UNA goes shirtless for a cause

Feb 9, 2011

THETA ETA (North Alabama) — All things considered, Tuesday wasn’t a bad day to be standing shirtless on the lawn at Rogers Hall on the University of North Alabama campus.

The sun was shining, after all, and there were lots of cars coming and going at the busy intersection.

Still, shirtless members of the Alpha Tau Omega fraternity admitted the sun wasn’t enough to completely ward off the February cold as they collected winter coats as part of their first coat drive.

“It’s the perfect day for us to do something like this,” said Colby Mays, social services chairman for the fraternity. “We wanted to do something that would help those in need in the community, kids or the homeless.”

Several dozen coats had been collected by the early afternoon, and as a result, Mays said the drive would be extended for a second day. The coats will be donated to the Salvation Army homeless shelter and the First Prebyterian Church soup kitchen.

Jennifer Brown, assistant director of student engagement for leadership and volunteerism, said philanthropic events such as the coat drive are the heart and soul of Greek organizations on any university campus.

“They’re service organizations, and while many people see them as social entities, they’re service-based,” she said. “Their history is in giving back to their communities and those with greater needs.”

The idea for a coat drive originated at a meeting in direct response to the cold and the troubled economy.

Brown said the shirtless fraternity members brought attention to the need for coats.

With their success, Mays said a second coat drive next winter is likely. Brown said that’s a good idea.

“The first year is always the hardest because you’re trying to make a place for your cause,” she said. “For the second year, you’ve gotten it off the ground, but the key will be to go shirtless again, no matter the weather.”


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