NATIONAL SERVICE WEEK 2021 THEME SUBMISSIONS

The following themes were submitted for consideration for National Service Week 2021.

 

Discussion of these potential themes within your chapter or with your fellow brothers are highly encouraged to ensure everyone’s voice is heard in the final decision.

 

On October 30, chapter presidents and vice presidents of service will receive a voting link to vote on behalf of their chapter. Alumni voting delegates will also receive a voting link.

 

All parties should vote by November 6. After all votes have been counted, the Service Program Chair will announce the theme for National Service Week 2021 on APO’s social media accounts.

Children’s Literacy

Submitted By: Tau Chapter (University of Florida) Initiate

 

Description: This theme would place an emphasis on “children’s literacy” with a special focus on “education awareness on campus.”

 

Rationale: “If all students in low-income countries left school with basic reading skills, 171 million people could be lifted out of poverty, which would be equivalent to a 12% cut in world poverty. (UNESCO 2014)”

 

Project Ideas:

  • Hosting a used book drive on campus OR partnering with local stores as drop-off point
  • Participating in reading days with children at local libraries/schools or via Zoom
  • Handing out pamphlets on literacy
Closing the Opportunity Gap

Submitted by: Gamma Psi (University of Minnesota, Twin Cities) Initiate

 

Description: This theme focuses on what APO can do to actively help close the opportunity gap, both in local communities and nationwide, through projects that focus on addressing the inequalities within the education system.

 

Rationale: “All APO members are enrolled in the formal education system that is meant to provide opportunities for all. However, that is not the case for BIPOC (Black, Indiginous, and People of Color) communities. It’s up to all of us to close this gap.”

 

Project Ideas:

  • Tutoring/mentoring
  • Screening a documentary and hosting a discussion
  • Volunteering at an after-school program
  • Organizing a school supply drive
Diversity and Inclusion

Submitted by: Alpha Gamma Xi (University of Dayton) Initiate

 

Description: A National Service Week theme focusing on diversity and inclusion would promote better understanding, embracing our differences and creating more cohesiveness inside our chapters and beyond.

 

Rationale: “Creating and sustaining diversity and inclusion efforts on our campuses, in our communities, across our nation and in this Fraternity is a pivotal movement we should be supporting as servant leaders.”

 

Project Ideas:

  • Hosting workshops/presentations
  • Providing educational materials
  • Conducting training or certification programs
  • Planning events celebrating diversity and/or cultivating inclusivity
Earth without Art is Just Eh

Submitted by: Xi Upsilon (University of Mount Union) Initiate

 

Description: This theme would work elements of art into a variety of service projects.

 

Rationale: “I believe that art is a key component often missed out on by communities. Art can be incorporated into service in many ways and can help bring people together.”

 

Project Ideas:

  • Collecting and donating art supplies to kids
  • Volunteering at a local YMCA
  • Partnering with an elementary school to paint their windows
  • Chalking the sidewalk to support the cause
Education

Submitted by: National Service Committee

 

Description: Chapters could pick a sector of education: elementary school students, closing the achievement gap, specific issue awareness, etc.

 

Project Ideas:

  • Reading to elementary school students
  • Creating posters about a topic and putting them up around campus or in the community
  • Tutoring school students or college students
Elder Fraud

Submitted by: Nu Theta (Rowan University) Initiate

 

Description: Elder fraud prevention can be applied to National Service Week with a concentration on educating APO brothers on what elder fraud is. Brothers will then be able to put on programs that educate others.

 

Rationale: “According to the FBI, millions of elderly Americans fall victim to some type of financial fraud or confidence scheme, including romance, lottery and sweepstakes scams.”

 

Project Ideas:

  • Implementing Fraternity-wide education on what elder fraud is
  • Creating campus programs geared towards educating students on elder fraud
  • Initiating outreach to senior citizen organizations via video conferencing
Emergency Preparedness

Submitted by: National Service Committee

 

Description: Chapters would choose a topic for the type of emergencies that affect their community.

 

Project Ideas:

  • Making tornado kits
  • Hosting Red Cross speaker events on campus or in the community
  • Making masks
  • Holding fire drills or fire safety education programs for students
Environment

Submitted by: National Service Committee

 

Description: Chapters would work to improve the environment and/or educate their community on improving the environment.

 

Project Ideas:

  • Cleaning up a park
  • Planting trees
  • Volunteering at an animal shelter
  • Raising climate change awareness
Health & Wellness

Submitted by: Alpha Alpha Omicron (Longwood University) Initiate

 

Description: This theme would encourage healthy behaviors and overall wellness.

 

Rationale: “If you are not healthy yourself, you won’t perform your best to serve the rest of the world.”

 

Project Ideas:

  • Gathering and distributing affordable healthy recipes
  • Distributing information about the benefits of certain food groups/vitamins
Health & Wellness

Submitted by: National Service Committee

 

Description: Host and conduct activities that promote healthy behaviors and overall wellness on campus or in your community.

