December 19, 2011
S. Barron Frazier '12, Lambda Circle President
"Believing in each other, really being sure...that each one of us can do amazing things in the world, that is what can make our stories into love stories and our collective story into one that continually perpetuates hope and good things for all of us." - Jessica Jackley, Founder of Kiva
While in the Society of 1791 leadership program, I remember hearing those words from Jessica Jackley and having her thoughts resonate with my beliefs and passion for service and for awakening within others their potential to change lives. Perhaps, we are attracted to service by the gratifying sensation of giving or the sense of being a contributing member of society. As good men and good citizens, we learn the value of community through helping others, an element that remains strong within Hampden-Sydney today.
In 2010, when I started "H-SC Cares for Kids" with Karin Gollin (pictured with Barron Frazier), the Service and Civic Engagement Coordinator, I wanted to make this program specific to each child. In order to achieve that goal, we worked with parents within the local community to identify a few items their children needed, such as an outfit or a jacket, and wanted, such as toys or books. The program's mission focused on the belief that a child should not go without a jacket for a toy, but in the spirit of the holiday, a child should not just receive the bare essentials. After many hours at Walmart shopping for gifts and learning sizes like "4T," we met the needs of over 140 children in the local community and raised over $4000 to support our efforts.
With these principles in mind, the Lambda Circle of Omicron Delta Kappa decided to lead this program in its second year and increased the number of children sponsored to over 179, and increased donations to over $5000, making this program one of the largest holiday gift programs in Prince Edward County. The Lambda Circle also received its first Maurice A. Clay Leadership Development grant from the National Office of ODK to support this initiative. These achievements alone are noteworthy, but in my opinion, the most rewarding element of this program came from the generosity and eagerness of students, faculty, and staff to actively support children in Prince Edward County. Over 105 students, almost 10% of the student body, and 25 faculty and staff made this program possible by providing donations, spending hours shopping, or gift-wrapping.
It still amazes me today to think that over two years, this program that once was just an idea has provided for over 300 children. From watching the hours of dedication of my peers, I strongly believe that we all do care deeply for others and possess the power to create a positive change. At Hampden-Sydney College, giving will always be a priority for those who enter and leave these gates.
The Lambda Circle wishes everyone a happy holiday season.