• Sigma Lambda Beta

Alamo City Betas Collect Huge Donation for the Children of an African Village

In March of 2013, the Lambda Delta Chapter located at the University of Texas-San Antonio developed a great opportunity to create a sports equipment drive for children in a small African Village.

In March of 2013, the Lambda Delta Chapter located at the University of Texas-San Antonio developed a great idea of putting together a drive that would truly impact the fraternity and kids around the world.  The opportunity came about when Bro. Joseph Cardenas (Crossed in Fall 2010) received an email from his biological brother, who at the time was serving as a United States Peace Corp Volunteer in Zambia, Africa in a village called Kayipaka. Bro. Joseph’s sibling was helping to spread health awareness to the youth in his village and also teaching them how to speak and write the English language.  In his email, he stated that he needed to somehow get school supplies and athletic equipment into the village in order to keep the kids occupied on learning instead of them revolving to other means of risky behavior and activities such as unprotected sex and fighting.

The Lambda Delta chapter saw this as an opportunity to come together and promote a drive that would go on for a whole week towards the end April of 2013.  The overwhelming response in donations was incredible.  Donations were coming in from family members, close friends, student organizations on campus, and the general public just passing by the entity’s donation table.  Within a week, the Lambda Delta chapter was able to collect numerous of items such as brand new school supplies, used athletic equipment from the school’s Recreation Center, toothbrushes, board games, coloring books, new underwear, and so much more.

It was a great start for a great cause; however the entity ran into a huge obstacle along the way.  They had gathered much attention and tons of donations, but did not have a means of shipping all the items to Joseph’s brother and the children in the village. The chapter would call around to major shipping companies such as UPS and Fedex, but the cost was around the $1,500 range, which at the time was not feasible for the entity. So from the month of May of 2013 to the start of the next of this school year, the Brothers would call around to see if they could receive some type of sponsorship; but unfortunately they had no response from any major companies willing to help their cause.

Many of the donations would stay in brother’s apartments for some time, still wondering how they were going to get the items to that village.  Some members suggested that they donate the items to the local schools, but others believed that there was a way to get these donations over to the children in Africa.

Thus, during this past December, Joseph’s brother made a surprise visit back home for the holiday season.  When he arrived he saw all the donations and was astonished and thankful at how much stuff was collected by the chapter. While back home, Bro. Joseph and his sibling put their heads together and came up with an idea.  When Joseph’s Brother came back from Africa he had only brought back a carry-on bag, which meant he had room to take on extra luggage if needed on his return trip to Africa. He was able to pack 2 large suitcases which he had filled with all the donations the Brothers from Lambda Delta had collected during their drive. Eventually those donations made it to the village of Kayipaka where the children were able to enjoy them.

Recently, Joseph’s Brother reported back with pictures of the kids in his village enjoying their new toys and supplies on March 11th, 2014. The biggest impact the chapter made was by donating writing utensils. A lot of the children in the village can now say that they own their very own pencils and crayons, in large part due to the hard work, dedication, and thoughtfulness of the Alamo City Betas of UT-San Antonio, and the numerous people who helped to donate to such a great cause and effort!