Section: Features

Student orgs give back to the community with philanthropy

Student orgs give back to the community with philanthropy

Fundraising for Shawn Kelly | COURTESY OF THETA DELTA PHI

All year long, organizations across the Hill promote sharing, caring and bushels of philanthropic fun through charitable activities. From food and clothing drives to holiday parties and the promotion of STEM education, Kenyon is a focal point of charity during the holiday season and beyond. 

Right before Thanksgiving, the Adelante Asociación wrote to the student body urging students to donate non-perishable food to The Source, a resource established by the Division of Student Affairs last Thanksgiving. Its main goal is to provide food for students who are staying on campus over the holidays. Adelante also encouraged students to donate any winter clothes for another Source initiative to provide clothing and other winter items to Kenyon students. Adelante’s philanthropy encapsulated the reflective and community-based nature of the Thanksgiving holiday. 

This week, upon coming back to campus, the Kenyon College Ballroom Dance Club (KCBDC) hosted its annual production of Dancing with the Kenyon Stars. The club paired students with faculty members for a night of lively dancing, fun and community. However, the event also had the additional component of charity benefiting the Winter Sanctuary, an emergency homeless shelter in Mount Vernon. “Our partnership between Dancing With the Kenyon Stars and the Winter Sanctuary is a way of giving back to the community and celebrating our connection,” Thomas Metcalf ’26 wrote in a message to the Collegian. Metcalf was not only the triumphant winner of Dancing With the Kenyon Stars, but is also a volunteer at the Winter Sanctuary and Treasurer of KCBDC. “It’s a step in bursting the Kenyon bubble and using our privilege to support those in our community who are struggling right now.”

Students in STEM have also joined in on the philanthropic spirit at Kenyon. Science Saturday is an event hosted throughout the academic year, giving middle schoolers interested in science an opportunity for exploration and experiments. Kenyon students who are interested in education and STEM were encouraged to volunteer in an email by program leader Zoe Malouf ’25. “School students will explore the ways that art and science intersect,” reads the Science Saturday poster.

Of course, it isn’t the winter holidays at Kenyon without the Shawn Kelly Holiday Party, hosted by fraternity Delta Kappa Epsilon (DKE) and sorority Theta Delta Phi (Theta). The holiday party is an annual tradition that began as a remembrance of a late DKE member, Shawn Kelly, but also holds the value of giving back to the broader Knox County community. “One of my favorite aspects of the holiday season is that it’s also a time of giving, and I know that many Thetas feel the same way. We’re all very passionate about extending our impact beyond the hill and throughout Knox County,” Theta Community Service Coordinator Lynne Bush ’25 wrote in a message to the Collegian

Both DKE and Theta have been fundraising and hosting other charitable activities throughout the semester to prepare for the holiday party. Throughout the semester, all proceeds raised from ‘Dunk a DKE’ on Peirce Lawn, ‘Theta Thrift’ and their co-sponsored Turkey Trot go toward the event. “Working with Lynne, DKE community service and our Office of Student Engagement, I feel as though we have been well supported in our efforts to make this event a success,” Theta Community Service Coordinator Erica Hurr ’26 wrote in a message to the Collegian.

Philanthropy is certainly abundant on the Hill and the broader Knox County area; bringing students, faculty and the broader community together toward a wonderful cause.

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