Students taking part in Greeks for a Good Cause pause for a photo break during their work with Habitat for Humanity.

As the number of students involved in Greek life continues to grow, so do the dollars these sororities and fraternities are raising to help charities nationwide.

Greek life at Loyola has recently started to become more visible on campus with the addition of several sororities and fraternities in the past few years. With added numbers, these social organizations have been able to make more of an impact with their philanthropic events. There are currently 17 Greek chapters on campus, organized under the Panhellenic Council, Inter-Fraternity Council, and the Multicultural Greek Council. Adrienne Jaroch, coordinator for sorority and fraternity life, says the Greek community has already raised more than $30,000 this semester for charitable causes.

Colleen Johnston-Berresford, president of Kappa Kappa Gamma sorority, says that the increase in students allows more opportunities for philanthropic events.

“This year, the Greek community will have had the largest number of philanthropy events from all of the various chapters, allowing our community to raise one of the largest amounts of money, for all our charities, in Loyola’s history,” she says.

Individual chapters are also raising record-breaking fundraising amounts. Chi Omega, a sorority that came to Loyola in fall 2010, holds a “Just Wish for It!” dodge ball tournament that benefits the Make-A-Wish Foundation. They hosted their first tournament in 2011 and raised $5,000, which is enough to grant one wish. In their second tournament, they were even more successful and were able to grant two wishes.

Another successful Greek philanthropy event is Sigma Alpha Epsilon’s St. Baldrick’s Day, which raises money to help combat childhood cancer. Participants shave their heads to help raise funds for the foundation. Every March, they raise close to $20,000 for this cause.

Jaroch says that the heightened presence of Greek life on campus does more than just help raise more money.

“I think the greatest part of our growing community is the willingness to support each group’s philanthropic events and for the new organizations to create strong new events that will become traditions at Loyola,” she says.

An example of this collaboration was this year’s inaugural Greek Weekend, which was full of friendly competition and Greek spirit. Greek Weekend raised more than $400 for All Sports 4 All Kids, a local non-profit started by a Loyola student that gives children an opportunity to play sports.

The collective 7,000 hours the Greek community devoted to community service in the past year helps dispel the claims that sororities and fraternities are mainly centered around a college social life.

Nicolette Kennedy, director of community service for Chi Omega sorority, says the philanthropy figures speak for themselves in proving there is more to Greek life than what people may think.

“All you have to do is look at what we’ve accomplished. In the past year, Chi Omega has hosted five fundraisers for the Make-A-Wish Foundation and we’ve raised more than $12,000 annually. That’s a big accomplishment,” she says. “My sorority gives me the opportunity to do something greater than I would be able to do on my own.”

To learn more about Greek life at Loyola, please click here.