By Aria Brent,
AFRO Staff Writer,
The Rho Xi Omega Chapter of Alpha Kappa Alpha Sorority (AKA) is celebrating 35 years of service this year. Known for their work in the community, the ladies of AKA are recognizing other organizations that are making a difference in the Baltimore area.
Seven organizations will be awarded $5,000 each for their impactful work at the upcoming “Spirit of Giving” event, to be held on Nov. 30 at 5:30 p.m. at the Baltimore Center Stage located at 700 N. Calvert Street, Baltimore,Md.
Members of the chapter spoke with the AFRO about the upcoming event, the organizations being awarded and what they’re doing to celebrate their 35th anniversary.
“In the city of Baltimore,
] donating $5,000 to seven organizations for a total of $35,000,” explained chapter president Robin S.Ott. “
] giving back to the community for their vital service, and we are celebrating 35 years as a chapter in Baltimore.
The chapter started the Spirit of Giving event during their 25th anniversary and has continued the tradition of awarding qualifying organizations for their work. The sisters of the Rho Xi Omega Chapter, based in Baltimore, are partnering with their philanthropic partner, Cultured Pearls of Service, to put on the awards ceremony. Although all the organizations will receive a monetary award of the same amount, they are all also receiving different awards, including The Rho Xi Omega Choice Award, the Ascension Award and the 35th Anniversary Stellar Service Award.
This year’s award recipients include the CASH Campaign of Maryland, Black Women Build Baltimore, the Torrey Smith Fund, the Black Arts District, the Franciscan Center, Moveable Feast and Arena Players. The chairperson for this year’s event shared how organizations were selected for their awards.
“For the 30th anniversary I believe we had about 15 organizations, but this time we decided ‘let’s make a bigger impact financially,’ let’s limit the number,” explained event chair, Helen Griffin-Anderson.
“The committee deliberated how we should do this. We looked at organizations we had already given to,” said Griffin- Anderson. Then the organization asked questions, like “‘Is there anybody we want to circle back on?’ ‘Do we want to give some new organizations money?’”
“We talked a lot and then we came up with this plan, that we would look at organizations that paralleled what we do in the chapter,” she said.
Ott noted that the ladies of Rho Xi Omega like to enjoy themselves– but serving the Baltimore community is at the top of their priority. She shared some of the other community service events they’ve held this year, such as the Martin Luther King Day of Service.
“We continue to service the community, we do a lot of service throughout the year,” explained Ott. “We support the Franscician Center every Martin Luther King Day of Service and I’m very pleased with that. We help out in the kitchen, we serve food, we have coats, hats, we do a skit. For those that were in attendance, this year we held blood pressure screenings, and we filled their food pantry. We’ve done a lot and we continue to do that.”
To further celebrate their anniversary, the chapter will be holding a gala as well on December 2. Tickets for the Spirit of Giving are free, meanwhile tickets for the Gala are $150. Tickets for both events can be purchased at Eventbrite.com.