Shortly after the attacks of September 11, Psi Chi posted the following message on its website:
As our nation begins to work through the tragic events of Tuesday, September 11, 2001, our thoughts, prayers, and condolences go out to the victims and their families and loved ones. To our friends, colleagues, and all who have been personally affected, we extend our deepest sympathies. Across the world, people have pulled together to help each other get through this unthinkable experience. To those of you who are associated with a Psi Chi chapter, we ask that you join us in helping the families of those who lost their lives, as well as in supporting the rescuers during their courageous efforts.
Chapters were encouraged to sponsor a service project/fundraiser toward this end and also to inform the Psi Chi National Office of their efforts, and information about specific relief organizations was provided.
Our honor society has an outstanding history of service, and this tradition was carried forward in stellar fashion as our chapters rose to meet this most recent challenge. Psi Chi chapters throughout the country devoted their time and energies to help in this time of need, and many are still continuing their service and fundraising. We offer the following accounts to recognize those efforts of which we are aware, and to provide our readers with a sampling of this wonderful spirit of giving and compassion found in our membership. Special thanks to all of you who contributed!
The Psi Chi Chapter at Austin College (TX) donated $139.70 to the International Association of Firefighters.
The Barry University (FL) Chapter of Psi Chi and Barry's Psychology Club forwarded a donation in the amount of $436.50 to United Way's September 11th Fund. This total represents student/faculty donations and the proceeds of bake sales sponsored jointly by the Psi Chi chapter and Psychology Club. "Thanks to Psi Chi for organizing this effort. We were grateful for the opportunity to participate in this project."
Canisius College (NY) Psi Chi, in cooperation with the Psychology Club, sold red, white, and blue star-shaped lollipops to raise funds for Mercy Corps, an organization that helps the victims of the 9-11 tragedy by providing counseling services and gifts of money to victims' families.
Chaninade University of Honolulu (HI) Psi Chi members donated money and blood to the Red Cross on September 26.
The Chapman University (CA) Chapter of Psi Chi sponsored a bake sale, and the proceeds of $138 were donated to the September 11th Fund.
The Elon University (NC) Chapter of Psi Chi sponsored a relief project, and a donation of $236.49 was made to the National Mental Health Association's Crisis Response Fund.
The George Mason University (VA) Chapter of Psi Chi sponsored a service project related to the September 11th attacks. The chapter immediately organized a signing of thank-you cards for the New York City rescue workers. The chapter officers advertised this event outside of Psi Chi so that they could involve the entire George Mason University community in this. In a two-week period, over 100 cards were signed.
The Georgian Court College (NJ) Chapter of Psi Chi conducted two fundraisers for the American Red Cross. The fundraisers were conducted in memory of the victims of the September 11th attacks, but the check was sent to the American Red Cross without restriction. The first fundraiser was a "Guess the Kisses" game, in which people were invited to pay 50 cents to guess how many kisses were in a large jar. The winner got the kisses. This raised $51.60. The second fundraiser was a car wash, which raised $70. A check for $121.60 was sent to the Red Cross.
The Indiana State University Chapter of Psi Chi held a fundraiser for the September 11th Fund created by the United Way. Chapter members handed out red, white, and blue patriotic ribbons for a donation of any size, and $158.55 was raised for the fund.
The Indiana University-Purdue University Fort Wayne Chapter of Psi Chi gave $279 to the American Red Cross Disaster Relief Fund.
Dr. Drew Appleby reports that at Indiana University-Purdue University Indianapolis, 100 students in his classes donated a total of $563.30 to the Firefighters Widows and Orphans Fund. He notes that "these donations serve the three following important purposes: (a) helping those directly affected by the September 11th tragedy, (b) enabling the donors to experience a small sense of control over the results of a catastrophic event, and (c) providing a sense of community in the department by engaging in a group effort with a common goal. The Psychology Club and Psi Chi chapter--under the able and enthusiastic leadership of Crystal Henderson and Tracy Stogsdill--added another $500 ($250 from their B parking permit raffle and $250 from club funds) to this $563.30 to bring the grand total to a whopping $1,063.30. Thank you to all who participated in this most worthwhile effort. I am proud and honored to be the teacher of so many caring students."
