Building Stronger Communities with Pennies, Cans and Teddy Bears
Friday, Oct 28, 2016

Given one hour to build a structure composed of hundreds of aluminum cans, nearly 150 sorority sisters of Gamma Phi Beta, Phi Mu and Zeta Tau Alpha waged a friendly competition among each other to see who could create the best sculpture. 

“Canstruction” marks the beginning of Greek Week at Lander University, a series of friendly rivalries between chapters of the National Panhellenic Council (NPC). While the fun challenges create lasting memories for these college students, the real intent is to focus on more serious issues, such as helping the hungry, the abused, the oppressed and the needy.

“The sororities collected 970 items which will be donated to the Food Bank of Greenwood County at the United Way by the end of the week,” commented Jill Franklin, assistant director of Student Activities and director of Greek Life.

In addition to “Canstruction,” sorority chapters held a penny drive, raising $400 for the Circle of Sisterhood, which supports entities around the world that are removing educational barriers for girls and women facing poverty and oppression; and collected 300 teddy bears for Greenwood’s Beyond Abuse, a non-profit agency that helps individuals and families recover from domestic abuse, sexual violence and child abuse. 

“Even though Greek Week is fueled by friendly competition, our sorority women see the value of giving back and supporting, not only our community, but people around the world,” said Franklin. “By increasing our collections and donations we see the Lander Panhellenic community come together with service being the spirit of the week.”

In addition to community service projects, Greek Week includes costume contests, field games and a day to show appreciation to the faculty and staff of the university.