Recent statistics show that one in every four men will be victim to domestic abuse at some point in their life, and one in every three women. The Greek houses of Hillsdale College recently collaborated to support some of the local victims of that abuse.
Students from all of Hillsdale’s Greek houses came together on Monday night to tie fleece blankets, to donate to Domestic Harmony. The GOAL Volunteer Program partnered with Domestic Harmony, the local shelter for people who have been victims to domestic and sexual abuse, and the Panhellenic Council to donate the blankets to the more permanent residents of the shelter, in addition to foster children.
Sophomore Katie Dimmer, Kappa Kappa Gamma panhellenic delegate and philanthropy chair and GOAL volunteer program leader for Domestic Harmony, explained the purpose of the event.
“There’s not a ton we can do for these people in their situation, but to give them a physical comfort and say “Hey, I made this for you, I care about you, and you’re not alone,” that’s a huge physical symbol in their time of need,” Dimmer said.
Dimmer explained that the topic of a collaborative philanthropic event had been an ideal she had hoped to pursue for a while. Though she had contacted a few GOAL program leaders, Hodgson had not heard back from anyone until Dimmer suggested the idea of an all-Greek collaboration with Domestic Harmony at a recent Kappa Kappa Gamma chapter meeting.
“Katie helped with the idea and the room, and I brought it up to the rest of the Panhellenic Council,” Hodgson said. “They loved the idea and everyone was on board, so I reached out to the men and we got great participation right away. It was really cool to see people come together for this.”
Before the blanket-tying began, Dimmer shared a bit about her personal involvement with the shelter, where she has been volunteering since freshman year. Dimmer also said that the victims of domestic violence being sheltered at Domestic Harmony were not limited to Hillsdale County.
“People from the college come to Domestic Harmony,” Dimmer said. “So these kids may not be us, but in another way they could be. Your work tonight matters.”
Members of the Greek houses represented agreed the event was important.
“I think that programs like this and what Katie’s doing are absolutely fantastic, and I’m really glad that we could help, even in this capacity,” Sigma Chi freshman Max Troyke said.
Junior and Pi Beta Phi member Taylor Steyer worked on a blanket with girls from her swim team who are members of Kappa Kappa Gamma, as well as an independent, also on the swim team. Steyer said that though they didn’t have a lot of artistic ability, it was cool to work on something together.
“We didn’t really know what we we’re doing, but they taught us in a couple of minutes,” Steyer said. “It’s really cool to help out in such a good way, without having much experience. I think it’s really special.”
Kappa Kappa Gamma member junior Kendra Lantis added that collaboration between Greek houses was something students will hopefully see more.
“We definitely want to do more inter-Greek events. This is a great one to kick start doing more philanthropies, since that’s definitely something that, coming from the semester with new leadership, we’d like to do,” Lantis said.
Members of the fraternities also joined in the crafting, though they admitted their skills may have been less adept.
“Blanket-making is an acquired skill. It’s a work in progress, but I think we’re doing a pretty good job so far,” freshman Reed Lawe of Alpha Tau Omega said.
Freshman and Alpha Tau Omega member Sam Swayze, meticulously tied knots on one of the infant-sized blankets.
“We don’t want to make a bad product for the baby, but we’re just not good artists,” Swayze said.
He added that he hoped their ability paid off.
“We’re trying to fill the blanket with the love that we would like to receive,” Swayze said. “Also knots.”