More than 60 Florida Atlantic University fraternity and sorority members came together during the spring semester to help revitalize a Delray Beach neighborhood.
On a day in April, as part of Greek Week at FAU, the organizations teamed with Habitat for Humanity to take part in that organization's A Brush with Kindness – an exterior home preservation service for low-income homeowners impacted by age, disability and family circumstances who struggle to maintain the exterior of their homes.
"The experience was amazing. There was a great sense of Greek unity, and we were able to see the hard work going back to a neighborhood. I have done Habitat in the past, and this experience was nothing like the others. I was out there with my sisters giving back and having fun," said Alysha Klein, president of Theta Phi Alpha.
The Greek Life volunteers got to work at 8 a.m. and finished around 12:30 p.m. The volunteers were able to prime two homes and lay down sod in another home's yard.
The Grover family was thrilled with the quick progress on their home at 242 SW 13th Ave. The Grover home is part of Habitat's Neighborhood Revitalization Initiative, which targets a neighborhood rather than a single home. Initially the Grovers resisted the help offered by Habitat because they always have maintained the house themselves.
"It was nice, especially since the family is directly involved and thanked us personally before and afterward," said Daynelys Palenzuela, member of Theta Phi Alpha.
Later, volunteers from FAU planned to prime and paint, replace the front door and a broken window, landscape and pressure-wash the driveway at the Grovers' home.
"Volunteering made me see my own life in new ways. I need to stop worrying about the small things and start helping out others more often," said AnneMarie Quinn, a member of Theta Phi Alpha.