The Lambuth University (TN) Psi Chi Chapter collected care packages for the soldiers at the Fort Campbell Army Base in Fort Campbell, Ky. The chapter challenged each organization on campus to provide at least one care package for a soldier. They also asked that every person on campus bring at least one item to be placed in a package. Care packages were collected on December 4, and were delivered to Fort Campbell Army Base on December 13, so that the soldiers could receive their care packages before the Christmas holiday.
Lehman College, CUNY Psi Chi reports how difficult it has been to not have September 11 dominate its activities during the fall semester. The chapter lost a member of the Lehman family, a psychology major who was in her first semester at Lehman after transferring from another college. The chapter decided to hold a series of bake and book sales and donate all income to the New York Police & Fire Widows' & Children's Benefit Fund (www.nypfwc.org). The first sale was held on October 11 and raised $522. In addition, the chapter newsletter contained an interview in which Professor David Manier of the Lehman faculty, who is an expert in posttraumatic stress disorder (PTSD), discusses PTSD in the context of the September 11th attacks.
Psi Chi at Loyola University New Orleans (LA) teamed with Discovery Toys to help the children affected by the September 11th attack deal with the tragedy. Discovery Toys sells the book The Next Place, which has been used by grief counselors and parents to help children deal with death. In response to the September 11th tragedy, Discovery Toys discounted this book $2, and with every book sold, donated an additional $2 to the American Red Cross and Salvation Army. Books that were sold were to be sent to a Discovery Toys consultant in New York City for distribution. The Psi Chi chapter at Loyola sold these books during a two-day period in early October; some people bought books to be sent to New York City, some donated money to be put towards the purchase of books (to be sent to NYC), and some purchased these books for their own use, to help their own children deal with the disaster. In this short period of time, 14 books were purchased and sent to NYC.
The Michigan State University Psi Chi Chapter took donations for the September 11th Fund at its last meeting, and a check was sent directly to the United Way. Chapter members were all very excited to help with such a great cause.
The Missouri Western State College Chapter sponsored a Throw-A-Pie-In-The-Face event to raise money for United Way's September 11th Fund. The event was hosted during the college's annual Family Day, so there were several parents, family members, and friends of college students in attendance. Several Psi Chi members, psychology students, and some psychology professors volunteered their faces (even the psychology department chair!). The event was very successful, and the money collected, along with a chapter donation, was sent to the September 11th Fund.
Northwestern State University (LA) Chapter of Psi Chi sent a donation of $150 to the Mercy Corps. The chapter appreciated the fact that Mercy Corps is funding counseling efforts for the victims and their families, including their children, and also that they are funding scholarships for the children who lost their parents in this terrible tragedy. The chapter reports that "the donation is small, and so is the chapter, but our hearts are in the right place."
Psi Chi at Rutgers University Camden helped the victims of September 11 by sponsoring a bake sale, "the most successful way to raise money at this campus." Chapter members set up a table in the Campus Center with baked goods and also went to individual departments to sell food, since the faculty members "have more money and thus give more money than the students." After only four hours, the chapter raised over $200. The chapter is currently looking for organizations that will match their donation. If that does not work out, then they will donate the money to the Red Cross.
St. John's University, Notre Dame College (NY) Psi Chi held a bake sale on November 15, 2001, to raise money for the WTC (World Trade Center) Foundation and the International Association of Firefighters.
On September 12, the Sonoma State University (CA) Chapter held a scheduled bake sale to raise money for the chapter. However, after the tragic events of September 11, the chapter board decided to donate all the money collected ($195) to the American Red Cross Disaster Relief Fund. The chapter thanks Psi Chi National for also donating and comments, "We are all proud to be a part of this organization!"
The Southern Illinois University at Edwardsville Chapter sponsored a three-day collection outside the Psychology Department. The students and faculty members donated spare change and dollars, amounting to just over $600. The money was split between Backstoppers ($350), an organization that serves the families of police and firefighting personnel who have lost their lives in the line of duty, and The Gracie Fund ($325), which supports rescue dogs and lost pets or those pets left behind by the victims of the attacks. The chapter "is proud of the university's students and faculty, who understand the importance of mental health professionals during such difficult times in our country."
