BY MARCY PALMERI, Contributor
ST. PETERSBURG – As a part of the MLK Day of Service, the men of Eta Rho Omega Psi Phi Fraternity will be handing out non-perishable household items to families in the Wildwood neighborhood who are experiencing economic hardships.
Rod Green is the vice president of the St. Petersburg chapter and was instrumental in organizing the Eta Rho Educational Services/Wildwood Neighborhood Family Support Fraternity event.
For the third year in a row, Green along with other members contacted churches in the area, utilizing the pastors and church members to assist in collecting non-perishable household items in which to create 50 family support kits.
Each kit is valued at approximately $100 and may contain items like toothpaste, detergent, bar soap, deodorant, shampoo, conditioner, body lotion and more.
Area pastors and church officials selected the families who will receive the kits based upon financial need. The kits will be distributed on the actually Day of Service.
Omega Psi Phi Fraternity is dedicated to promoting academic excellence, facilitating and coordinating activities that will uplift their communities and make a contribution toward improving the quality of life for African Americans.
Their fraternity’s motto is “friendship is essential to the soul,” and therein lays the basis of their organization. In honor of the MLK Day Service and keeping with their motto, they seek to maximize the potential of the community by providing support, resources and opportunities.
Their chapter has approximately 45 active members who meet each month for comradery, mentoring young adults and to discuss community service issues.
One of many forms of outreach Eta Rho Fraternity offers is the Pathfinder Mentoring Program. The program is designed to inspire, encourage and impart knowledge and experience to both middle and high school students in the area. They take the children under their wings and guide them in the interest of them one day becoming productive, contributing members of society.
“We help the students by preparing them for college testing, military testing, SATs. We’ll visit colleges with them, demonstrate how to fill out applications. We prepare them and mentor them to be better adults,” said Green. “We’re blessed and want to bless others. We want to reach out to the youth and we’re there every step of the way.”
On the MLK Day of Service, Mon., Jan. 19, families in the Wildwood neighborhood who are experiencing economic hardships will greatly benefit from the humanitarian efforts organized by Green and members of the Eta Rho Fraternity. Kits will be distributed at 10 a.m. at the Gethsemane Missionary Baptist Church, located at 2580 12th Ave. S.