The Gamma Pi Chapter of Omega Psi Phi gave back to the community recently as it joined with NBC 4 for its Backpack for Kids program.

Terry Rogers, one of the members of the Gamma Pi Chapter said they got involved with the program through the networking of one its members and an employee of NBC 4.

“It was an exciting morning,” Rogers said of the day they received the backpacks. “News cameras were rolling, weather was perfect and NBC made the pledge and identified us as one of the organizations that would be receiving backpacks.”

From there it was all natural instinct as the men in purple and gold made the trip to Drew Freeman Middle School in Suitland on its Back to School night to distribute the backpacks to the students.

“The auditorium was packed with eager students, parents, administrators and we were there to show our support as a fraternity,” Rogers said. “We gave their principal, Marla Dean, 75 book bags to distribute to students.”

This isn’t the only community service venture the chapter is involved in however. It’s also started Project ENRICH, which recruits, interviews and mentors high school students in order to prepare them for college. In that program, students are given the opportunity to meet college professors, student advisors and graduates of the program. The program awards more than $20,000 annually in scholarships to students attending college.

The chapter also has a Que Kidz program that prepares grade school students for entry into the Project ENRICH. On Sept. 10, the group will give the remaining 25 book bags to Que Kidz at the Kentland Community Center in Landover.

“We’re trying to pool together a lot of different programs,” Rogers said. “What we’re doing with the Que Kidz, which are the younger kids, is getting them prepped and ready to go into the Project ENRICH program.”

The chapter says that addressing the kids at this age could be “the difference between a life of frustration and disadvantage versus a life of promise.”

The chapter also participates in a yearly blood drive, Christmas in April, and an annual senior’s banquet in addition to working at several homeless shelters throughout the county.

Rogers said community service is what Omega is all about so giving back comes natural to his chapter.

“Our founding principles are manhood, scholarship, perseverance and uplift,” Rogers said. “So scholarship and perseverance are two of our cardinal principles that we hold near and dear to hearts. We were founded to achieve the highest level of scholarship and to uplift our community. That’s why we’re in existence.”


George Barnette

Special to the AFRO