Before this semester, many Alpha Kappa Alpha sorority members weren’t aware a girl’s shelter existed in State College.
But now they’re making it their semester-long goal to raise awareness and funds for Stormbreak Home.
The sorority was looking for a philanthropy close to home, and Stormbreak was a good fit because it allows members to “touch the heart of Penn State,” sorority vice president Latricia Whitfield said.
Stormbreak Home, which is a part of the Centre County Youth Service Bureau, is a group home for girls ages 12 to 17, Stormbreak Home program director Theresa Kieffer said. The house’s mission is to help its residents reach their highest potential, she said — whether that means returning home, settling into a foster care home or living on their own.
While many students volunteer with the home, Kieffer said she does not know how many students are aware of Stormbreak Home’s existence.
And that’s what Alpha Kappa Alpha wants to change, Whitfield said.
“They only depend on community funding and they need as much help as they can get,” Whitfield (senior-broadcast journalism) said.
The sorority is currently hosting a women’s book club, and will donate proceeds from the entrance fee to Stormbreak Home, Alpha Kappa Alpha member Candace Carson said. The cost to join the book club — which is reading Zora Neale Hurston’s “Their Eyes Were Watching God” — is $5, Carson (senior-advertising) said.
About 40 independent students along with the sorority members are involved with the book club this semester.
But because the book group is already underway, Carson suggests those interested in donating to the cause instead purchase $2 orange ribbons which were created by the sorority.
Alpha Kappa Alpha will be selling the ribbons at all of their events during the fall semester and also at a table in the HUB-Robeson Center during Homecoming week.
Whitfield said she is looking forward to visiting the home at the end of the semester and seeing the payoff of the sorority’s fundraising.
“We will be able to see their faces and these young girls will be seeing we are supporting their cause and them,” she said.
Hopefully, Whitfield said, the sorority will be able to raise at least $500 for the home — already, they have raised about $200.
Funding streams are always tight, Kieffer said, and the donations from the sorority may go to either paying for activities, clothing, school supplies or general house expenses.