Sunday, May 21, 2017

A Little Saturday Morning "Housework" Showcases the Super Chapter's Social Action Commitment

Bro. Kelly and House Captain
You may think that Ques only come out after dark, but you are probably not aware of the commitment Omega Psi Phi men give to their community before sunrise.  The Brothers of Gamma Pi Chapter in Prince George's County have been known to get up on many Saturdays while others are still "dreaming" in their sleep, to feed shelter residents, check in on the homeless, and more recently, to help make a home a better and brighter place for a local elderly homeowner through the Annual Christmas in April program.

On April 29, Brothers converged on a local home in the Crain Highway area of Upper Marlboro to carry out a variety of "housework" chores inside and outside. We're not talking about housework like vacuuming, dusting , doing the dishes or straightening up clutter. This was heavy duty stuff -- yard work, painting, debris removal, shoveling, and hammering and nailing. There was an assortment of tools needed to do the job, including rakes, mowers, edgers, shovels, garden hoes and wheelbarrows, It's all geared towards making the elderly residents' home more livable and presentable.

As Omega men are accustomed to doing, Brothers broke down the project in teams and shifts. There were five shifts beginning with the earlybird 7 a.m. crew and ending with the 3 p.m. late-afternoon team.

"This is an annual Gamma Pi tradition that we proudly give to our constituents in the county,"said Brother Kevin Greenwood, who chairs the Social Action committee. "The goal is to provide clean up services to a well-deserving family in the Prince George's County Community. This is what we do."

For several years, Brother Tony Kelly has led Gamma Pi's Christmas in April project. He has made the contacts, organized the chapter and schemed out the on-site projects and tools required. Brother Kelly  has inspired the chapter to service on a project that requires much more in the way of sweat equity than many of the other Social Action projects that Gamma Pi does. On a Saturday morning when it is so easy to sleep in -- at least until 9 a.m. -- the call to ":manual labor" can go unheeded. But Omega men always rise to the call of purpose and service. When Brother Kelly's emails start coming announcing Christmas in April, Brothers know they must set their alarm clocks for that special Saturday in April.

Some members of the Super Chapter crew
 Christmas in April is a non-denominational volunteer organization that repairs the homes of senior citizens who are either low-income and/or physically challenged. In every community, it results in a one day repair project that takes place during the last Saturday in the month. Christmas in April brings together business,. corporate, government, religious and community organizations along with local volunteers like the Brothers of Gamma Pi.

The recent Christmas in April project  is one of more than 10 Social Action initiatives Gamma Pi has participated in already this year. The chapter has appeared at career days, at a communitywide dialogue on domestic violence, participated in neighborhood cleanups as well as a fitness and wellness expo. The next major Social Action project is the annual Seniors Banquet set for Saturday, June 10. More details are forthcoming.

Watch Gamma Pi's "Community UPLIFT" TV show to learn more about the Social Action initiatives: Gamma Pi on TV:

Photos by Bro. Tony Kelly and Raphael Terrell
Video clip by Bro. Kelly