castenada-Velasco. “We’ll also have yard games, a small classic car show, silent auction, door prizes, and walking tacos for food.” “‘The Good News’, a local UNI band, will also be playing live music,” added Kremer. Tickets are on sale now for $8 dollars, and tickets will be available at the door as well. The block party will take place at 2504 College St., on Sep. 23 from 5:00p.m. to 8:00p.m. Kappa Sigma also has rush events taking place in the upcoming weeks at their house on Sep. 18 and 20. For more information on how to get involved with Kappa Sigma’s philanthropy or donate to their philanthropic fund, contact chapter president Samuel Castenada-Velasco at [email protected]

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