Alpha Phi Omega (APO) is a brotherhood of humble, hard-working people dedicated to Leadership, Friendship and Service to others. As the largest Greek-letter organization and the largest collegiate service organization, the work of APO chapters has had significant impacts on individuals, campuses and communities. Despite that, only a small percentage of America is familiar with the Fraternity. We aim to change that.
Every year, each of APO’s more than 360 chapters are tasked with the execution of a project or group of projects based on a nationally-recognized NSW theme. Chapters are encouraged to plan projects that match this theme, involve the service of the majority of the chapter’s brothers and have a significant impact on those they are serving.
The resources below were created by the National Service Committee with the goal of helping provide the chapter with planning timelines, project and partnership ideas and more! Look through these resources to help generate ideas and jump start your chapter’s National Service Week project plan.
Your chapter’s schedule may prevent you from performing a project during the specified week; however, you can still participate in NSW by hosting project(s) based on the NSW theme at an alternate time. The most important thing your chapter needs to do is organize a quality project that meets the goals of NSW and report it by the November 15 deadline.
We thank you in advance for the hard work we know you, along with your brothers, will do in the coming weeks to plan your chapter’s NSW project(s). The contents of this page are intended to help members navigate planning a National Service Week project. This information is also available in PDF form. With your work, we bring service to our communities, recognition to our Fraternity and fellowship to our brotherhood. We look forward to seeing the results of this great work nationwide and we appreciate your participation. Should you need any help, please reach out to brothers at the chapter, sectional, regional or national level and you will find the support you need to make your project a success.
Remember: Chapters are required to report through the Chapter Officer Portal by November 15 whether they participated in National Service Week. Failure to complete this report will negatively impact the chapter’s good standing, eligibility for grants and awards, and voting status at the National Convention.
Life’s most persistent and urgent question is, ‘What are you doing for others?
– Martin Luther King, Jr.
The National Service Week resolution for 2021 as adopted by the 46th National Convention adopted the resolution as follows:
Be it resolved that the National Service Week program of emphasis for 2021 shall be “Environmental Awareness.”
Experts say the window of opportunity to avoid the worst effects of climate change is quickly approaching. For years, our public lands, which cover nearly one-third of the country, have been the drilling grounds for the fossil fuel industry, driving the climate crisis while damaging landscapes, wildlife and communities.
According to the EPA in a 2018 report, 63% of Americans report wanting the government to take more action against climate change but only 35% reported routinely talking about climate change as an issue with friends and family. Furthermore, 77% of U.S. millennials said that we should try to stop or slow climate change, but only 33% recycling every day.
Some brothers may be more educated about the environment than others. It’s important that we work together to educate each other so we can all participate in a well informed conversation. That’s the powerful of National Service Week. This is a great opportunity to show that you’re there for your brothers and you want to help them because that’s what Alpha Phi Omega is all about— building brotherhood and sharing connections.
In new socially-distanced or virtual environments, students need the support of APO brothers more than ever in times of difficulty. This support can take many forms. These methods can be customized to fit any chapter’s abilities, whether socially-distanced or entirely virtual.
With the good health of all members of our campuses, communities and nation in mind, we ask for your help to further this cause. Every brother has a part to play. From starting a National Service Week project in your home chapter to spreading awareness of this endeavor to simply talking to another brother, you have the power to make a difference.
Yours in Leadership, Friendship and Service
National Service Program Chair
You must report your project (or report non-participation) by November 15. Chapter officers must submit a NSW Participation Report through the Chapter Officer Portal at https://op.apo.org. This report has been one of two reports required each year since the 2002 National Convention for a chapter to remain in good standing with the Fraternity. Chapters are also required to submit a participation report for Spring Youth Service Day each spring.
Completing this online form takes just a few minutes. You will be asked to include information like how many people participated in the project, how many hours of service were performed, names of other groups involved and details of any publicity that was generated.
The origins of this annual event date back to 1979 when Dr. Stan Carpenter, Xi Omicron ’68, thought there needed to be a time when all brothers united to provide service. At a Board of Directors meeting in July 1979, National Service Chairman Carpenter moved for the Fraternity to conduct a National Service Day and promote it as “Service Day 1979 – A Celebration of Service,” and his motion was successful. Brother Carpenter would later become national president.
National Service Day was expanded to a full week in 1996 and since then, APO brothers have served together for a week each year under a common theme determined biennially at the National Convention.
There are many reasons you and your chapter should participate in NSW. Your participation:
Your chapter’s schedule may prevent you from performing a project during the specified week; however, you can still participate in NSW by hosting your project(s) based on the NSW theme at an alternate time. The most important thing your chapter needs to do is organize a quality project that meets the goals of NSW and report it by the November 15 deadline.