Psi Chi at the State University of New York at Potsdam organized several projects for the September 11th relief effort. The chapter has been selling flag pins and stickers throughout the community, and also held a 50/50 raffle at a local grocery store. On several occasions, chapter members also staffed a table near a popular eatery on campus to sell the pins and stickers. In addition, the chapter notified all psychology majors of the fundraising projects, and the Psychology Department secretary has assisted in these efforts. The generous contributions of chapter coadvisor Dr. Arlene Stillwell and treasurer Kristine Zaker, who donated the flag stickers and pins, made it possible for all chapter proceeds to go directly to the September 11th fund. Relief efforts are ongoing, and once the chapter fundraising is complete, the total donation will be reported.
The Trinity College (DC) Chapter raised $300 for the Red Cross by making homemade ribbons with attachable pins. The chapter asked recipients of these pins to offer a donation in exchange for the pins. In addition, chapter members collected staff and student signatures on a banner that was presented to the president of Georgetown University. The chapter reports that "We were very upset to hear that a professor from our consortium was tragically killed. Since Trinity is a Catholic college, but accepts students from many denominations, Trinity faculty and students joined together to exchange prayers."
The Psi Chi Chapter at the University at Albany (NY) collected $57.57 for the United Way's September 11th Fund.
On October 18, the Psi Chi Chapter at the University of Central Florida-Daytona Beach sponsored a special project called U-KNIGHTS for relief efforts following the September 11th tragedy. Psi Chi officers and members made red, white, and blue ribbon pins, and flag stickers and posters were donated to the chapter. All these items were sold at two tables decorated in red, white, and blue, raising $202.96 for the American Red Cross Disaster Relief Fund.
University of Delaware Psi Chi sponsored a fundraiser for the September 11th tragedy on October 29. Held at a kiosk in the student center, students donated one dollar to guess the number of candy corns in a jar. The top five students who guessed most closely to the actual number received gift certificates that were donated by local businesses and restaurants. The money earned will go to the families of University of Delaware students who lost their parents as a result of the tragedy. The chapter is also renting out a local business, and charging money at the door to benefit the September 11th Fund.
University of Houston (TX) Psi Chi donated a total of $130 to the American Red Cross New York Relief Fund.
On September 24, the University of Illinois at Chicago Chapter held a bake sale for the September 11th victims and raised nearly $50. The chapter contributed the money to a "Together We Stand" fund that was created by several other organizations at UIC to help the victims. By the end of September, contributions to the fund totaled over $12,000. Chapter members were "proud to have contributed in our own small way."
The University of Michigan Psi Chi Chapter raised money for the American Red Cross by holding a bucket drive on campus. A total of $500 was donated by generous students.
The University of Nevada, Reno Chapter donated $130 to the September 11th Fund.
The University of Redlands Chapter donated $163 to the September 11th Fund.
Psi Chi at the University of Southern Mississippi donated $50 to the American Red Cross Disaster Relief Fund.
At the University of Wisconsin-La Crosse, Psi Chi members participated in a special collection. Each psychology student was asked to contribute $1, and over $500 was raised for relief efforts to assist victims' families.
West Virginia State College Psi Chi raised $350 for the International Association of Firefighters in Washington, D.C., in order to help the firefighters/paramedics family directly. The chapter was raising the money prior to September 11, as a fundraiser, and once the goal was accomplished the chapter advisor, who is also the department chair, had to shave his facial hair, which he has had since graduate school in the 1970s (last semester he kissed a pig for a fundraiser). After September 11, the chapter decided to do-nate all of its funds; Dr. Spencer still had to shave his facial hair. Also, another professor on campus, a member of Psi Chi, is on standby as he and his partner are part of a CISM team that is going to New York for debriefing of the firefighters.
The Wheeling Jesuit University (WV) Psi Chi Chapter donated $284.22 to the United Way of New York City.
We recognize that these accounts represent only a portion of our members' many worthy efforts throughout the country. Thank you to all who reported on your chapter's activities so we could share these stories in Eye on Psi Chi. Psi Chi commends all of our chapters, members, officers, and advisors for their contributions. Our thoughts, prayers, and condolences continue to go out to the victims and their families and loved ones.