The next chapter that we would like to highlight for being named a 2013-2014 Key Chapter is the University of Florida chapter!
In the fall, twenty members from the University of Florida Golden Key chapter volunteered at ViVA, a major fundraising event for Haven Hospice in Gainesville, Florida. This organization offers care to individuals who are identified as having life-limited illnesses and for their loved ones. The event features food and drinks, auctions, live music and other entertainment in order to raise money for Haven Hospice, and the Golden Key members volunteered as food and drink servers and helped with the auction. The chapter also hosted two Rock for the Hungry events this past year. The first event was their annual benefit concert, and the second was a Food Truck Rally at a local coffee shop. Together these two event raised more than $1,000 to go towards The Children’s Table, a regional non-profit organization that provides fresh food to families in need.
The University of Florida chapter has had a mentorship program for new members for years now, but the chapter recently saw a decline in program participation. To remedy this, the chapter decided to revitalize the program by hosting “Big/Little Week” directly after the chapter’s New Member Recognition Event in the fall in an attempt to immediately engage new members in the chapter. This program works off the concept of pairing older, experienced members with new members to serve as mentors in their academic lives. Students have the tendency to struggle with balancing life and school their first few semesters in college, and it is often beneficial to have someone with prior knowledge and experience to turn to for help. This week is designed to create lasting relationships between the “Bigs” and “Littles” by hosting team events, which included an event to prepare and service dinner at the Ronald McDonald House and volunteering at a St. Francis House event. Overall, the chapter has found the program to be beneficial to both the “Bigs” and the “Littles”, but also to the chapter as they have seen a major increase in general meeting attendance and overall chapter involvement.
Congratulations to the University of Florida chapter for, once again, being named a Key Chapter!