The graphic associated with NSW includes one of the Fraternity’s symbols, the Golden Eagle, which represents APO’s leadership in volunteer service. A blue circle and the NSW program of emphasis surround the eagle’s silhouette.
Use this checklist to help plan, conduct and evaluate your chapter’s National Service Week project. This timeline is to be used as a reference and your chapter’s schedule may vary. More time for planning usually results in a more successful project, but remember that if you cannot meet these dates, you may still participate in NSW. Do not feel limited to the suggestions in this handbook. The planning of NSW is supposed to be more involved than your regular projects – stretching yourselves to reach new goals with your NSW project is part of the way NSW is not just a project, but a learning opportunity as well. Ideally, your chapter should have a special committee dedicated to overseeing the planning of your NSW project.
Listed below are a few organizations with missions that support the theme for National Service Week 2021. It is up to each chapter to determine what kind of project to do. Don’t feel limited to these organizations! We provide this list to help you begin to think of projects, but we encourage you to find the project best suited for your chapter and community.
This theme provides the opportunity to work to improve the environment, as well as educate the community on improving the environment. Ask the brothers in your chapter to share what they would like to do and encourage them to get involved in planning the chapter’s project.
In addition to your chapter’s brothers, your project should involve the help of external people. Remember to ask your advisors for help. Other groups on campus are also potential partners. You might consider inviting other chapters in your section and region to
participate in your project (if chapters choose to partner, remember that all chapters must individually report their participation). Partnering with others increases the impact the project may have, both in terms of completed service and fellowship.
Working with other student and community groups can give brothers access to greater resources that allow for the organization of bigger and better projects. Collaborating with other organizations can provide more volunteers, promotional and outreach opportunities and creative minds during the project planning process.
Make sure to do plenty of research before calling any groups with a request for partnership. When you call, keep in mind that the person who answers the phone may not be the one responsible for volunteer activities. When you are able to speak with the appropriate person, ask questions to better understand the group’s goals and inquire about their level of interest in NSW. Maintain a record of everyone you have called, what you spoke about and/or with whom you have left messages.
In order to be prepared for conversations with potential partners, know the answers to these questions before you begin:
It may be helpful to mention your chapter’s previous experiences working with the group you are contacting, or other similar groups with whom they may be familiar. You may also want to have a list of people in the organization that APO has worked with in the past. Have basic knowledge about APO and your chapter available, including:
It is important to be clear about the limitations of your chapter and avoid setting premature or unrealistic expectations of your role. Present your plans and requests in a confident, positive manner as you express your interest in working together for the same cause.
Below is a sample outline of a conversation you might have when speaking to other groups or individuals about NSW activities. Use this guide to help you prepare the right information for working with other groups. You should edit this outline for the specific purpose of your conversation. You can also use this guide to help draft letters to be sent to service organizations in your area.
Hi, my name is ________________ and I’m a student volunteer with Alpha Phi Omega [co-ed] Service Fraternity at _______________ College/University. We are planning our annual APO National Service Week service project for [DATE]. This year, our activities will focus on _________. We would like to explore the possibility of partnering with your group to:
A significant goal of NSW is to involve more people in our communities in service activities, especially people who might be new to service projects or who may have a particular interest in the National Service Week program theme.
Again, my name is ___________ and you can reach me at ###-#### or email me at ______. Thank you very much for your time!
At any point during your chapter’s NSW project planning process, help is available. Your advisors, alumni, sectional and regional staff are available to give you guidance, ideas, contact information and more, so don’t delay in reaching out for help.
Additionally, the Fraternity’s leadership includes a national service program chair, as well as elected regional chairs who are here to help answer questions and connect chapters with local support.
|Region A Chair||Colin Rice||[email protected]|
|Region B Chair||Susan Taylor||[email protected]|
|Region C Chair||Heather Lehman||[email protected]|
|Region D Chair||James Busby||[email protected]|
|Region E Chair||Christopher McEwen||[email protected]|
|Region F Chair||Justin Martin||[email protected]|
|Region G Chair||Michael DeLuka||[email protected]|
|Region H Chair||Brittany Ramsey||[email protected]|
|Region I Chair||John Strada Jr.||[email protected]|
|Region J Chair||Laura Fowler||[email protected]|
|Region K Chair||Michael Brown||[email protected]|
|Region L Chair||Jennifer Headman||[email protected]|
|Region M Chair||Tre Kolling, III||[email protected]|
|Region N Chair||Diane Trafton||[email protected]|
|Region O Chair||Jessica Lane||[email protected]|
|Region P Chair||Paul Galuskin||[email protected]|
|Region Q Chair||Aaron Knight||[email protected]|
|Region R Chair||Autumn Paro||[email protected]|