Friday, December 25, 2009

Whether Snow, Sleet or Rain, the Brothers of Gamma Pi Always Deliver at Christmas

Three days before Christmas, most people were out making retailers happy in malls and shopping centers. But the Brothers of Gamma Pi chapter of Omega Psi Phi were out making children and families happy in their local adopted community of Suitland in Central Prince Georges County, thanks to the Annual Holiday Toy Giveaway that has made Gamma Pi a much-anticipated Holiday visitor every year. This year's Toy Giveaway was snowed out earlier in the week of December 21 and as a result was moved from its original site, Suitland Elementary, and was held instead on Wednesday, December 23, at the Windsor Crossing Clubhouse.

"Approximately 70 children attended the program. This number was less than expected due to the re-scheduling," said Brother Mel White, who helped coordinate the event for Gamma Pi in partnership with another nearby Omega Psi Phi chapter, Lambda Gamma Gamma. "While the clubhouse did not offer the open space and atmosphere to conduct the Christmas party in the manner and tradition the children were accustomed to, we were able to improvise and make the best use of the space. Approximately 20 brothers participated with an equal number from both chapters, Gamma Pi and Lambda Gamma Gamma."

Both Gamma Pi and Lambda Gamma Gamma purchased enough toys for more than 90 children ranging from 3-13 years old. Many other toys were donated by individual Brothers.

The event attracted several local leaders including U.S. Rep. Donna Edwards and retired Prince George's County Police Chief Melvin High as well as officers from the Prince George's County Police and members of the Suitland Civic Association, which also prepared a tasty holiday meal for the Omega men and other organizers.
To the men of Omega Psi Phi, the holidays are a time to reach out and provide Uplift to local families and youth at a time when many are overlooked and, because of the difficult economy, experiencing hardships that may put a real Christmas out of reach.
The great photos from this event are provided by Gamma Pi's Bro. Dr. Harrison Foy. Enjoy and Merry Christmas from Gamma Pi, Lambda Gamma Gamma and Omega Psi Phi Fraternity, Inc.

Wednesday, December 9, 2009

Brother Ambassador Taylor Making South Pacific Waves

It has been little more than a month since Brother Teddy Taylor, Gamma Pi's Immediate Past Basileus, set sail for the South Pacific seas and the island nations of Papua New Guinea, the Solomon Islands and Vanuatu. Already, he has made a number of major headlines in the international print and broadcast media as the new U.S. Ambassador to those three nations.

In these photos, Brother Ambassador Taylor is taking part in a December 1 World AIDS Day observance in Port Moresby, Papua New Guinea where he now resides for the U.S. State Department. Papua New Guinea has one of the highest HIV/AIDS infection rates in the Pacific Islands. Dispatches from the Pacific Islands News Association (PINA) and The National provide some insight. You can access a copy of Brother Ambassador Taylor's World AIDS Day speech by clicking on his remarks that were given from half a world away. In one of the photos, Brother Ambassador Taylor poses with U.S. Embassy staff. As their first Christmas and New Year's in the South Pacific (a day ahead of us on the East Coast) draws closer, you can send a holiday greeting to Brother Taylor and his wife via e-mail.

Wednesday, December 2, 2009

Omega Men Help Local Families in Need Enjoy the Thanksgiving Holiday

For many people who may be living quiet lives of desperation, Thanksgiving can be a rough time. While it may seem like everybody can at least afford to have a turkey on the table, that is not so. For that reason, the men of Gamma Pi have for years made the Thanksgiving holiday a time to kick off a season of giving back to those persons most in need in the Prince George's County community. It begins with the annual delivery of free Thanksgiving turkeys to households in the chapter's adopted community of Suitland, located in the central part of the county.

Early on the evening of November 24, members of Gamma Pi and also of Lambda Gamma Gamma chapter, in nearby Fort Meade, Md., went door-to-door and delivered about 100 turkeys to seniors of the Windsor Crossing Apartments in Suitland and to other homes in the area. According to Gamma Pi's Brother Mel White, who led the effort, there was a lot of work involved even before the turkeys could be delivered. Brothers first had to load a truck at a nearby warehouse and then unload the truck after it arrived in the Suitland community. These photos are from Brother Kevin Briscoe, who captured some of the Omega men who contributed sweat equity to the project. As always, the men of Omega Psi Phi put their heart and soul into the community. It is truly about service.