Sorority fundraiser supports those impacted by Hurricane Ida

Members of Zeta Omicron, George Mason University’s student chapter of Zeta Phi Beta Sorority Inc. Photo provided

Members of Zeta Omicron, George Mason University’s student chapter of Zeta Phi Beta Sorority Inc. wanted to do something to help with disaster relief efforts for those affected by Hurricane Ida.

“I saw on the news that in Louisiana a lot of the campuses were evacuated,” said Sydney Barlow, a junior studying communication within the College of Humanities and Social Sciences.

Barlow, president of Zeta Omicron, said she can’t imagine having to evacuate from Mason. She and her sorority sisters reached out to their graduate chapter, Omicron Theta Zeta, which led them their national headquarters in Washington, D.C.

Sydney Barlow. Photo provided

Zeta Omicron created a Bingo Board on Instagram and encouraged donations of any amount. 

The fundraiser began in mid-September and continued for a two-week time period. The group raised a couple hundred dollars. Contributions were sent to those individuals in the state of Louisiana who requested assistance through the portal with funds dispersed by the sorority’s international headquarters.

“I’m from New York, and were also affected pretty bad by the remnants of Hurricane Ida,” said Barlow. “My best friend from high school literally lost her whole house.”

Barlow continued, “I don’t know what I would do. I can’t imagine just everything I have being gone.”

Barlow said they wanted to make sure that other people in their sorority also had that assistance.

“There’s a big wave of internet activism where everybody is posting donation links, petitions, or things like that,” said Barlow. “At times, it can feel really impersonal. Part of having this online fundraiser was about seeing the way people interacted socially with that kind of online activism, but also to put ourselves in other people’s shoes.”

The group’s activism extends beyond hurricane relief—they are also participating in a 5K raising money for the American Cancer Society for Breast Cancer Awareness Month.