The Virginia Kappa Chapter of Sigma Phi Epsilon at Virginia Tech is proud to announce another successful year for our annual philanthropy, Flex out Hunger. From May 4-8, through online fundraising and Virginia Tech Dining Dollar donations, Flex Out Hunger raised a grand total of $13,228.12, benefiting students at Virginia Tech and local residents of Montgomery County.
As COVID-19 continues to spread and drastically alter lives, times have never been more difficult for many Virginia Tech students and Montgomery County residents. With Virginia Tech’s transition to an online curriculum, the population of our community has suddenly and drastically declined in size, leaving many without the influx of resources provided by the thousands of students who typically call Blacksburg home. With the Virginia Tech campus mostly closed and many local businesses forced to suspend their operations, many students and Montgomery County residents are now left without work or reliable income.
Proceeds from Flex out Hunger benefit the Montgomery County Emergency Assistance Program and VT Dean of Students’ Student Emergency Fund. Both programs aim to tackle the community’s issue of food insecurity by offering assistance and support in times of financial hardship for Montgomery County residents and Virginia Tech students.
Dr. Byron Hughes, Virginia Tech Dean of Students, said, “The partnership between SigEp and Virginia Tech’s Dining Services to assist Montgomery County and their fellow students is one of the more exciting philanthropic efforts on our campus. When we transitioned Flex Out Hunger to SigEp, the hope was that it would land with a group of students who would be deeply passionate about the effort. Not only have they significantly increased donations and awareness of the Montgomery County Emergency Assistance Program, they agreed to extend their effort to benefit fellow Hokie students struggling with food security. While they have succeeded in raising money, they have gone above and beyond in their goal to offer care and support.”
In years past, the majority of donations came from students donating excess funds on their dining plans. This year however, with most students forced to remain at home due to Coronavirus, meal plans were refunded, meaning much of the typical donation base had disappeared. In order to
combat this as well as the inability to have an on-campus presence, Virginia Kappa launched a large social-media fundraising campaign.
With contributions from hundreds of backers, including Virginia Kappa alumni, undergraduates, and the Virginia Tech community, Flex out Hunger raised more than four times the original fundraising goal of $2,500.
“This is our fourth year hosting Flex out Hunger, but the first with such a focus on online fundraising,” said philanthropy chair Kenny Barnes. “The success of this year’s event in spite of the obstacles posed by the COVID-19 outbreak is a testament to the commitment to service held by SigEps and Hokies everywhere.”
Sigma Phi Epsilon, established in 1901, is one of the nation’s largest fraternities, with over 15,000 undergraduates on 240 campuses across the United States. Its mission is building balanced men, which is achieved through a four-year member development program that has contributed to a fraternity-wide GPA of over 3.0, a focus on the principles of Sound Mind and Sound Body, and service learning efforts that allow members to develop leadership skills while giving back to the community. The Virginia Kappa Chapter of SigEp at Virginia Tech has been awarded “Fraternity of the Year” for 2 consecutive years and has boasted the highest GPA of all IFC fraternities for 9 consecutive semesters.