Lambda Chi Alpha just declared war.
It’s the third consecutive year the Texas A&M Uni- versity-Kingsville fraternity is hosting its Penny War fundraiser.
It works like this: Lambda Chi Alpha collaborates with other fraternities and sorori- ties on campus to customize uniquely designed glass jars. Each organization has their jars set on a table open to the public for a few hours every day. The goal is to see which group can collect the most pennies.
The coinage will then be donated to Feeding Ameri- ca, a charity that helps raise funds and food for strug- gling families throughout the country.
But there’s a twist.
Any currency carrying more value than a penny counts against a team’s total score. In the end, everyone wins, because the winning organization gets bragging rights (and in this case, a do- nation distributed personal- ly from Lambda Chi Alpha), while money raised will go towards a good cause.
The weeklong event is a tradition for Lambda Chi Alpha chapters all over the country.
Josh Garza, a computer science junior, is Lambda Chi Alpha’s external vice president.
“Each one [organization] has their own specific jar, and the reason it’s called the penny wars is because pen- nies are the only things that give you positive points. Pennies [are] what we ask for, but anything matters.”
Garza went on to say, “This is one of our philanthropy events because all proceeds we raise here go to ‘Feeding America’ – our philanthro- py…across the country. We help raise food [and] money for people who are having a hard time feeding their families.”
The system is uniquely designed by Lambda Chi Alpha staff members across the country in such a way that all funds raised through the Penny Wars will be donated to charity all at once. Allowing each organization to design its own jar, gives participating organizations a chance to put their own brand on the venture.
“The fraternities could care less what their jar looks like, but the sororities decorated [theirs],” Garza said joking- ly.
In the end, Garza said he hopes the event demon- strates the commitment to community that fraternities and sororities on campus possess.
“It’s [the fundraiser] showing the university that fraternities…are actually doing stuff for the commu- nity. We care, not just about ourselves, but about people all over the world.”
Though the funds have not been added up for this year, Garza said that last year $568 was raised on TAMUK’s campus alone, proving that even the small- est deed can make a big difference.