Under the Guide Right program, Kappas throughout the Western Province held their “Shop with a KAPPA” events throughout the month of December with the youth from the communities in which they serve. This year, the Western Province increased the number of chapters participating in this Guide Right community service event from four to eight. The following is the list of this year’s participating Alumni chapters:
Anchorage, AK Las Vegas, NV Phoenix, AZ
Tacoma, WA Seattle, WA Salt Lake City, UT
Riverside, CA San Jose, CA
Most of the events have been completed over the past two weeks. Some are scheduled for the next 10 days, the results to-date have more than exceeded expectations. Last year, the Brothers exceeded the goal of donating $10,000 and aiding 100 youth and donated $11,800 to make a difference for 118 youth across the Western Province. This year, the eight Alumni Chapters are on-track to donate $15,000 and provide a better Christmas for 154 youth across the West.
The “Shop with a KAPPA” program was inspired by Brother Rod O’ Neal, a founding member of Xi Phi Chapter at the University of Nevada- Reno. He is now a member of the Las Vegas Alumni Chapter where he developed the “Shop with a KAPPA” program based on his numerous years in law enforcement observing the “Shop with a Cop” program. He began the initiative in 2012 to give disadvantaged youth in Las Vegas $100 gift cards and to take them Christmas shopping at their local Wal-Mart store, in which Rod and his committee raised astounding $3,700 that year. The program has now raised over $30,000 for the Western Province since its inception. Brother O’Neal hopes this will someday become a national initiative under the Guide Right program for Kappa Alpha Psi raising an estimated $500,000 annually. This year, Alumni chapters have included Target in their choice of stores to hold the event.
The Brothers also used the time spent pushing the cart around for the youth as an opportunity to emphasize the importance of staying in school and doing well in school. This year, Alumni chapters involved more of the youth family members and it was difficult for some of the parents to hold back their tears of joy.
Thanks again to Brother O’Neal for coordinating this Province-wide program, and thanks to fellow Kappas’ and sponsors throughout the West for donating, for helping the kids to shop, for stressing to them the importance of doing well in school, and for making their Christmas a special one this year.
For more information and more pictures, please visit the website at www.shopwithakappa.com.