Wednesday, February 04, 2009

Rutgers Sig Eps Focus on New Eyes for the Needy

Greek life gives focus to charity’s vision at U.
Kathleen Crouch / Contributing Writer

University greek organizations Sigma Phi Epsilon and Delta Gamma are helping give those who cannot afford eyeglasses the opportunity to see clearly.

Organization members are working alongside New Eyes for the Needy, a small non-profit organization that has provided eyeglasses to the poor for 76 years in 57 countries around the world, to collect student’s unused eyeglasses.

“Glasses that sit in drawers, forgotten and unused, can make a huge difference in the life of a child, adult or a senior who is living with uncorrected vision,” said Susan Dyckman, New Eyes spokesperson.

Sig Ep President Eugene Cheval, a Rutgers College junior, said he first decided to join forces with the New Eyes foundation when University of Florida fraternity alumnus Jim Pellicane contacted him. Cheval soon began working with Dyckman and Pellicane on a University collection.

“After hearing all the great work the organization did, it was an easy choice to have the [Sigma Phi Epsilon] chapter help out,” Cheval said.

Fraternity and sorority members said they have been successful thus far, with big plans for the spring eyeglass collection. “We are hoping to expand upon the groundwork that has been done already at Rutgers by sending our message through media that students use more frequently, such as Facebook and text messaging,” Dyckman said.

School of Arts and Sciences junior, Jennifer Dasilva said she was walking down College Avenue when sisters from the sorority told her about the charity and asked if she had any old glasses.

“I’m a commuter, so I picked up a pair of my brother’s old glasses from home and dropped them off at the Delta Gamma house the next day,” Dasilva said.

She said members of the sorority and fraternity were passionate about the charity and seemed like they were dedicated to the cause. “It is great to see the Rutgers’ students so willing to take on a new service project,” Dyckman said.

At anytime, students can drop off their old glasses at the Delta Gamma house located at 78 College Ave. She said she hopes to get the entire University community involved with the effort and suggested students collect from their friends and family.

Students can join the New Eyes for the Needy Facebook group to find out more information. Students who want to volunteer for New Eyes can go to www.neweyesfortheneedy.org.