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Psi Chi Society Service Projects
Martha S. Zlokovich, PhD,
Psi Chi Executive Director Associate Editor
Categories: Executive Director's Message
What is your chapterâ€™s service project plan
for the spring and next academic year?
Although chapters may choose from among
a wide variety of service projects (for a list of ideas,
see the Psi Chi website at www.psichi.org/chapters/
serviceprojects.aspx), and Psi Chi encourages all
service endeavors, there are three main service
options supported by Psi Chi as Society projects.
These are Habitat for Humanity, Food Drives, and
Adopt-A-Shelter, each of which offers much
more than one choice for chapter activities
Habitat for Humanity International is a nonprofit organization which seeks to eliminate poverty
housing and homelessness worldwide, and has built
over 350,000 houses around the worldâ€”more than
30,000 in the U.S. (Habitat for Humanity Fact Sheet,
http://www.habitat.org/how/factsheet.aspx). Th e
process provides a helping hand for low-income
people, not a handout. Th ose for whom these safe,
affordable homes are built become partners in the
building process, donating many hours to building
their own home as well as other habitat homes. Th ey
are provided with a no-profit, no-interest loan and
must show they have the ability to make their down
payment and mortgage payments.
Psi Chi chapters have many diff erent activities to
choose from in supporting Habitat for Humanity.
Among these are:
Â» Collect and donate building materials or
furniture to your local Habitat Restore.
Â» Raise funds to donate cash to your local Habitat
for Humanity organization.
Â» Organize a group of chapter members and
psychology faculty to help build a house in your
Â» Join a Global Village Work Trip, where volunteers
help build a house, renovate, or assist with
Â» Take a Collegiate Challenge trip rather than
vacationing during spring or fall break.
Â» Work with local affi liates to participate in Act!
Speak! Build! Week.
Â» Participate in World Habitat Day on October 4,
2010, by beginning your chapter planning now.
Â» Participate in National Women Build Week, May
1-9, 2010, in the week leading up to Motherâ€™s Day.
Â» Donate or volunteer to help with the Gulf
Recovery Effort in Texas, Louisiana, Mississippi,
Â» Volunteer your time to A Brush With Kindness,
which helps low-income homeowners maintain
the exterior of their homes.
You can find more detailed information about these
options and others on the Habitat for Humanity
Food Drives are another important Society
service project which chapters may participate
in year-round. In light of the current economic
recession, food pantries are seeing record demands
for their services. According to a 2008 Agriculture
Department report, the rate of food-insecure
households in the U.S. was the highest since the
agency began tracking food security in 1995 (Nord,
Andrews, & Carlson, 2009). Although we may
focus on food bank needs during major holidays,
these organizations need support throughout the
entire year. Check with your cityâ€™s food banks, food
pantries, charities, and soup kitchens to fi nd out
how your chapter can best support the local community.
Options include raising money for donation,
organizing or participating in a canned food drive,
or serving meals to the needy.
The Adopt-A-Shelter Society service project
also allows your chapter to tailor your volunteer
eff orts to the needs of your local community. Psi Chi
encourages all chapters to discover what shelters are
operating in their area and to pick one (or more) to
support with time, cash, or donations. Examples of
these shelters include homeless, battered women,
runaway, or animal shelters. When you volunteer
your time to work with specifi c populations, that
hands-on experience can provide important benefi ts
to yourself as well as the people you are serving.
We hope that your chapter will become involved
in one or more of these Society service projects.
Please let us know how your chapter participated in
service projects thoughout the year by submitting
an annual report by June 30 and a quarterly
activity report to Eye on Psi Chi. In addition to
the reports, be sure to include pictures of your
members in action!