 

Project Ideas:

  • Volunteering at a hospital
  • Planning and hosting a campus health fair
  • Making masks
  • Raising money or volunteering at a 5K
Literacy

Submitted by: Alpha Delta Tau (Nova Southeastern University) Initiate

 

Description: 1 in 4 children in America grows up without learning how to read. Under this theme, chapters could plan projects centered around providing equal opportunities for individuals to have access to literature.

 

Rationale: “Growing up, my mother was a 4th grade Language Arts teacher and she always taught me the importance of being able to read. Literacy not only provides us with a voice, but also shapes our communication.”

 

Project Ideas:

  • Holding a book drive
  • Reading to elementary school children
  • Teaching different languages
  • Partnering with known literacy groups and fundraising
  • Creating bookmarks with facts about literacy
Neurodiversity Awareness and Advocacy

Submitted by: Alpha Gamma Phi (Northern Kentucky University) Initiate

 

Description: This theme would aim to bring awareness to and show support for neurodiverse people and students. Neurodiversity refers to people on the Autism spectrum and those with ADHD, along with other neurological disorders.

 

Rationale: “Neurodivergent people have little support within the college community and are often affected by ableism. APO prides itself on being inclusive and accepting, which should include understanding and supporting neurodivergent people.”

 

Project Ideas:

  • Educating on what neurodiversity is and how college campuses can accommodate their neurodivergent students
  • Spreading awareness about organizations that perpetuate ableism and what members can do to discourage ableism
Pink Ribbon Girls

Submitted by: Delta Gamma (Ohio University) Initiate

Description: Pink Ribbon Girls is a nonprofit organization that is focused on helping women who have been diagnosed with breast cancer. They provide meals, rides to treatment, house cleaning and peer support.

 

Rationale: “My mother was diagnosed with breast cancer this year and it has been the hardest thing my family has ever gone through, but the Pink Ribbon Girls have been so helpful.”

 

Project Ideas:

  • Walk for Pink Ribbon Girls 5K
  • Distributing pink ribbons for people on campus or in the community to wear
  • Hosting a pink-themed bake sale
  • Making cards for women going through breast cancer treatment
  • Hosting a hair cutting event and donating the hair to make wigs
Poverty

Submitted by: National Service Committee

 

Description: Chapters would select a project to help combat poverty in their community.

 

Project Ideas:

  • Volunteering at homeless shelters or food pantries
  • Hosting food drives
  • Tutoring in high need areas in local school districts
Public Health on Campus and in the Community

Submitted by: Kappa Mu (Johns Hopkins University) Initiate

 

Description: The broad theme of public health allows creativity in how chapters approach the theme. With this theme, chapters could do information campaigns and hold trainings.

 

Rationale: “The current global pandemic has amplified interest in Public Health. Many college students are not exposed to this field, and I think this theme could encourage interest, education and awareness.”

 

Project Ideas:

  • Creating resources and education on proper handwashing
  • Planning and hosting a flu shot campaign (especially timely in November)
  • Executing risk reduction campaigns on topics like alcohol use
  • Hosting or aiding with smoking cessation programs or naloxone training
Service in Times of Trouble

Submitted by: Theta Mu (Vanderbilt University) Initiate

 

Description: Alpha Phi Omega has done a great deal of service as it relates to the universe we live in. This theme would place an emphasis on the role of service in the world when times are troubled.

 

Rationale: “It’s necessary to acknowledge that service extends beyond that which is only physical. We have to recognize service is a duty of brothers in an effort to advance society.”

 

Project Ideas:

  • Fundraising for local food drives
  • Hosting community cleanups
  • Fundraising for school supplies
  • Hosting mental health panels for underserved communities
  • Educating students and local residents on voter registration
Social Justice

Submitted by: National Service Committee

 

Description: Support change in the community by hosting events that are important and relevant at the time.

 

Project Ideas:

  • Participating in peaceful protest marches
  • Hosting petition drives to support change
  • Registering people to vote
  • Creating a campus book club to discuss books like “Me and White Supremacy,” “How to Be Antiracist,” etc.
  • Raising money to donate to Flint, MI
Talking to Strangers

Submitted by: Alpha Iota (The Ohio State University) Initiate

 

Description: This theme centers on connecting people who may be underserved and disconnected from the community and Fraternity.

 

Rationale: “After isolation from COVID-19 and persistent unrest and distrust, it seems that avoiding talking to strangers impedes change. Servant leadership could challenge this social norm in profound ways.”

 

Project Ideas:

  • Spending time with senior citizens
  • Organizing civic/community projects with new organizations
  • Holding letter-writing drives
  • Hosting conversations for English learners
  • Creating and implementing a new program for suicide prevention
World Hunger

Submitted by: Alpha Beta (Pennsylvania State University) Initiate

 

Description: This theme would focus on understanding how many people go hungry, the needs in the community area and developing plans to address those needs or support those already addressing these needs.

 

Rationale: “Hunger is such a huge problem that has only been made worse, and more visible, by COVID-19. Many of us do not realize how challenged many people are to put food on their tables.

 

Project Ideas:

  • Helping at a food bank or distribution center
  • Driving community awareness of hunger and the needs of the community
  • Collecting food
  • Analyzing the hunger challenges of the community
  • Organizing local organizations (like churches, Scouts, etc.) to run support programs
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