Philanthropy just one example of fraternal integrityBy Letter to the Editor | 11/24/2013 11:00pm
It’s an unfortunate truth that the essence of what a fraternity embodies has been lost in today’s society. Through the perpetuation of certain fraternity stereotypes by the media and the entertainment industry, the public opinion of the greek system, specifically of fraternities, has been whittled down to a simple image consisting of self-centered overindulgence. But it would be wrong to subscribe to this belief. In April 2013, Delta Tau Delta organized an event that profoundly impacted the lives of a family and its community.
In alliance with Be The Match Foundation, an organization dedicated to finding qualified donors for those suffering from life-threatening illnesses, Delta Tau Delta hosted a philanthropy event aligned with the organization’s core goal. Thus, the purpose of the event was to have as many people come out to get registered as potential donors as possible. Fortunately, the event was met with an enormity of success. Not only did all of the brothers of Delta Tau Delta get registered, but so did the hundreds of other people who came out in order to support the cause.
The positive effects of this philanthropy event became apparent only a short time later. In May 2013, Mike Keefe, sophomore active member of Delta Tau Delta at The University of Alabama, was contacted by Be The Match Foundation, informing him that he was a positive match for a 59-year-old man suffering from myelodysplastic syndrome. While there are many reasons to deny the request to partake in such an extensive undertaking, there is only one reason to accept: to help out one’s fellow man in his most trying hour.
Fortunately, Keefe is an individual of high moral integrity and demonstrates those virtues in all aspects of his life. When he was presented with this question, he did not hesitate to accept the opportunity to give a man the chance to have many more years of life with his family, and now, because the transfusion was a success, he will be able to.
This feat of taking someone from the verge of death due to a horrific illness and being able to give them the gift of life is something that falls nothing short of miraculous. This was an undertaking that may have proved impossible had it not been for the nature of those involved. The success of this effort was a function of virtues that, in their essence, constitute what separates a fraternity from other organizations. The mission of the fraternity of Delta Tau Delta is committed to lives of excellence. This commitment is not only to achieving excellence in one’s own life, but for providing the chance for others to do the same.
Subsequently, the manifestations of this belief in all aspects of fraternity operation decisively led to the organization and execution of this philanthropy drive. The unmistakably powerful sense of unity present not only internally within a single fraternity, but so ubiquitously throughout the entire greek system, is what provided so many event attendees. The large turnout was imperative to drive’s success because without such a high number of potential donors, a qualified match may not have been found.
Lastly, this wondrous act could never have happened if it were not for the character of the donor himself. Keefe truly embodies the ideals of a universal sense of brotherhood and a dedication to spread goodwill throughout a community upon which Delta Tau Delta, and all other fraternities, is built.
Hopefully, this occurrence will not be looked upon as an anomaly but rather as an example of the niche that fraternities fill so well in service to the community and the benevolent promotion of brotherhood toward one’s fellow man.
Benjamin Dufresne is a sophomore at The University of Alabama and a member of the Delta Tau Delta fraternity.