Sigma Alpha Epsilon Fraternity and the Office of Student Programs joined forces for the seventh consecutive year to give students the opportunity to donate extra money from their dining plans to the Montgomery County Emergency Assistance Program (MCEAP), located in Christiansburg, Va.
Despite the tragic events of Monday, April 16 that caused many students to leave campus early for the year, students donated more than $13,000--the highest total that the Flex Out Hunger campaign has collected in the past several years.
There was concern about whether the program would receive enough support this year, in light of the shooting that took place on the Virginia Tech campus; however, both SAE and Student Programs decided it would be best to continue with the event as planned. Donations were accepted outside Student Programs dining centers by members of SAE between April 30 and May 2.
“We felt that it was important to go on with the philanthropy to show that the heinous acts of violence that happened on the sixteenth will not break the spirit of goodwill that has always guided our community,” said Daniel Sheehan of Richmond, Va., SAE director of philanthropy and senior English major in the College of Liberal Arts and Human Sciences. “The Montgomery County Emergency Assistance Program counts on the donations given by Tech students every year, and we are not going to deny Tech students the opportunity to make a real difference in the community.”
MCEAP provides emergency assistance to individuals and families who are temporarily unable to provide for themselves. The organization coordinates with local social service agencies and offers food, clothing, a furniture bank, and assistance to help residents of Montgomery County who must deal with urgent financial situations. The money collected during the Flex Out Hunger campaign goes toward gift certificates to local grocery stores, which the MCEAP distributes to the families it serves.
The success of Flex Out Hunger depends heavily on the support it receives from its sponsors. This year’s sponsoring organizations include Student Programs, the Village at Blacksburg, Coca-Cola, and Sharkey’s Bar and Grill in downtown Blacksburg.