ROOTS x UW Greek Community Goals:
Allow for members of the Greek Community to interact with peers undergoing homelessness to address the issue of privilege in our community
Facilitate a form of direct, impactful programming surrounding relevant and important topics such as oppression and equity
Give members a first-hand experience of the challenges many face right within the Greek Community
Emphasize and align with the core values of service and philanthropy
Create a long-lasting, sustainable relationship with the ROOTS organization to continue volunteering opportunities and traditions for years to come
Our hope is that this form of programming deeply resonates with our members due to the "hands-on" nature of the volunteer program. We will be working closely with individuals our age who are currently experiencing homelessness, which the COVID-19 pandemic has exacerbated. At the beginning of the Spring Quarter, we will be hosting a donation drive to welcome ROOTS to 19th Ave and launching our new ROOTS volunteer program.
We also hope to expand volunteering opportunities within our community and create a long-term, sustainable relationship, partnership, and tradition with ROOTS. The way our volunteering structure and accountability system is going to work is that we are using SignUpGenius for houses/members to sign up for different volunteer slots and we launched the program beginning with a donation drive during week one of the spring quarter to welcome ROOTS into the neighborhood. Every hour of volunteering gives points to chapters as a whole in addition to the donations fundraised. We hope to have each chapter participate and foster this long-lasting community of impact and social change. At the end of the year, the houses with the most points will receive a prize (one sorority and one fraternity with a halfway winner, and 1st, 2nd, and 3rd at the end of the quarter - plenty of opportunities to win).
For a bit of background, ROOTS, founded in 1999 with the vision that everyone deserves a safe place to call home, was Seattle's first overnight shelter designed to meet the unique needs of young adults ages 18 - 25 years old experiencing homelessness. The organization's mission is to build community, foster dignity through access to essential services, and provide a safe place to sleep for young adults experiencing life on the streets. Since its inception, ROOTS has served over 8,500 unique guests and provided them with hot dinner, breakfast, laundry, showers, clean clothing, hygiene items, and referral services. On any given night, ROOTS has 45 overnight shelter beds open for the community. With young adults and other low-income persons in mind, ROOTS advocates for social justice and long-term solutions for the communities it serves.