Pi Beta Phi’s Lemonade for Literacy surpasses fundraising goal, seeks to combat illiteracy

September 19, 2017

Aspen Harris

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    When live gives you lemons, use them for a good cause. At least that’s what sorority Pi Beta Phi has done this semester in their Lemonade for Literacy fundraiser.

    From Aug. 28 – Sept. 1, Pi Beta Phi raised $400 during their Lemonade for Literacy fundraiser, making the event the most profitable of its kind for the sorority yet.

    The sorority sold 100 cups of lemonade, which cost $1 per cup, a day during the four days that they held the fundraiser, according to senior international business major Amber Hammond, president of Pi Beta Phi.    

    The fundraiser was part of their philanthropic initiative, Read > Lead > Achieve, which seeks to combat illiteracy and engage young children in reading.

    Students also had the opportunity to donate money toward the cause; the chapter received donations of $1-$20 during this semester’s fundraiser. Last semester, Pi Beta Phi raised a total of $390.

    Money from the fundraiser went toward books for the students at Keller Elementary School and promoting literacy at a young age. Sorority members purchased books, then traveled to the school and read to the children.

    Sophomore nursing major Jenna Ferrell, vice president of Pi Beta Phi vice president, organized the fundraiser this semester.

    “I personally love this cause because the books we buy with the money raised, we get to deliver to the kids at local elementary schools, and it’s such a special moment to see the pure excitement on a child’s face as they get to take home their very own book,” said Ferrell.

    “I think it’s really important to keep that drive and excitement alive in kids as they progress in their education.”

    According to a study published by the U.S. Department of Education and the National Institute of Literacy, 14 percent of the US population is illiterate. Additionally, 19 percent of high school graduates can’t read.

    “We believe reading always has been – and always will be – a powerful step toward a life of enduring impact. We believe that when one out of four children cannot read, that is one too many,” according to the chapter website.

    During the spring 2017 semester, Pi Beta Phi created the Lemonade for Literacy fundraiser to raise money for students at Keller Elementary School, where the sorority volunteers their time.

    Each semester, Pi Beta Phi focuses their events on raising money to benefit the local community, according to Hammond.

    “Each semester, we raise money and volunteer our time to benefit either our philanthropy or impact our community in a positive way,” said Hammond.     

    Pi Beta Phi will continue to host Lemonade for Literacy once each semester since it has proven to be successful, said Hammond.

    “The fundraiser is a great sisterhood bonding experience for our members and is also very simplistic in nature. I mean, who doesn’t want a nice, refreshing cup of lemonade on their way to class?” said Hammond.

    “Fundraisers don’t have to be extravagant or raise a ton of money; anything we raise goes to an amazing foundation and helps a cause we care so deeply about.”

    The chapter hopes to exceed their goal again next semester and continue to spread awareness and support for Read >Lead >Achieve.

    For more information on Pi Beta Phi, visit pibetaphi.org/pibetaphi/uccs/.